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From zero exercise to 5x a week – is that possible? I would have considered this impossible just a few years ago. Until age 20 there was not a single sport that I enjoyed. Now, I exercise almost every day and could not imagine a life without sports. In this post, I’ll provide you with my top tips on how to love exercise in 5 steps.
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How to Love Exercise
This post is supported by REID Bikes, who provided me with a beautiful bike for this post.
In my last month’s favorites, I mentioned that I have been doing sports only for a few years and that I used to be an absolute couch potato. As I suppose some of you are still in the couch potato phase, I created this 5-step guide to help you transition to a more active lifestyle. In my case, the transition happened in exactly these 5 steps. So I hope that this guide will motivate you to integrate more exercise into your everyday life.
Schritt 1 – Yoga
“Yoga is not my thing because I’m not stretchy at all.” When telling people about my latest discovery, I have gotten this answer so many times. But this excuse is like saying: “Spanish is not my thing because I do not understand the language.” Do you recognize the error? Not starting a sport or discipline just because you’re not good at it yet it is a pointless paradox. Yoga has definitely made me more conscious, stronger and, above all, more flexible.
Why Yoga as a first step? Simply because everyone can do yoga at any time of the day. It is the simplest and most individual “sport” in the world. The only measurement of success is your own progress. If you don’t want to sign up for a yoga class in your area right away, you can start with a “Yoga for Beginners” Challenge on YouTube. The 30-day Challenge by Yoga With Adrienne has changed my life!
Step 2 – Walking
Whether you just take a walk through your area, do Nordic Walking or actually run, it’s up to you. Next to yoga, running is the simplest form of exercise because it doesn’t require any equipment (other than good shoes). In his book How Not To Die, Dr. Michael Greger recommends walking for an hour or exercising for 30 minutes daily. Walks can easily be integrated into everyday life, e.g. while calling your parents, doing voice memos on Whatsapp and listening to audiobooks. Even in winter you can just put on your snow boots and do daily walks. Nothing stands in your way other than your mind!
Step 3 – Biking
The next “step” on the way to loving exercise requires a bike, which makes it a bit more complicated than steps 1 and 2. However, there are already good bicycles starting at around € 200. Furthermore, this investment is well worth it. Those who live on a mountain have to dig deeper into their purses to purchase an e-bike. But even that is a worthwhile investment into your own health. Since I live in the city and do not own a car (which would be pointless here), I do ALL my errands by bike. This really makes me cycle EVERY DAY, at least 3km a day (to the university and back). Moreover, every kilometer counts and cycling 21km a week is better than nothing.
I received a bicycle from REID bikes for this blog post that fully meets my needs in the city. With 7 gears, a luggage rack and a chic braided basket, the mint green “Ladies Vintage” offers everything I need. It also looks ultra chic. Especially if you take it to the farmers market for some plastic-free fruit and vegetable shopping.
Step 4 – Gym
Since I registered at a gym, my fitness journey only really started. Before that, my workouts were sporadic and erratic, with no incentive to keep up with my routine. It was not until I set up a fitness plan with a trainer that I was motivated to build muscle and get fitter. The first visible successes began after 2-3 months and soon I also noticed an improved stamina. When a friend of mine registered in the same gym and we lifted weights together, exercise had already become an integral part of my weekly routine and I enjoyed it more than ever.
So my tip for you: Just sign up and make up your mind about where you see yourself in the future. If your goals are present enough, you will easily achieve those goals. If possible, find someone to sign up with you. Exercising together is more fun and you overcome the hurdle of actually going to the gym at the same time.
Step 5 – Healthy Diet
The question of the chicken and the egg also occurs in a healthy lifestyle. What came first – the physical activity or the healthy food? In fact, most athletic people seem to pay attention to a healthy diet at the same time. For me, it was definitely the diet that strongly contributed to my fitness. Opting for healthy foods automatically improves your strength and stamina and consequently enables you to enjoy exercise more.
Other than that, a new challenge might help you. For example, this could be going vegan or 1 month of raw food. When I became vegan, I was suddenly more interested in sports and went for runs voluntarily for the first time in my life. Coincidence or correlation? For me, a healthy diet was definitely the biggest trigger to get into an active lifestyle.
My workout routine
Finally, I’ll answer the question of how much I exercise. Since I am currently in a somewhat intense semester, there are many days when I just don’t have time to exercise. That’s why I currently go to the gym 3 times a week. However, somtimes I can’t make it so the gym workout is often replaced by a home workout or a cozy yoga session in the evening. I also enjoy running in the summer. In winter I like to go for long walks because I don’t like to sweat in the cold. There are people who run in every season. I personally prefer outdoor cardio workouts in the summer and more strength training in the winter. On average, I exercise about 4-5x a week. On my 2-3 rest days, I either go for a walk or do some stretching exercises at home.
Finding a routine
I have found this optimal routine for myself, but it could look different for you. That’s why I recommend you try different sports and find out what suits you best. If you have little time in the morning, I would recommend yoga or a home workout. If cardio in the morning helps you wake up, running or cycling could be more suitable for you. Whatever comes out – getting into exercise is well worth it! Active people are not just healthier but also look better, feel better and release more happy hormones! Most importantly, exercise has helped me establish a strong body-mind connection and regain balance between working in an office (at home) and moving my body (outside).
Feel free to leave a comment telling me about your exercise routine. Has healthy eating also inspired you to be more active?