If you’ve been slacking on regular exercise and wellness, we feel you. It’s hard to hit the gym when you’re tired post-work, or to wake up early to get in 30 minutes of meditation and yoga before your day starts. Thankfully, there are smart ways to get inspired to kickstart an active lifestyle and stick to it, and it all starts with creating healthy habits.
A habit is a very powerful thing. For example, if brushing your teeth every night is a regular habit for you (if it isn’t, it should be!), that means you don’t stand around in the bathroom hemming and hawing about whether you actually feel like picking up your toothbrush that night and promising yourself how you’ll brush your teeth tomorrow. You don’t think about it, you just do it automatically. That’s habit.
The goal is to make regular activity a habit rather than a daily choice. That way, you don’t have to persuade yourself to go for a run, get in a cycle of stretches, or plonk down on your meditation cushion. You just do it. We share the most effective method for how to kickstart an active lifestyle this summer so that, come autumn, you’ll look and feel your best.
4 Steps to Kickstart an Active Lifestyle
Creating habits takes time and effort. Here’s how to do it in 4 steps:
1. Visualize your goal
The first step to getting active is to figure out exactly what that means for you. What is an active lifestyle? For some folks, staying active means clocking hours at the gym every single day. For others, it’s going for a long hike every weekend. That said, experts recommend around 30 minutes of physical activity every day.
Once you have a good idea of what a solid exercise routine looks like, give yourself a list of reasons for why you want to kickstart an active lifestyle. A few of our favorites include:
- Improved mood
- Better sleep
- Stronger bones and muscles
- Healthy weight
2. Commit to a routine
Let’s say your idea of regular activity means that you go for a 30-minute walk with the dog every evening, meditate for 10 minutes every morning, and log a strength training session at the gym 3 times a week. It’s important to be realistic and flexible about your goals.
For instance, if you’re juggling work and kids, it might not be possible to get to the gym every night, so think about other ways of incorporating exercise into your day. Once you have it figured out, however, it’s time to commit. Say to yourself, this is who I am now—the kind of person who has a fitness routine.
3. Set small, attainable goals
The first trick to kickstart an active lifestyle is to start small. Let’s be real for a moment: it’s not very likely that you’re going to follow your new routine every day no matter what. That’s the goal, but it will take some time, and that’s okay. Research indicates that it takes around 3 weeks to form a habit, so once you’re at the 21-day mark, staying on track will be much easier.
When we say start small, we mean really small. Think 5 minutes a day. Why? Because 5 minutes is an easily attainable goal and, once you’re on a winning streak, you’ll be more motivated to keep going. If your goal is a 45-minute run every morning, grab your running shoes and favorite compression socks to help boost circulation, and hit the pavement for 5 minutes. Do that every day for a week. Then kick it up to 10 minutes and keep that up for another week. By week 3, you should be logging a solid 15 minutes every morning.
4. Motivate and reward yourself
We’re betting that, post-workout, your body is more energized and your mind is more clear. That’s because physical activity triggers the release of the feel-good chemicals serotonin and dopamine, which not only boost mood but help eliminate anxiety and depression.
On those inevitable days that you’re feeling unmotivated to stick to your routine—or if your coworkers are tempting you to join them for a calorie-fueled happy hour instead of hitting the gym—remind yourself of how ah-mazing you feel after exercising. When the temptation to backslide pops up, revisit the goals you originally set for yourself when you decided to kickstart an active lifestyle in the first place.
When you have a habit you want to keep, it’s important to feed it. If you kept up with your new wellness routine for a week, treat yourself with lunch or a night out with your pals. If you stick with it for a month, reward yourself with a new pair of shoes, a fun concert, or whatever makes you feel happy. Those little gifts to yourself will help you stay motivated and stick with your new healthy habits.
Stay Active with the Right Gear
While creating a fitness routine isn’t always easy, it’s always worth it. Here at Crazy Compression, we believe that wellness, fitness, and style always go together. By boosting blood circulation, reducing swelling, helping to eliminate injury, and improving overall comfort, our compression socks help you kickstart an active lifestyle while sporting fun sock colors and patterns. So, what is an active lifestyle, exactly? We think it’s all about feeling good while looking good!