4 ways to become more active this summer

By: Luke Mitchell

You want to become more physically active but going from the 'wanting' to the 'doing' is the problem. There are plenty of reasons, or excuses, why you have not started. Many of these reasons seem valid, but they can be overcome. If you continue to hang on to these reasons, you will never start to exercise. There is however hope in overcoming obstacles, and to become more active.

Here are 4 strategies you can use to get yourself moving more this summer:

1. Find a partner for accountability

Finding a friend to workout with you will increase your willingness to stay committed to your exercise goals. NBC News quotes a study that shows "95% of those who start a weight loss program with a friend will complete the program." You can be a blessing to your friend, while they become a blessing to you. For bonus points, you get to spend time with your friend regularly.

You can even hire a trainer to help you with your accountability. Grammy and Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson lost all of her baby weight by using a combination of a personal trainer and calorie intake reduction. She went from a size 16 down to a size 6! A personal trainer costs money, and that in itself is motivation for you not to be wasteful with your workout.

2. Choose a time a day that will keep you accountable

Joining an exercise class with a specific time will help you remain committed to being active. The sheer daily routine will keep you focused on your goal of becoming more active. A spinning class weight loss program is a great example of this. You will meet at a set time that will be put into your schedule and marked on your calendar. It is no different from setting up a business meeting. Setting it up before hand and putting it in your calendar will make it easier.

An indoor exercise class like spinning also reduces any weather-related interruptions that may deter you. Sunshine or rain, cold or hot, class will go on. You can count on the dependability of the teacher and the peer pressure of the other students to spur you on in your journey to become more active.

Rachel Frederickson, from season 15 of The Biggest Loser, cleared her entire calendar to focus on keeping active and getting healthy. You do not have to go to the extreme like she did but setting a time daily to meet with an exercise class is effective. A set time to exercise will produce positive results every time.

3. Choose the right time of the day to be active

There are certain times in the day in which you are more active than others. The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research shows that late afternoons may be the best time for your body to exercise. Consider choosing a time to be active in which your body will best cooperate and make your activity more effective.

Our bodies are more alert, and better fuelled later in the day. This means you are more likely to do a longer and a harder workout. A late afternoon walk may be just the thing you need to clear your mind from all of the day's stress and activity.

Test out which time of the day works best for your schedule and which time of the day your body cooperates best. Weigh the results of each and choose the time that gets the best results for you.

4. Link exercise to another one of your habits

When trying to develop a new habit, linking the new habit to an old habit is a great way to train yourself. This is called a setting up a trigger. Triggers are used in all sorts of ways to help us achieve goals.

When training children we say, "After you eat, you brush your teeth." This way brushing their teeth gets done each time and regularly. It can work in the same way for adults when we want to add a behavior/new habit into our life. You could say, "Before I eat breakfast, I will do a 30-minute walk." Whatever TRIGGER you choose and whatever the new habit is, link them together so when you think about the one, you will do the other too.

Becoming more active doesn't just happen. There has to be a choice made and a determination put in place that is written in stone. Taking away obstacles will help this transition happen a little easier. Using human accountability, time accountability, effective timing, and linking exercise to other habits in your life will help you succeed. Seeing other's examples and how they achieved their goals shows us that it can be done. These success stories are inspiring. Take advantage of the research that has been done and try these four strategies to become more active in your life this summer.

Featured Image: Billabong

About Author: Luke Mitchell is an MS Undergraduate in Sports Journalism. He writes mostly about fitness programs and diets. To learn more about him and follow him on Twitter, you can find him via @LukeSMitchell1.

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