As a new year comes around, one of the top resolutions everyone has is to get in shape. But for most people, fitness isn’t their favorite thing to do.
A minimalist exercise routine can not only make working out more enjoyable but keep you active and feeling good.
Even for someone like me who enjoys getting in a good workout, I’ve had my days where I didn’t feel like doing it.
I’ve discovered a few tricks along the way that can help us be more likely to stick to our exercise regimen.
But before I get into that, here’s why keeping active is important.
Why exercising matters
Most of you all know how much staying in shape is recommended for your physical well-being. But did you know it’s just as important for your mental well-being?
Here’s a little bit of research on how inactivity affects us both physically and mentally.
Inactive Lifestyle Risks
According to an article by MedlinePlus, there are a variety of negative effects to our body that can result from an inactive lifestyle.
Among them include: Gaining weight, weaker bones, more inflammation, and many other things.
As a result of these negative effects developing over time, these are just a few of the following conditions we put ourselves at risk for:
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Serious diseases
Basically, we’re cutting down the amount of days we have left ahead of us. We’re also making ourselves less happy too.
As we all know, minimalism is about removing clutter in our lives, and focusing on what really matters to us. Perhaps many would agree that living a long and happy life is one of the most important things to focus on.
Active lifestyle benefits
Simply becoming a little bit more active in our lives has been proven to have huge benefits for our well-being.
These are some of the benefits noted by the Mayo Clinic:
- Boosts mood
- Increases energy
- Improves sleep
- Controls weight
- Cuts risk of serious disease
All of the things that are a problem with inactivity, being active helps to make less of a problem. You’re more likely to feel upbeat and well in your body and mind.
Removing clutter in your life doesn’t just mean the stuff around you. It also means the stuff within you too. Removing the clutter of cholesterol, fat, and inactivity gives you more room to feel good and live life to the fullest.
How to apply minimalism to your workout routine
1. Make staying fit simple
Don’t feel like you have to run a mile a day. That’ll quickly discourage you from keeping up your fitness regimen.
Start small with your workouts. An article in Healthline notes that just running five to 10 minutes a day can reduce much of the negative risks that inactivity has on our well-being.
Best of all, you don’t even have to buy any fancy equipment to do it. Here are some exercises you could consider doing for five to 10 minutes a day to start:
- Jumping jacks
- Running in place
- Star jumps
Whichever training activity you choose, make sure it’s one that you can safely do.
2. Make it easy to stick to it
There are ways you can make exercising consistently easier if you’re strategical about it. As an example, you could have your workout clothes and shoes laid out before you sleep.
You could have your exercise video ready for you to press play as well. Find ways you can make it less difficult for you to just go ahead and get your fitness done for the day.
The easier you make something to do, the more likely you’re going to just go ahead and do it.
3. Make it fun
Continuing along the theme of making your working out easy, do something that you think is fun. Perhaps one reason most people don’t like being physically active is they don’t do something they like.
For example, if you don’t like running, then don’t make the treadmill your go-to fitness routine. Find something that looks enjoyable to you.
Have you always enjoyed dancing? It can be a great way to get in some cardio by finding a dance class in person or on YouTube and following along.
There are hundreds and maybe even thousands of ways you can have fun being physically active. All you have to do is pick one that seems most exciting to you and do it.
4. Do meaningful workouts
Fitness can be meaningful in a variety of ways. It could mean a lot to you to build up some muscle tone on your arms or legs.
If that’s the case, make it a part of your training to do some arm or leg workouts regularly. Maybe you want to be able to run a marathon someday and need to get in shape for that.
Get into the habit of jogging around your neighborhood and building up your energy to do it. The point is to find a purpose in why you’re working out.
It can be as simple as just wanting to feel more able to move around and keep up with your kids or grandkids.
Find some kind of reason that inspires you to get up in the morning and get active. It’ll help keep you more motivated to stick to the plan you set up for yourself.
5. Attach a mental cue and reward
A podcaster I regularly watch mentioned that he puts his workout shoes on as a cue to himself to go workout.
Then after his workout, he rewards himself in some way to follow through with the habit. It could be getting to listen to relaxing music or enjoying some tasty meal.
This Psychology Today article explains the science of it in more detail, but it’s a useful trick you can use to be consistent in your working out.
As we begin a new year, it can be one of our top goals to be as fit and well as we’ve ever been. Applying a simple approach to your fitness will make it easier and more enjoyable for you to get in shape.
Related: Consistency Is Key To Success