Ways to remain motivated to stay active

Published 11:32 am Thursday, January 27, 2022

You may have made a goal of becoming more active this year, but here we are at the end of January and statistics show that over 30% of resolutions are struggling at the 4-week mark.

You might find it difficult to stay motivated with all the snow, cold, busy schedules, numerous reasons. But incorporating physical activity into your day has so many benefits including help with weight loss, immune system boost, stress relief, and lowering blood pressure that re-energizing that goal is so important.

Here are some tips to help you meet your physical activity goals, which should be around 150 minutes per week.

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Make a plan. Figure out when you can incorporate physical activity into your week.

The 150 minutes of weekly recommended physical activity can be broken down into 30 minutes over five days or even smaller increments throughout the day.

The important thing is to move, even if it is for 10 minutes at a time. If you are not sure how to fit physical activity into your schedule, log how you spend your time each day, so you can see where exercise might fit. Once you have a schedule, develop a backup plan to help you catch up in case you cannot exercise at your regular time.

Activities such as walking or climbing stairs require no equipment and can be done indoors, if the weather is not cooperating.

Find something you enjoy doing. Research has shown that people who enjoy their physical activity have a better chance of sticking with it. Also, your activity does not have to be difficult to have a positive effect. It could be as simple as walking around your neighborhood or dancing to music each day.

Find ways to make it social. Prior to the coronavirus, some people found it helpful to have an exercise partner or join a gym class for motivation. While we now must be socially distant, we can still share in the social aspects of physical activity. You can call your former workout buddy while you are doing the activity that you used to do together, or you can find a virtual exercise class. Many gyms are conducting former in-person classes on Zoom.

You can make it a family activity by encouraging your family to get active with you.

For more information on ways to get and stay active, contact the Clark County office of the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service.

Shonda Johnston is the Clark County Extension Agent for Family and Consumer Sciences. She can be reached at 859-744-4682 or by email at shonda.johnston@uky.edu.