Making Fitness Easier: 5 Tips for Starting a Fitness Journey

According to the CDC, only 53.3% of adults in the U.S. meet the aerobic physical activity recommendation and only 23.2% meet both the aerobic and muscle-strengthening recommendations.

If you’ve been thinking about incorporating more daily movement into your routine, we crafted 5 tips to help get you started:

1. Check Your Mindset

The biggest secret to a successful fitness journey comes before you even lace up your shoes.

Ask yourself: who are you doing this for?

Many people begin their fitness journey because they feel pressured. It might have been a comment made about your appearance, a trend all your friends are following, or even the constant videos on Facebook explaining how to get "shredded" abs in one week. Although those things may give you motivation for a little while, they are hardly ever a driving factor in developing long-term healthy habits.

There are many positives of physical activity, including:

Choosing to do physical activity because you want to take care of yourself is the first and most important step to staying on track.

2. Pick Something You Love

This might seem obvious, but you will most likely not stick with a fitness routine that you hate. Pick an activity you look forward to doing! Not everyone thinks going to the gym is fun, just like not everyone thinks participating in a group sport is fun.

Are you looking for a solo activity? If so, try:

  • Rock climbing
  • Weightlifting
  • Swimming
  • Biking

Looking to hang out with your friends or make new ones? Try more social activities like:

  • Fitness classes
  • Volleyball
  • Tennis (or pickleball!)
  • Hiking with friends
  • Basketball

There are so many options you might not even consider as exercise! Many gyms offer a variety of classes or free trials for you to try out different forms of movement.

The CDC recommends a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per day. If getting in movement everyday seems daunting, think of all the little things such as walking your dog, cleaning your house, or playing with your kids that can count towards your daily activity!

3. Create a Plan

To create a sustainable plan, you have to be realistic. Ideally, you want to fit in joyful movement without taking too much time out of your day. For example, if you plan to run 5 miles every day at 4am, BUT you can’t stand running or waking up early, you will not stick to it. However, if you love walking, and plan to go on a 30-minute walk during your lunch break, then you have a higher chance of meeting your expectations.

By starting off slow, you are allowing your body to get used to the new routine and reduce the risk of injury.

Remember, you can always adjust your routine and add more or take away when needed!

4. Expect Imperfection

It happens. You go on vacation for a week, things got busy at work, your family was sick, there are so many reasons you might take time off from your regular routine. And that’s ok!

Your routine should be sustainable. Sometimes life gets in the way, and you need miss some workouts. Don’t beat yourself up!

Just jump back into your routine when you can and it’s like you never left!

5. Define Success

There is a common misconception that exercise is just for losing weight. But there is much more to it than that. Although there is nothing wrong with working out for weight-loss, you can still set fitness goals that have nothing to do with the scale.

A couple of examples of non-weight loss fitness goals are:

  • Running a 5k for a charity you’re passionate about
  • Feel confident and having more energy
  • Being able to keep up with your kids
  • Decreasing the risk of future injury and disease
  • Picking up a new sport or hobby
  • Going to the gym three times a week
  • Improving your mental health

Whatever your goal might be, defining what success looks like for you can keep you focused and moving forward.

Healthcare Highways Can Help

Need help getting back to better health? Your Healthcare Highways Health Plan may cover care coordination services to help qualified members map out a plan that's right for you. 

If you are a health plan member and would like to learn more about care coordination benefits, call us! Our Customer Experience Advocates team will help you find out if you qualify for this no-cost personalized service and connect you with the care you need. Check your Healthcare Highways Health Plan ID card for your Customer Experience Advocate team's phone number, or reach out onlineWe'll take it from there!