5 Ways to Overcome a Sedentary Lifestyle

After illustrating all of the ways you could be failing at your fitness journey – as promised – here are some actual tips to help you overcome them.

There are a lot of things people complain about when it comes to working a desk job, not the least of which is the radiating pain that develops in your spine when you sit in the same chair all day every day.

The sitting drives me crazy! My back regularly cracks in the same spot because of the crappy chair I had at my old job. If you own a business, please consider this your PSA: invest in decent chairs and replace them when they wear out! Your employees will love you!

In addition to developing the pain in my back, being still all day made me want to eat constantly. It was the only stimulation I could get, and the mental torment of feeling like a caged animal put me in a foul mood. So, more and more dinners became quick, unhealthy ‘food’ with a side of Netflix to drown out my frustration.

This became my routine. Sit all day at my desk, sit all evening on the couch, lay down all night to sleep, repeat.  After a year, the result is a 20 lb weight gain!

Here’s how I’m changing it up:

1. Learn What ‘I Don’t Have Time’ Really Means

You’re a busy person, there’s no denying that. But let’s be honest for a minute. How much time do you spend watching TV, scrolling through social media, playing videogames, or clicking on YouTube videos?

Chances are you do these things for at least a few hours a day. Don’t believe me? Track all the time you spend on leisure for a day and come back me. Was it a lot more than you were expecting? Thought so.

Telling yourself you don’t have time is another way of saying it’s not a priority for you. But, if you want to get off the couch and move, you’re gonna have to sacrifice something. And it’ll take some mental preparation to wrench yourself out of your comfortable routine.

So be devastatingly honest with yourself about what time you really do or do not have.

2. Figure Out What Works for You

Unless you’re a complete media hermit, you’ve heard hundreds of opinions about what types of workouts you should do and when. Personally, I’ve been loving starting my day with light cardio and working on muscle building in the evenings.

That doesn’t mean it will work for you!

The options are endless, high intensity interval training, swimming, biking, hiking, Zumba, CrossFit, spin, dance, etc. So shop around. Take a few classes to see if you prefer exercising with others or alone. Try different times a day and see what you enjoy most. Maybe you like getting up early, maybe you want to use your lunch hour, or maybe you’re a night owl.

If you don’t enjoy it, you aren’t going to stick with it. Keep looking!

3. Make Exercise Part of Your Daily Routine….But Don’t Hurt Yourself

When you’re trying something new, it’s important to start slowly. With this in mind, it could be tempting to say you’ll exercise three days a week to get yourself started. The problem is, when you give yourself so much time in-between, your giving your brain time to come up with excuses for why you need ‘just a couple more days’.

Don’t give yourself that kind of wiggle room! Do something active every day to keep yourself in the right mindset. Maybe some days are intense, while other days you just go for a walk. Or maybe you isolate a different parts of your body on different days.

If you do miss a day, don’t beat yourself up. We all have days where we’re zapped of energy and just want to roll around in our blankets. The important thing is to acknowledge the time off and get back to it before lazy days once again become your habit.

4. Find an Anchor

Once you figure out the time and activity that work for you and decided to do it daily, you need to find an anchor that will turn it into a habit. An anchor is something that is already a daily habit that you use as a cue to do the activity you want to start doing regularly.

For me, the anchor is hearing my alarm clock in the morning. I get out of bed and immediately put on my gear. Once I have a sports bra on, there’s really no turning back.

You can use anything though. Just tell yourself that every time you finish X it’s time to do Y, no excuses!

5. Celebrate the Small Stuff

If you’re a runner, going for a 30 minute jog may seem like nothing to you. But for me, it means a lot. I’ve spent my whole life telling myself I wasn’t built to run long distances. I could sprint, but I couldn’t run more than a block without having to stop and catch my breath.

It’s always been a sore spot. So every day I’ve been working on my cardio, and last week I finally did it! I ran for 30 minutes, no stopping. You better Runbelieve I sent a snap celebrating this milestone to all of my friends!

If you don’t stop to appreciate your achievements, even if they seem minor, you’re going to mentally burn out before you reach your ultimate goal. So be proud of every little step. You deserve it!

Good luck!

P.S. let me know in the comments if you found these tips helpful or if you have any tips for me to keep improving my fitness!

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