Health on a Budget: Commit to regular exercise

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 It’s time to get sweaty.

   Regular exercise is something doctors have been recommending for decades for our overall health. 

   Regular exercise is, according to the American Heart Association in their section covering healthy living and physical activity, a recommended 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week.

   However, most of us have experienced just how hard it can be to fit in any kind of exercise on a regular basis. 

   With that in mind, I have a few tips that have helped me along the way.

Leave your house

   It’s hard to focus on exercise when you’re surrounded by all the things you need to accomplish. If a gym membership isn’t in the financial cards or isn’t practical if you know you won’t go, just go out for a walk. The AHA defines physical activity as anything that makes you move and burn calories. I recommend you just start small and get out there.

es are great. Since college students typically have a set schedule due to their classes, they generally know when they will be free for some exercise. In that case, pick three days a week when you can exercise.

   Don’t compromise with your tired self by saying you’ll do it another day; just go and work out. 

   I don’t actually enjoy getting up before the sun to work out, but that’s when there is the least demand on my time and when I have the most energy. Figure out when your sweet spot is, and then commit to it.

Skip the extras

   I had a great, and pricey, new pair of running shoes sitting in my closet for six months before I decided I would run consistently. 

   And, while buying a new exercise gadget like a Fitbit can be fun, these extras are just that – extra appendages to the actual process of regular exercise.

   So save yourself a pretty penny and just start doing some simple exercises now. If you want to enhance your regular exercise later with something pricey: Go for it. You’ll have the habits to make that acquisition worthwhile.

Discipline trumps motivation

   When it comes to regular workouts, discipline carries the day. The motivation comes after consistent exercise brings you results.

   Your own discipline will likely come from a different place than mine. I tried for years to work out consistently, mostly because I wanted to lose weight. 

   That got old pretty fast, and I ended up bargaining with myself or losing 10 pounds and stopping exercising because I looked and felt better. It wasn’t until I disciplined myself and kept working out until I realized I just loved certain exercises simply for their own merits.

   Not every run has a runner’s high attached. Not every lifting session at the gym leaves you feeling pumped and on top of the world. Don’t chase the high, discipline yourself and let the highs come to you.