Ditch these rules of what exercise should look like for a healthier 2021.
Exercise has many benefits—from boosting your mood to lowering stress and optimizing heart health. But exercising consistently can be tough after a few weeks as motivation wears off. To save you some stress, here are 7 workout “rules” you should feel fine with breaking.
1. You must do it every day
This one will lead to burnout. The WHO says adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of heavy exercise every week. They also say two days should be focused on weight training. This can easily be met in just five days per week. Also, rest is crucial to your recovery. And skipping rest days can lead to problems over time. So, if you feel worn out, go ahead and take a day off.
2. You must exercise for 60 minutes
Exercise does not need to be a full hour. Instead, try adding movement into your daily routine where you can. For example, a walking meeting or 10 minutes of stretching before starting work. Little things like this add up fast. Plus, sitting for long lengths of time can be very bad for your health. Getting up and moving around will help your body be healthier and more energized.
3. You must sweat for it to work
Just because you don’t get covered in sweat doesn’t your workout session is not working. Things such as yoga, body weight movements, walking and even tidying up your house can quickly burn calories and help you accumulate movement points throughout your day.
4. Exercise must be a real “workout”
You don’t need to get your workout clothes on and go to the gym to get health benefits. Moving in other ways also shreds calories and can help you claim fitness and keep it without even knowing you are doing it. This includes hobbies like gardening or playing with your kids, cleaning your house, shoveling snow and raking leaves can all burn the same calories as 30 minutes of walking.
5. You must wear a tracker device
While they might be helpful, you don’t need a fitness tracker to have a great workout. Instead, try other tricks to stay in your routine. Write workouts into your schedule and plan them out ahead of time so they will be built into your day. Even with a fitness tracker, dedicate your workouts to how you feel instead of the tracker’s opinion on how you should feel.
A long going debate, and there is no right or wrong answer. Some people never use music when exercising, others absolutely need it and most of us are in the middle. Regardless of which side you are on, your workout is just as beneficial with or without music.
7. You must stress about what to eat or drink
While you should make sure you have the fuel you need. It is important to know you don’t need special drink or food for that. Water and regular whole foods are just fine. And they are much more affordable than “special” products. Try a banana with peanut butter toast or a smoothie after your workout. And of course, be sure to drink plenty of water.
It comes down to this
Exercise is not a one-size-fits-all thing. There is no need to stress yourself over all the small stuff or force yourself to do types of workouts you hate. Instead, make a few personal rules and focus on getting good at exercise that can easily get you healthier in 2021.