As we continue with our New Year’s Resolutions, it is important to make a plan get out and about and get some exercise! We found this article not long ago and felt it is a great time to share this information and re-emphasize the importance of physical activity in daily life.

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Many people find that writing an exercise and physical activity plan helps them keep their promise to be active. Some even make a contract with a friend or family member to carry out their plan. For your plan to work, keep the following in mind:

1.      Be sure the plan is realistic for you. Pick activities you feel comfortable doing, especially at first. If you haven’t been exercising much recently, it might take a while to see noticeable improvements in your fitness. But even at the beginning, your exercise routine is already helping you improve your health!

 2.      Make your plan specific and grounded in your goals. Picking concrete activities and laying out clear goals will help you stick with your plan. The more details you add, the easier it will be to follow the plan. So, for each exercise or activity you choose, make sure to include:

  • What kind of activity you plan to do
  • Why you want to do it
  • When you will do it
  • Where you will do it

 3.      Plan to do activities you enjoy. Choosing physical activities that you enjoy will help the plan seem more like fun and less like work. And having fun while exercising means you are much more likely to stick with your plan. For example, if you like the outdoors, choose activities such as biking, hiking, or gardening. If you enjoy time with friends and family, play a sport like basketball or tennis or take walks together.

 4.      Review your plan regularly. As you start following your plan, think of ways to improve it. Don’t forget to update your plan as you become more active. Soon you will be adding new goals as you meet the old ones. And remember to celebrate your successes!

To find out more about how to make an exercise and physical activity plan that fits your lifestyle, visit the Go4Life® website at Go4Life is an exercise and physical activity campaign from the National Institute on Aging at NIH. It has exercises, success stories, and free materials to help you get ready, start exercising, and keep going.