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It’s easy to sub kale chips for fries and lettuce for burger buns, right? And it’s not terribly hard to say no to that milkshake at 2AM, either. But sweating off extra calories at the gym? Getting your butt up and to the studio for those early morning sessions?

Yeah, that can be a little more challenging.

Honestly, though, exercise (and committing to it) doesn’t have to be as difficult as you think. Here are five little ways you can add more exercise to your life without it feeling like a burden.

1. Opt to walk whenever possible.

When it comes to time management, I’m not always the best. No matter how early I set reminders on my phone, or intend to leave my house, getting to places on time is a struggle. And because I’m running late, I’m often jumping in my car to get there on time.

This is one of the simplest (yet biggest) personal obstacles for me getting a little more fitness in my daily life. And maybe that’s the same for you.

Do you find yourself opting for the car over a few block’s walk? Do you tend to wait to the last minute to get somewhere instead of allowing for enough time to walk in the first place? If so, try, as much as possible, to sub your driving time for time on your feet.

2. Use a friend for moral, mental, and physical support.

You’ve probably heard this since you were young—use the buddy system.

The buddy system is such a simple way to get yourself to the gym or studio, while growing your community and relationships. When you have a buddy to go with, you’re holding one another accountable and it guarantees not only better workouts, but someone to complain about soreness with. 😉

3. Set intentional dates and class times on your calendar.

Exercise should be a commitment—equivalent to grabbing lunch with a friend, finishing your projects or assignments on time, or showing up to work each morning.

When you make a commitment, for example a night out with friends, you write it in your calendar. Do the same for your workouts. If you find a timeslot that works, record it in your schedule. When you set date(s) it will help you to follow through rather than back out.

4. Try in-home workouts.

If you don’t feel like you can commit to studio time multiple times per week, then find ways to adapt the workouts for home. You can always reach out to the coach teaching your session(s) to ask for notes on the workouts or shift the amounts/weight quantities etc. to fit your home/equipment.

There’s always something you can do at home; it’s all about being intentional and actually doing it.

5. See your workouts as an opportunity rather than something you’re dreading.

A lot of your fitness success depends on your mindset. If you have the perspective that you’re going to struggle with a workout, that you’re going to feel sore, or that the next hour(s) will be the worst part of your day, you’re defeating yourself before you start.

Instead of being negative, see your workouts as an opportunity—to grow, strengthen yourself, build community, and become a better version of yourself.


Marisa Donnelly

Marisa is a full-time freelance writer, editor, and fitness enthusiast located in Ocean Beach, San Diego. She is the author of the poetry collection, Somewhere On A Highway and founder of Be A Light LLC, a remote writing coaching/tutoring/editing services company.

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