By J. Dana Trent

How to start and maintain a fitness routine amid uncertainty

There are two kinds of fitness routines: the realistic and unrealistic. Here are 10 tips to ensure you focus on the latter: – a sustainable routine that builds a better you.

Determine an ideal time of day for your fitness routine

Imagine what’s sustainable. Is there a time of day when you need an energy boost? That may be the best time for a brief workout.

Set a time limit

Begin with seven to 15 minutes of light exercise, including warm-up and stretching cool down. You can increase your routine slowly, not to exceed more than 45 minutes per day.

Map out an exercise plan

Alternate your days with cardio, strength training, body-weight training, yoga and core work.

Tip:

You can use canned goods if you don’t have weights at home.

Follow all guidelines

If you utilize videos, make sure you have a safe environment and follow all directions. Use videos produced and taught by a certified fitness instructor or professional gym.

Keep it simple

I started at home in the morning with five minutes of stretching before work. It doesn’t have to be complex. Your body needs movement and love, not punishment.

Don’t overexert yourself

The "go big or go home" mentality is not necessarily sustainable in fitness. Avoid unnecessary exertion that leads to quitting or injury.

Don’t hesitate to have fun

If you feel bored, consider a different type of exercise. Swap cardio for strength training, for example.

Eating well is an essential part of the equation

Consider healthy habits to be the foundation to any fitness regimen. Heart health begins in the kitchen.

Do a little every day

You’ll be surprised at how just getting started encourages you to keep going.

Celebrate your success

Every time you work out, say aloud, "I’m so proud of you!" Positive reinforcement is key to fitness maintenance. Negativity doesn’t work. Encouragement does.

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