Moving Matters! Getting Ready to Move

— By Kathy Savoie, Extension Professor, University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Kate Yerxa, Extension Professor, University of Maine Cooperative Extension

This is the third in a series of four blog posts focused on being more physically active. Each blog in the series will build on the information in the previous blog post to help you build physical activity as part of your daily routine.

If you have decided to start being physically active, or to become more active, good for you! Your decision is the first step. Now it’s time to act.

Can you think of a time when you were active and felt great? You can feel that way again! Start out slowly. This can be as simple as taking the stairs instead of the elevator or parking farther away from the entrance to a store or office building.

These tips will help you begin a physically active life:

Set realistic goals. Look at how much activity you have in your life now. How much would you like to have? If you have been inactive for a long time, then set short-term goals, such as, “I’m going to walk before breakfast at least three times a week.” Write down what you do. When you reach this goal, set a new one.

Be prepared. Your job, your family, illness, or injury can get in the way of your activity routine. Accept that these things happen and get back on track as soon as you can.

Just do something. Doing something is better than doing nothing. When things happen that keep you from getting regular activity, find a few minutes and do what you can. You’ll feel better!

Invite a friend. Many people enjoy physical activity more when they are with a friend. Set up a time and place to meet to keep each other accountable.

Find the Time. With some creative thinking, you can find the time to be more active. Just adding small amounts of activity during your day really works!

Build Support. Support is one of the keys to becoming and staying active. Here are some ways to find and build support:

  • Tell your family, friends, and co-workers about your decision to become more active.
  • Help them understand why you want to change.
  • Tell them how they can help you.
  • Accept the help of people who are willing to help.
  • Find people to join you for your activities.
  • Support your plan by keeping walking shoes in your car and posting motivational messages for yourself.

Excerpted from University of Maine Cooperative Extension Bulletin Series #4550, Moving Matters.