The thought of adding exercise to your days may seem daunting and add even more stress and anxiety to already stressful days. However, incorporating exercise into your daily routine is a great way to stay healthy during a pandemic as well reduce your risk for chronic disease. An increasing amount of research shows inactivity has serious consequences when it comes to our health. Moving more during your day may help reduce health risk, increase productivity, and support a healthy weight.

Exercise also reduces stress hormones and increases levels of feel-good endorphins. These endorphins circulate in the body and provide an immediate lift in mood, focus, attention, and reaction time that lasts two or more hours. Although considered short-terms effects, these changes can help prevent problems that contribute to cognitive impairment in the future. How will you move? Below are tips to help you incorporate consistent and enjoyable exercise into your daily routine.

Find an activity that brings you joy.

Anything that increases your heart rate and breathing rate counts. You are more likely to stick with an exercise routine if you find pleasure in doing it.

Start slow and set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-sensitive) goals.  

Goals that are too general are less impactful than descriptive goals. Use the SMART format to write a goal that provides a sense of direction.

Have an accountability partner.

Ask a family member, coworker, or friend to join you in your new activity/routine. Motivate one another to stay consistent all while catching up and having fun!

Stay active throughout the day.

Stand up from your desk, take the stairs, and go for walks after meals. You can break up your exercise throughout the day and still receive its benefits.


See other articles in the Wellness for HR Professional SERIES:

Wellness for the HR Professional: Emotional Health

Wellness for the HR Professional: Nutrition

Wellness for the HR Professional: Sleep Hygiene