et’s face it: most of us have been telling ourselves every new year that this is going to be the year where we abandon unhealthy habits, kick those sugar cravings to the curb, and make exercise part of our every day routine. It lasts for a few weeks, maybe a couple months if you find yourself being more disciplined, but it almost always becomes more of a chore than a meaningful change. 

The reality is that it is time consuming, this fit lifestyle. With those seemingly never-ending adult responsibilities, the bills stacking high and the work days sometimes turning into work nights, it can seem nearly impossible to squeeze in those workouts. 

When choosing an active lifestyle, it means that fitness and exercise doesn’t become a scheduled event that is dreaded, suffered through, then eventually tapered off as the more time-dependent responsibilities take over. It means that you fulfill the need to get your body moving just as you go about your day, rather than having to force yourself to sacrifice the fleeting and precious hours of the day. 

Making the changes from a rushed, busy, and hectic life to a more fitness-centered and healthy lifestyle can be easier and simpler than you might think! Just a couple of small changes throughout the entirety of your day can truly make all the difference. 

Here are some of the best tips you can find in this article that can help you lead a more active lifestyle, for good this time:

  • Small changes you can make during your morning routine
  • Daily activities to incorporate into your day
  • Ways to keep yourself on track and focused
Man running on sidewalk nearby a cityscape.
Leading a more active lifestyle can sound way more intimidating than it really is. 

Small but Meaningful Morning Routine Changes

Starting your morning on a more active path can set the tone for the rest of your day.

Get Those Stretches In

One of the most underrated forms of exercise is stretching. It’s the perfect way to get your heart rate elevated, your muscles moving, and keeping yourself flexible. There are countless benefits to stretching every day, and it’s super effective if you do it first thing in the morning to get the blood flowing, heart pumping, and energy levels consistent. 

Stretching is also one of the most foolproof exercises there is! It requires absolutely no prior knowledge or experience, and it doesn’t require any kind of fitness. Can’t even remember the last time you moved your body? Just ran a marathon yesterday? Stretching will be effective in either case. 

There are lots of simple stretches to do in the morning or throughout your day, some promoting energy levels, while others can be a really nice way to promote rest and healing for sore muscles. No matter how you choose to stretch, the simple act of stretching for a few minutes each morning will produce health benefits and increased mobility. It’s low commitment, low stress, and sometimes more effective than the first cup of coffee!

Reach for the Water

One of the most common mistakes people make in their eating habits is mistaking thirst for hunger, and reaching for the snacks before that tall, refreshing glass of water. It’s no secret that water is essential to life, and dehydration can be one of the leading causes of that headache you just can’t seem to shake. 

If you want a simple fix for the dip in your energy or the seemingly insatiable hunger you have just a couple hours after breakfast, your answer is reaching for a nice glass of pure water in the morning, even before the coffee!

Eating on a completely empty stomach tends to cause overeating or just not feeling like you’ve had a big enough breakfast. Pro-tip: make the first thing you eat or drink a glass of cold water, flavored, sparkling, it doesn’t matter! Just give your body that wonderful H2O hydration after not giving it anything for eight hours, and watch how this simple morning change shifts your whole day. 

Daily Activities to Add to Your Schedule 

Penciling in some physical activity can make it feel less like a commitment or chore, and more like a part of your day. 

Two girls high-fiving each other after a tennis match.
Instead of finding time to get some exercise in, try to make time for it!

Don’t Forget What Comes First

The biggest struggles with keeping a consistently healthy, active lifestyle can be discipline and time. It often feels like there is just no time to get in a good workout, and it is even more challenging to try to list what needs priority and what doesn’t. Does work come first, your relationships with other people? What about your kids? What about dinnertime and the work you took home? Where does your own personal health and wellbeing fit into the day?

Your health comes first is the right answer, and so it is so important to make the time in your daily routine to fit in some heart-pumping exercise and really get your body moving. 

Exercise doesn’t have to be a huge event, and you certainly don’t need to even touch the idea of a gym membership to have a meaningful workout. 

The reality is that working out and exercising can look like so many different activities to add into your daily schedule without sacrificing everything else that needs to get done. 

Get Your Body Moving

If you’re someone who enjoys recreational sports, you can combine your hobbies with physical activity! Hit the weights and lift for some time, grab the tennis racket, slip on the tennis shoes to go for a run, or grab your favorite basketball and shoot some hoops. There are so many hobbies that double as a fun activity and a physical activity. 

But if you’re not someone who finds themselves having any interest in organized sports, you’re not alone, and you’re not completely helpless! Being active can also look like taking a quick walk around the neighborhood, taking the stairs instead of the elevator at the office, parking a little farther back in the parking lot so you can get more steps in, standing at your desk for some time rather than sitting all day, or even just walking to the coffee store that’s a few minutes away instead of always driving. There are lots of simple and easy ways to change your lifestyle and become a significantly more active and all around healthy person. 

There are also organized, step-by-step workouts that you only have to set aside 15 to 20 minutes for, and they require no equipment! These are perfect for people who need a structured activity with specific exercises and timing, so you can easily schedule that and fit it into your busy days. It’s even better that all you need is your body to complete the sweaty workout! 

Knowing that you spent some time getting your heartrate up and moving all parts of your body is rewarding, and even more so when it doesn’t interfere with the rest of your day or seem more like a chore than a daily activity. 

Staying Focused, On-Track, and Consistent

Even if you schedule time for the workout or make lifestyle changes, it can be hard to not head backwards to the old ways. 

Woman journaling on a desk.
Keeping yourself on track can mean the difference between temporary lifestyle changes and real, long-term lifestyle changes. 

Bring Out the Calendars and Planners

Your cute little planner can be for a lot more than something to keep track of meetings and appointments! The cute little boxes or pages that have been organized into day to day hours can be the most helpful when it comes to making valuable, long lasting changes to your fitness activity. 

Finding a good planner that can break each of your days and weeks down all the way to the hour can go a surprisingly long way in keeping you focused and staying consistent. 

A planner that has sections for every single day, like this adorable one from Etsy, can be super helpful to help you meal plan, create a grocery list, see where your meetings and appointments fit into your day, and understand what spare time you have, as well as break down what needs to get done each day. Using this planner to schedule some time to get some meaningful exercise in, or just giving yourself reminders to make the healthier lifestyle switch in your daily routine, can really make you feel in control of your lifestyle and confident that you have become a more active person. 

It may seem daunting to try to change the way you’re living into something that is active, but it can be as simple as changing what drink you reach for in the morning and keeping a cute little calendar by your side. Leading a more active life can benefit you for the long haul and you can finally ditch the New Year’s resolutions for good!

Sep 1, 2021