3 tips to make fitness part of your daily routine

BlogRTF_blog2_as1Dr. Kel Vasileff and his family find time for fitness within their daily activities, such as hiking and running outside when the weather allows.

We all know that exercise is important for our mental and physical health. But with the everyday stresses and distractions of work, family and everything else life throws your way, it can be tough to start and stick to healthier habits.

Our Sports Medicine staff know a lot about building a healthy lifestyle – personally and professionally – and we have some proven tips to share that you can put into action today to improve your life:

1. Protect time for fitness.

James Borchers, MD, a team physician for Ohio State Athletics and a family medicine physician, knows that the key to a healthy lifestyle is consistency. “I schedule time in the morning to work out and I don't schedule anything else during that time – it’s protected time,” he says. Accountability helps, too.

Kel Vasileff, MD, an orthopedic physician, and his wife keep a shared calendar of their workouts. “This way,” he says, “we’re able to make time for exercise, and it also keeps us accountable to actually go when we said we would.”

So start honoring your walks, runs and workouts. Treat them as immovable items on your calendar, and ask others to hold you accountable for it.

And while you’re at it…

2. Bring your family along.

Following your own fitness routine is great, but family workouts are a double whammy of fun bonding and healthy exercise. Make it a point to get the family together at least once a week for physical activity. Take a hike, go for a swim, grab the dog’s leash or even break out the jogging stroller for some fun, fit family time.

And if you’re just getting started:

3. Build slowly.

It’s easy to get carried away with fitness hype these days. “We think we all of a sudden have to be a CrossFit champion or run half-marathons, and that's the way to disaster,” says Steve Graef, PhD, a sports psychologist at Ohio State Sports Medicine. “I encourage people to work so they don't fail. If you do 10 pushups today, then tomorrow you do 11, then the next day you do 12, you can give yourself a sense of accomplishment.” Building confidence and accomplishments over time reinforces the creation of great habits, and leads to a healthier you.

So start slow, do the things you enjoy with the people you love and carve out the time you need to do it all. Follow these three simple tips, and you and your family will be on your way to a healthier life in no time.

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