Why Is It Important to Stay Active?

If you find it hard to stay active and remain motivated to exercise regularly, this is for you. Let’s dangle a carrot out in front of you to help you get moving: longer, healthier, happier lives are linked with regular exercise, shows science. Ready to move your body? It’s good for you! Here are tips from experts to help you stay active and find the motivation you need to exercise regularly.

Benefits of Regular Exercise: Why You Should Stay Active

Evidence shows exercise makes people feel happy and may make them smarter. Plus, those who stay active have lower risks of many chronic diseases. For example, experts, including the Mayo Clinic, say that regular exercise reduces the risk of high blood pressure.

9 Benefits of Regular Exercise, Backed by Science

  • Happier
  • Stronger
  • Better Sleep
  • Smarter
  • Lower Blood Pressure
  • Less Pain & Stiffness
  • Better Blood Sugar Control
  • Lower inflammation
  • Reduced Risk of Chronic Disease

How to Stay Active & Motivated to Exercise

Are you talking yourself out of working out? Internal, demotivating dialogue might be killing your motivation to exercise. If you find it hard to stay active because you come up with excuses to not exercise, these tips may help:

  • Tell yourself an inspirational quote.
  • Let good music be the soundtrack of your active lifestyle.
  • Hang out with people who like to be active.

10 Ways to Stay Active and Motivated to Exercise

You’ve got this! You will find it easier to stay active when exercise isn’t a workout. Here’s how to make exercise more fun:

  1. Listen to Your Inner Voice

It’s easier to stay active if you include physical activities you enjoy and look forward to doing. For example, if you like dancing, try a hip-hop class. Love nature – hit the trails and enjoy how the scenery changes every season.

  1. Mix Things Up

Change up your movements and add fun to stay motivated to exercise. Play sports with friends. Try a yoga class. With a variety of movements, you’ll improve the tone of a diversity of muscles.

  1. Make Exercise Part of Your Routine

Build 1 hour into your day to be good to your body. Researchers found those who engage in a routine that includes staying active are healthier.

  1. Prioritize

Shift your mindset to make the most important scheduled meeting of your day your exercise hour.

  1. Set a Goal

Aim for a realistic goal and set clear milestones – let your progress inspire you to stay active.

  1. Be Accountable

Write down on paper your goals, or mark them on your calendar.

  1. Get Support

Sign up for an event with a friend – it’s harder to hit the snooze button when your friend is waiting for you to show up. Online communities can also offer support. Research shows hanging out with active people can help propel us to exercise: spending time with fit people helped a group of overweight people lose weight.

  1. Change Your Perspective

View exercise as a blessing rather than a sacrifice. You aren’t a spectator, but the athlete. Athletes come in all shapes, sizes, ages, and abilities. You’ve got this!

  1. Be a Positive Example

Set a strong healthy example for your kids, loved ones, and community – it’s possible when you stay active.

  1. Look Outward for Inspiration

Be motivated by others you meet who love to stay active. (You may also find inspiration from those who aren’t active).

No Time to Exercise

Adults are recommended to do 150 minutes of physical activity per week – that’s less than a half hour a day. Take your next phone conversation on the road – walk and talk! Stream your favourite show while riding a stationary bike. Set your alarm 30 minutes earlier and greet the sunrise with some movement that feels good to your body. What moves you? Your possibilities are limitless when you stay active.

Live your best life – include physical activity in your healthy lifestyle.

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The importance of creating habits and routine. Am J Lifestyle Med 2019 Mar-Apr; 13(2): 142-144.

A systematic review of the relationship between physical activity and happiness. Journal of Happiness Studies 2018.

Can exercise make you smarter, happier and have more neurons? A hormetic perspective. Front Neurosci 2016;10: 93.

Health benefits of exercise. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med, 2018 Jul; 8(7): a029694.

Physical activity trajectories and mortality: population-based cohort study. BMJ 2019; 365: 12323.


Contributed by Allison Tannis

Known for her deliciously geeky words, Allison’s articles and books are read around the world by those curious about where to find the most delicious (and nutritious) places to stick their forks. More at allisontannis.com. Follow @deliciouslygeeky.