7 Tips For Making An Exercise Routine AND Keeping It

The American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes of exercise, 5 times a week. Doesn’t sound too hard, does it? The benefits are endless: improved heart health, reduced stress, body weight maintenance, improved lung function, and many more.

Cardiovascular doctors Florida to California are treating more and more American’s with heart disease. The most common risk factors for this disease? Lack of exercise. 60% of Americans don’t get the recommended level of exercise, which causes many physical and even mental health problems.


The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cites some common obstacles to people exercising as:

  • Lack of time
  • Inconvenience of exercise
  • Finding exercise boring
  • Fear of being injured
  • No facilities near home
  • Lack of confidence
  • Travel

Being a mom with a full-time job, I know these excuses and fears too well. Here are my tips for making an exercise routine AND keeping it.

  • Time: The optimal time for exercising is the morning. You can get your workout in before the busyness of the day begins. Before prior and new commitments drag you from your daily goal. It is a sure way to keep exercise part of your daily routine. Also, exercise in the morning jump starts your metabolism for the day, energizes your body, regulates your appetite, and makes you feel great!


  • Inconvenience of exercise: Make your exercise routine simple. Set your own rules and adapt it to your own rhythm. Don’t put obstacles in your way. Driving to the gym and complicated equipment are obstacles. Just throw on your trainers, pop your house key in your pocket, and get out there. Even if you can only do 15 minutes, great, far better than zero minutes. Remember you need just 30 minutes a day: 15 minutes and you are halfway there!


  • Finding exercise boring: The ways you can exercise are endless. There is a type of exercise to suit everyone. The key to finding the best one for you? Try them all until you find one! Check out your community center for some local classes that can get you started.


  • Fear of being injured: Maybe you did love to exercise, but then you over did it, or had the bad luck of suffering an injury. The good news is, not all sports are high impact. Take swimming for example-great cardio workout, low impact factors. Same for cycling. If you suffer an injury, it means adjusting your routine, not stopping.


  • No facilities near home: The American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes of walking per day, to get your exercise fix. The facilities needed for walking are a side-walk, not a treadmill.


  • Lack of confidence: Exercising when overweight can make your feel like everyone is looking at you. First of all, they are probably not. Secondly, even if they are looking at you, so what? You are going to feel one hundred times better after exercising. Think of it like a few seconds of discomfort, in exchange for a whole day of feeling energized and healthy. It’s an easy choice to make.


  • Travel: Travel upsets routine, exercise routine included. A tip is to always be prepared. Staying in a hotel? Hotels sometimes have gyms. If not, find the stairs and climb a few floors, easy and straight forward. Traveling in a city? What a great opportunity to discover the city by running. Cities are usually well equipped with running paths and routes free of traffic. Or walk, so simple, just walk every morning or during the day, whether traveling for pleasure or work, this is so easy to achieve. Equipment needed: comfy shoes, a sense of adventure, and a little motivation.

And remember:

“No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everyone on the couch”

Robyn Nazar

As a registered nurse and health writer, Robyn Nazar is committed to empowering patients with knowledge about their health and the choices available to them. With her clinical background in women's health, obstetrics, neonatal care, cardiology and general practice, Robyn strives to connect with readers on a wide variety of health topics. Today, Robyn's online following has grown into a large community of patients and health professionals who regularly engage with her on the web. In addition to her own blog:The Health Update Robyn also contributes to health blog Modern Health. Robyn lives with her husband and their new baby girl.

2 thoughts on “7 Tips For Making An Exercise Routine AND Keeping It

  • April 3, 2013 at 10:04 pm

    As a fellow mom who exercises daily, I 100% agree with the obstacles preventing exercise. One thing I’d like to add that you only touched on: swimming is just as good an exercise as running. I love to swim and in my opinion, it IS better. Swimming not only burns a significant amount of calories, but it also works your full body! When I run I feel like my legs and a little bit of my abs are getting a workout. However, when I swim I feel it in my legs, butt, abs, back, and arms the next day! Great article, though and I love the last quote!

    • April 3, 2013 at 10:07 pm

      Hey Kathy,

      I don’t disagree that swimming is a great workout. It is just difficult to find a pool when I could just strap on some running shoes and workout much more conveniently.


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