Active Lifestyle as Pursuit, Not Destination

Written by Alexandra Black, Health Promotion Manager at IHRSA

Many athletes will tell you that you never really “arrive” when it comes to sport. With each win comes hunger for another. Every personal best leads to a new goal to pursue. Yet when it comes to health and fitness, there is so much focus on arrival – on the “after picture” and the weight on the scale. But active living is an ongoing pursuit, a day by day journey to living a happier life.

Instead of focusing on weight loss or a fitness goal as the destination at the end of a journey, it is helpful to think of health and fitness as an ongoing process of working to maintain an active lifestyle and healthy diet. Over time, what we know about fitness and how we pursue it will evolve and change. Think about what the health world looked like twenty or thirty years ago – low fat/high carb was in and running with ankle weights was popular. The important thing is that we are always pursuing healthy behaviors, always trying to stick with them, and moving forward. And part of that is knowing how to find a routine that works for you, day to day.

5 Tips for Finding What Works for You

1. Start out adventurous – the modern world provides many options to fitness consumers. There are now countless options to pursue physical activity, from high intensity fitness classes to outdoor activities like hiking; from recreational sports to a variety of activities at different health clubs. Experiment with different things until you find the one that makes you want to show up every day.

2. Prioritize convenience – it doesn’t matter how much you love the yoga class across town, if it’s not convenient to get there you are less likely to go. Prioritize options that are near places you go every day like work, school, and home.

3. Experiment with your schedule – are you more consistent in the mornings or evenings? Or maybe over lunch? Play with your schedule to find the best days and times to work out, to maximize the likelihood that you’ll be consistent.

4. Commit for a bit – many places offer the opportunity to commit for a month or two, or in a series of classes. Laying down a commitment – whether it’s setting a date to run with a friend or signing up for a health club membership or indoor cycling class – will help lay the foundation for a longer physical activity habit.

5. Share the fun – bringing another person into the mix can raise accountability and make physical activity more fun. Finding a partner can also keep you motivated.

Join the Conversation!

How do you continue to pursue a physically active lifestyle? Share on Twitter with the hashtag #WhyGetActive