Setting a huge goal like running a marathon or losing 100 pounds may not be the best way to get fit. These goals can feel overwhelming and cause you to give up when you don’t see instant results. Instead, set small, attainable goals that you can gradually incorporate into your lifestyle.

Don’t get stuck behind your desk all day. Unlike our railroad-laying, dawn-’til-dusk farming ancestors, many of us don’t have jobs that require physical labor. If this is the case for you, try incorporating little exercises into your workday. Set a timer on your computer to alert you every hour. Stand up from your desk and either do a lap around the office or a strength move. These little bursts can add up to a lot of extra burned calories over the course of a week, month, or year.

Don’t go for an all or nothing approach when it comes to fitness. Even if you can’t fit in thirty minutes of exercise every day, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bother trying at all. Even if you can only get your thirty minutes in once a week, it’s better than nothing. You can always work up to more workouts as time goes on.

Increase the effectiveness of your walking workout. Bend your elbows at a 90 degree angle and pump your arms with every step you take. This encourages you to walk faster, increases your heart rate, and can burn 15% more calories than if you keep your arms by your side. Try to walk for at least 30 minutes a day, and you will see the results in no time.

To keep physically fit, it is important to remember that daily or at least frequent exercise is important. Exercising only once a week, even if it’s for a long period of time, will not be as effective as exercising for a short time every day. Consistency is key in keeping fit.

A great way to help you get fit is to start incorporating intervals into your cardio. Going all out for thirty seconds and then resting for thirty seconds, is much more effective than if you were to just perform at a steady rate. Cardio with intervals also requires less time.

Start logging all of your physical activity each day. Make sure you keep a diary of your exercises that you are doing. It is a good idea to purchase a pedometer in order for you to keep track of the steps you take. Add this into your journal too. This type of written accountability will help you understand your total progress as you move towards your end goal.

Pack a pair of comfortable shoes and a change of clothes in your car or briefcase. You’ll always have the ability to switch out your dress clothes for clothes suitable for walking or perhaps even running. That way you can take the time to walk up the stairs instead of taking the elevator, walk to lunch instead of driving, and maybe even take a quick run.

As you can see, there are many better ways to gradually ease fitness into your lifestyle than making sweeping long-term goals. Follow the tips mentioned in this article for making small lifestyle changes to improve your fitness and before you know it–one small step at a time–you will be on your way to that marathon.

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