A month of change

A month of change
Making exercise a daily habit

Choose the exercise of YOUR preference
- Take a rational approach to your time schedule, environment, financial abilities and craft training accordingly (1). If you live in a big city clogged with huge traffic, it might not be feasible to cycle. You can instead find a park nearby and go for a brisk walk several times per week. Likewise, if you do not have sufficient money to pay for a gym, look for an outdoor gym located near you so you can do calisthenics. The exercise “hacks” are many, but the goal is to reach or surpass the suggested weekly amount of exercise.  

Plan in advance – You know your schedule best. Thus, try to squeeze in a little time for your daily exercise sessions. Do not stress if those are brief as even short bursts of PA (as little as 10 minutes) can prompt beneficial effect on one’s health (2). Therefore, if conditions allow, leave your car keys at home and take a walk or cycle to your office. Once you arrive at your work, strap your backpack well and take several flights of stairs instead of pressing a button on the elevator. Make sure to intersperse your working time with some form of brief PA. This will not only benefit your health but also improve your productivity at work.  

You are not alone – If you feel like you are slacking, find a fitness buddy that might help you reach your fitness goals. This might also be your time to socialize and embrace much needed support that your loved ones can provide. In case you need an obligation to go workout, sign up for some group exercise training like spinning or dance class. In this way, you will have a regular workout schedule upfront and you will be more likely to stick to it. Likewise, there are numerous apps made specifically for cancer patients to help them set and track fitness goals. Use the technology to your advantage!  

Make fitness fun – Your workout routine should be fun and engaging (3). To avoid boredom and skipping training, embrace change. Hence, stay away from doing the same form of exercise on consecutive days. Instead, diversify your workouts or setting regularly  One week might look something like this: Monday – brisk 30 minute walk in the park with a friend; Tuesday – cycle back and forth to work (approx. 15 km i.e. 30 min of cycling); Wednesday – calisthenics workout in the park with a friend (30-45 min); Thursday – spinning class (1 hour); Friday – walk back from work (approx. 45 min); Saturday – casual walk by the lake (2 hours); Sunday – strength workout at home – resistance bands, kettlebell, dumbbells  (30-45 mins).

Author: Nemanja Lakicevic

References 
  1. Jones, F., Harris, P., Waller, H., & Coggins, A. (2005). Adherence to an exercise prescription scheme: the role of expectations, self‐efficacy, stage of change and psychological well‐being. British journal of health psychology, 10(3), 359-378. 
  2. Jakicic, J. M., Kraus, W. E., Powell, K. E., Campbell, W. W., Janz, K. F., Troiano, R. P., ... & 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee. (2019). Association between bout duration of physical activity and health: systematic review. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 51(6), 1213. 
  3. Lakicevic, N., Gentile, A., Mehrabi, S., Cassar, S., Parker, K., Roklicer, R., ... & Drid, P. (2020). Make fitness fun: could novelty be the key determinant for physical activity adherence?. Frontiers in psychology, 11, 577522. 


Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or European Health and Digital Executive Agency (HADEA). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.