How to up your movement sessions to 5 times per week

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Check in. Listen to yourself. Are you pushing yourself, or does your body carry you forward with a joyful momentum? A habit you can always do is so much better than an ambition you can’t

A five-headed woman exercising

Exercise 4-5 times per week. Enjoy it! Laura Lloyd 2016

First of all, are you alright exercising 3 times a week yet? If you’re still consolidating your 3-times-a-week habit, don’t think you have to up your levels because I say so, or because you ought, or because you ‘should’ for any reason.

A habit that you can maintain – like carving out 3 movement slots in a week – is soo much better than an unrealistic goal you can’t maintain yet.

On the flipside, if you want to lose fat, but you’re only exercising once or twice a week, then stop. Don’t worry about any other changes to your eating or your lifestyle until you’ve got this nailed. If this is the one thing you do this year. Get your exercise habit firmly in place.

If you’ve got plenty of momentum, however…

Check in with your desire to exercise more. Is it authentic?

Is it your body raring to go and thirsting for challenge? Are you enjoying your exercise so much you think 5 times a week would be paradise?

Because if not, maybe it’s time to consider varying your activity or trying out every different free class in your gym. Swap long-distance for zumba. Are you bored? Or is it fun?

If what is motivating you is not being able to bear the sense of failure or the hard time you’re threatening to give yourself if you don’t make the finish line on marathon day, then don’t up your game – change it. Because that’s not a recipe for a sustainable habit.

But if you’re loving your progress

If you’re feeling like your moods benefit. If you love the sense of go and the glow and the smiles you gather along the way. Go for five.

Still consider trying something new

Want to build muscle? A bit of resistance training? Plan an outdoor holiday? Or just sneak in a couple of exercise slots a week via cycling to work? How can you be creative about the how and then when?

Don’t overdo it!

Remember that it’s five TIMES a week. Not five HOURS or five huge sessions, just five sessions. So get good at saving some beans for the next day. Hold something over for tomorrow.

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I’d love to hear how you’re managing this, and what creativity you’re bringing to this challenge. So get involved in the comment thread