Lots of New Year's resolutions revolve around working out and getting into shape, but finding the motivation to continue to exercise can be difficult as the winter wears on, especially amid the pandemic.
TODAY's Al Roker spoke to exercise physiologist Marco Borges to find out his tips for staying active throughout the year.
1. Find a workout you love — and find a buddy.
Borges said that an important part of working out is making sure you're engaging in an activity you actually enjoy.
"People typically go from not exercising or not working out at all, and then they want to go work out for two hours every single day, and expect that they are going to stay motivated for infinity and beyond," he said. "That doesn't happen that way. So the first thing is you've got to pick something that you love."
Anything that gets you moving is great: Consistency is the key, so picking something that you'll frequently want and be able to do is important.
It can also help to find a workout buddy: Connect over Zoom to do classes together at home, or do a video chat while on a walk. Borges explained that a workout buddy will help "hold you accountable," and it offers a moment of connection amid the isolation of the coronavirus pandemic.
"Let's find things that we enjoy doing," said Borges. "(We're) going to get our endorphins going so our mood is up and we're feeling great. The better you feel, the more you'll want to continue doing this."
2. Make the time for it, even if it's just a few minutes.
You don't always have to do a long, intensive workout: Even setting aside a few minutes a day to get moving can make a difference.
"One of the things I learned from my wife is that it's more important to do it in less time than to not do it and say 'Oh, I don't have the time,'" Al said, and Borges agreed.
"There's so much that can be done in five minutes," Borges said. "Even if it's just doing 20 squats or 10 pushups, it's an instant confidence booster ... Carve out that time, because it's essential for your well-being."
You can also try building routines around simple, everyday objects that can be easily used for spur-of-the-moment exercise.
"We don't need any fancy equipment, Al, we've got two cans of beans right here," Borges joked. "You could do so many things with cans of beans. You can do curls with them. You can do presses. And if you don't think this is enough, do it 100 times and see how you feel."
"It's really all about moving," Borges said. "... We've got to get up. We've got to get moving. It's for our health."
3. Set attainable goals and start small.
If you do decide to start working out, know that it's going to be a long process: You won't just wake up one morning ready to run a marathon. Instead, start small, with attainable goals and an effective "road map" that will help you reach them.
One simple way to get moving is to just start walking. Whether you're taking Al's approach and walking around a local park, or using a stair climber like Borges, putting one foot in front of the other is a great way to get started.
"Just get moving," Borges said. "What you're doing right now is the easiest thing that anyone can do. Put some sneakers on, get outside, and move."
While walking might seem like a simple exercise, it has plenty of benefits.
"Your heart is activated, your brain is activated," said Borges. "You start to increase your range of motion which, as we get older, is incredibly important, because it reduces our risk of injury. So get moving, no matter what you do."