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    Moving on from competitive sports is always a challenge, whether you’re retiring after the Olympics or graduating from high school and not pursuing a sport in college.

    Losing the structure of a consistent time for practice, a regular group of people to train with, and the loss of motivation tied to competition can shake even the most committed and disciplined.

    So how do you cope?

    Start with the basics. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week—or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity. They recommend also two days of a muscle-strengthening activity.

    The number of ways to get active is unlimited, and it doesn’t matter what you do as long as you’re doing something. This is not to say that walking for an hour is the same as running for an hour, but doing one or the other is better than doing nothing at all.

    Let’s get active.


    Here’s a simple schedule to keep you on track to hit your 150 minutes:

    Monday: 30-minute vigorous walk or light jog. A lot of people say they “hate running” because they take off at a dead sprint and are winded after four minutes. Do not do this. If you’re winded after a few minutes of jogging, slow down and find a speed that allows you to get the job done without walking.

    Tuesday: 30-minute vigorous walk or light jog

    Wednesday: Strength day. There are a lot of great resources out there for easy strength and core exercises to get you started. Start, of course, with and check out our cross-training tips. Other places that are great for tips and tricks include Runner’s World, Outside, and the Mayo Clinic.

    Thursday: 30-minute vigorous walk or light jog

    Friday: 30-minute vigorous walk or light jog

    Saturday: Rest. Saturday is a great rest day. For those who succumb to the “Sunday Scaries,” a workout can offset the unpleasant anticipation of returning to work or school Monday.

    Sunday: Strength day plus bonus 30-minute vigorous walk or light jog. No one said you had to stop at 150 minutes a week.

    It’s that easy. Don’t feel like every exercise session has to result in total burnout. Every workout counts, even if you don’t feel like there are knives in your lungs.

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