Exercise for your health: 5 easy steps to keep you on track!
By Anisa Palmer
“Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.” ~ John F. Kennedy
Everyone knows the benefits of physical fitness. It is a great way to stay in shape, keep your stress levels down, and reduce risks for numerous diseases. Yes you can do it! Exercising can be fun. The key is finding an exercise plan that works for you. Developing the right can do attitude will keep you motivated while exercising.
It may be overwhelming if you have not ran in five years or did a sit up in three years. Change is hard but your health is so much more important. I believe in you!
1. What is your motivation?
Maybe you are trying to fit into your wedding dress that you bought two sizes smaller so you can get down to the shape you want for the wedding. Perhaps you know diabetes runs in your family so you want to keep the weight off to decrease your chances of also getting diagnosed like mom and dad. You may even have been recently diagnosed with breast cancer and want to remain active to keep a good oxygen flow throughout your cells.
Everyone has their own personal goal. Find one and stick to yours. Beginning a simple thirty minute a day workout for five days a week can have enormous benefits. You can strengthen your bones and muscles, reduce your risk for diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and several types of cancers. Finding a personal reason keeps the motivation going.
2. Are your goals realistic?
I was in the military where we would run 5-6 miles a day easily. This lifestyle will not make sense for a typical single parent with a very demanding career. That single parent may have stopped working out years ago and will not be able to jump into a 5-6 mile run daily. Start small and work your way up. If your goal is to simply stay toned, your workout will not be as intense as someone who is considered obese trying to lose 80 pounds in 12 months.
Keep a realistic goal that works for you in order for you to stick with it. I meet several people who need to have a workout partner in order to stay consistent while others may not do great in a group or partner workout sessions. I prefer working out alone. Do what works for you!
3. Find an exercise you truly enjoy!
I have a girl friend who will tell you that she never worked out a day in her life and is in amazing shape. She always goes dancing however. That is a workout! She gets a full body workout with salsa, meringue, and bachata. These latin dances keep your legs toned all the way from your derriere down to your ankles. These dances also keep your obliques and abs tight, as long as you are doing the dance moves correctly.
What else can you do besides dancing? You can do anything that you enjoy!
Here are some ideas:
- Walk, jog, or run with the dog.
- Play outdoors with the kids. (This also keeps them active)
- Go rock climbing. (There are several indoor rock climbing places)
- Walk or bike to the store instead of driving or even park far away from entrances to stores.
- Join a fun workout meet up group on Meetup.com (They have Zumba and Yoga to name a few)
- Laughter yoga or hot yoga classes.
If you have fun doing them, you will do them more often.
4. Is your schedule too busy? Make it fit!!!
Stop using baby fat as an excuse for excess body fat. Your child is in college now! For busy professionals or parents, you have to make a plan to fit a workout in your schedule. Put it in your calendar like another appointment so you stick to it. If you always take a two-hour lunch break and spend half the time sitting in traffic to go pick up lunch, pack a lunch and plan a workout session during part of your lunch break. Do simple workout sessions while in the office by your desk.
5. Did you fall behind?
You just started working out again then you got laid off of work and fell into a depression or you had to plan a wedding for your sister. You have to bounce back from setbacks by making up for lost time. Yes, it is more difficult to get back in shape once you stopped working out or fell out of your routine. You need to push the restart button and revisit steps 1-4. To get re-motivated you need to analyze all that you accomplished when you were on your previous routine and set new goals that are realistic.
Everyone does not have to workout in the gym to get their goals accomplished. I mostly do circuit training in the hot tub and sauna, but I also enjoy a good run outdoors and a scenery bike ride. Change it up often so your muscles get a challenge and you do not get board. Think of your workout with the idea that quitting is not an option and always remember to have fun.
Follow Anisa Palmer on twitter @AnisaPalmer