What’s it all about
To be at your best, feel your best, and have lots of energy, you need to give your body the very best fuel, but as important as a varied & nutrient dense diet is, what you eat is only half of the equation. Our bodies were made to be in motion. Physically active people reap many benefits including living happier, longer, more rewarding lives. People who keep themselves fit have more energy and are able to enjoy life feeling younger, stronger, and healthier. According to the Centers for Disease Control and prevention,
Regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health. It can help:
- Control your weight
- Reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease
- Reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome
- Reduce your risk of some cancers
- Strengthen your bones and muscles
- Improve your mental health and mood
- Improve your ability to do daily activities and prevent falls, if you’re an older adult
- Increase your chances of living longer
This is what it’s all about: living longer, feeling healthy, and looking good baby!
Fitness, a dirty word?
Being physically active doesn’t necessarily mean spending 6 or 7 hours a week at the gym, signing up to run a marathon, or joining the iron man competition,(not that there’s anything wrong with that, if that’s your cup of tea). Being physically active does not have to be daunting. The fact is, exercise needs to be fun, because if you’re having a good time, you’re more likely to stick with it. When I first started out on my journey to better health, I knew I wanted to be more active. However, at that point in time I didn’t want to do push-ups, pull-ups, or crunches, because they didn’t sound exciting to me. I wanted moving to be fun. So I bought a bicycle and a helmet, so that I could go for bike rides, and I bought an instructional DVD so I could learn to belly dance. I got moving in my own way, on my own terms. Believe it or not, now I love doing push-ups, crunches and resistance exercises. The point is: do something you enjoy.
Where you should start
If your main interest is to maintain and improve your health, or if you are just starting out, all you need is approx. 30 minutes of exercise a day, 5 times a week. If, on the other hand you have more specific goals, such as building lean muscle and getting great abs, I would recommend exercising for approx. 45 minutes a day, 5-6 times a week. Either way, if you have been relatively inactive up until now, it is a good idea to begin with 3 days a week, at only 30 minutes a day. As you feel stronger, you can gradually build yourself up to 45 minutes a day, 5-6 days a week, depending on your personal goals.
Variety is key
Whatever your goals are, shake things up a little. Just as a varied diet is good for your body, so is varying your exercise routine. Not only will it be more interesting, but it will actually be better for your body, too. So try something new, like kickboxing, Latin dance, or cycling. You could even start by going for long walks with your dog, and dancing like crazy in your living room to your favorite tunes. Try something new, and make getting your exercise fun. Personally, I like doing some yoga at least once a week. It can be very relaxing and it improves balance, strength and flexibility. Twice a week, I like to do some strength training for muscle tone and bone health. Last but not least, I make sure to get in some aerobic activities/cardio, which is great for increasing endurance, and lifting your mood. Whatever you decide on, have a good time! You deserve to be happy, enjoy yourself, and live well.
A few tips
Make being active and healthy a lifestyle choice, not a dreaded chore (which it needn’t be).
- Park a little further from work, school, or the store.
- Choose to take the stairs.
- Try to get up and walk around every hour or so, if your job permits it.
- Go for a walk on your lunch break.
- Bike or walk to places whenever you can.
Go at your own pace; don’t overdo it. Getting an injury that puts you out of commission is not going to get you the results that you want. Remember, we do the best we can, and we take care of ourselves. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Over time your strength, endurance, and abilities will improve. Keep challenging yourself to go just a little further each week, and before you know it you’ll be achieving your goals.
Just a bit more
I will be posting exercises & more fitness tips in the future, and sharing some of my experiences with you.
Please feel free to share with me too. Contact me by email with any questions, thoughts, or ideas that you might have. I would love to hear from you.
You are also always welcomed to leave a comment.