I already wrote about far reaching benefits of exercise beyond just weight-loss or maintenance in my previous post. Now I’d like to make some suggestion as to how to actually start working out – we are moving from theory to practical application.
The truth about exercise
Some people cringe at the idea of exercise – they envision exhausting, painful, time consuming, and expensive sessions, that bring soreness and fatigue.
Or, in the case of beginners – they just don’t know where to begin and therefore keep procrastinating.
Some people start up with great intentions and expectations, but fall off their routine – they either choose a workout they don’t enjoy (just because your neighbor is doing it, doesn’t mean you should too), or cannot physically sustain. They mistakenly treat exercise as a temporary treatment to achieve short-term goals, while its true purpose is to serve as a component of lifestyle modification to achieve and maintain health and wellness.
First – there’s absolutely NO NEED for your exercise routine to be brutal – not only it’s not needed, it could actually bring on serious injuries to your muscles and joints, and develop psychological resistance to any type of exercise altogether!
Instead – for you to successfully stick to your exercise regimen, to enjoy it and experience full benefits from it – it has to be the type you like and are physically capable of performing. And there’s a wide array to choose from!
Don’t like gyms? Don’t go!
If you don’t fancy the idea of going to the gym, if it’s intimidating to you and provokes a sense of insecurity – do not go to the gym! Many people feel like they don’t belong at the gym, particularly surrounded by buff and toned regulars (for whom their work-outs might be even something they do for living – we can’t really compare our healthy-lifestyle-hobby-building efforts with their job to be super fit). Gyms are full of unknown equipment and machinery, heavy metal you don’t even need most of time, but feel like you have to do things that others do at the gym.
But gyms or fitness studios are not the only places to get you in shape – you can do it from the comfort of your home, backyard, at the park, local field, playground, parking lot, office staircase, breakroom, behind your desk – if there is a will, there is a way.
Every move counts
Many activities that we already do, like walking, carrying groceries, doing house work – do count as exercise – they bring our heart rate up and apply some force to our muscles, toning them all the while. Some other easy-to-fit-in movement types are:
- Walking your dog/sweeping the yard/vacuuming the house
- Getting up from your desk and performing a 5-min stretch + squats + lunges + leg lifts + arm rotations
- Breakroom squat challenges – get your colleagues to join you for a 5-10 min squats/lunges/yoga session
- Playing tag our ball with your children
- Pacing around while on the phone
Here are a few helpful tips to get you started on your journey to getting fit and fab (and remember – it’s a journey not a destination, so might as well enjoy it):
- You probably use technology these days (who doesn’t!), most likely even watch YouTube videos regularly – well, you can find any type of guided exercise videos and follow along pretty much anywhere. Many of them do not require any equipment – just using the body weight. Many have resistance bands and loops (my favorites), sliding gliders, ankle weights – those you can pack and take anywhere ( I even travel with them – just so I keep up my routine whenever I don’t have access to the gym). I bought mine from Amazon.
- Suggested YouTube channels: HASfit, Fitness Blender, YogiApproved.com, POPSUGAR fitness, The Betty Rocker. Or you can just enter any desired workout in search (resistance band, kettlebell, Pilates, yoga) – and pick whatever looks appealing.
- If you are not a video-follow-along person – print out some infographics with step-by-step exercises; Pinterest is a good source along with Google Images;
- Take 10 min breaks at the office to run/walk up and down the stairs – put your headphones on with favorite music or podcast, time yourself and off you go – it’ll train your cardio health, tone up your legs and core.
Hope these tips come handy and help you start and keep up your exercise journey.