by Nan Gibbons (@HealthNut2011)
With government and non-profit campaigns to make us healthier popping up every day, along with popular shows like The Doctors and Dr. Oz, it is nearly impossible to not know about the health benefits of physical exercise. Not only does it give us more energy and a better quality of life, but it also increases our chances of living long, healthy lives.
However, knowledge is not action, and most of us at some time or another have made excuses for living sedentary lifestyles. Regardless of how good an excuse is, it's still an excuse and doesn't contribute to progress. In order to increase your activity level you'll have to intentionally carve out time for physical exercise -- regardless of the costs.
Are you still not sure how exercise can fit into your busy schedule? Take a look at these tips for succeeding in your quest to live a healthier lifestyle without falling back into your old routine:
- Be Firm - Do not adjust your schedule for anything short of a family or health emergency. Your appointment at the gym should be as firm as your appointment with a potential client. Anything less is putting your health at the mercy of other engagements. To start, set a specific time to meet with your trainer in the gym each week. If you cannot afford a personal trainer, try joining a boot camp or group fitness class that meets at specific times each week. This obligation will hold you accountable to your new fitness commitment and discourage you from hitting the snooze button for an extra hour of sleep.
- Exercise with a Buddy - Fitness is more fun when you aren't alone. Humans are social creatures, so try exercising with a friend. It's more fun than going alone. Not only are you more likely to show up to work out if you know someone is waiting for you, but you are also more likely to push yourself further in your workouts.
- Enjoy Yourself - Despite the fact that exercise is a demanding activity, it doesn't mean you should dread each session in the gym. Try lightening up the mood. For example, download some new playlists for your morning runs or sign up for some weekly Zumba classes to spice up your routine. Most of all, don't do anything you won't enjoy. If you hate the Stairmaster, ditch it for the elliptical. Ultimately, your workout is not only about improving your health, but also about transforming your lifestyle.
- Try Something New - Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you may fall into a workout rut that leaves you unmotivated and bored in your daily exercise. Break your tired habits by trying something new. You'll decrease your chances of burnout and possibly find an activity or hobby that you never knew you could enjoy. For example, if you are sporty person, try slowing down for some yoga or Pilates. On the other hand, if the downward dog and child poses are all you have known for the past few years, try venturing outside to play some golf. Do you think golf won't give you the workout you are looking for? Think again. Ditch the golf cart. Lugging around heavy golf bags for hours on end in the hot sun will engage your core muscles and tone your legs.
Remember, physical activity should never be a chore but rather an opportunity to burn off steam, relax and take care of your body. Everyone has an excuse not to exercise, but that doesn't mean you have to use it.
About the author: Nan Gibbons is an on the go girl - a personal trainer with a degree in exercise physiology and nutrition, always looking for an endorphin rush or fitness tip! Jetsetter, single mom, biz owner & fitness advisor! Follow her - if you can keep up!