Despite the well-known health benefits, many people find it very difficult to stick to a regular exercise routine. Extremely busy lifestyles at work and at home often leave us too tired and stressed to squeeze exercise
into our days.
However, we need to remind ourselves that the government guidelines for adults (younger
than 65 years of age) to maintain health and reduce the risk for chronic disease are:
• Moderately intense cardiovascular exercise 30 minutes a day, five days a week
• Or, vigorously intense cardiovascular exercise 20 minutes a day, three days a week
• And, eight to 10 strength training exercises, eight to 12 repetitions, twice a week.
• In addition, to lose weight or maintain weight loss, 60-90 minutes of cardiovascular exercise a week will be necessary.
To exercise at least five days a week, you have to have a plan!
Set your goals: Decide what you want to achieve. Is it a dress size? Weight loss? A run or competition?
Put it on paper: You have to track your progress. Take measurements – cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength or body fat – every few weeks so that you can alter your training to ensure you hit your targets and enjoy the motivation of seeing yourself succeed.
No excuses: If you have an injury or medical condition, work with a doctor, therapist or trainer to design a program that will help your range of motion, strength and endurance.
Make a date: Schedule your exercise like any other important appointment and, if you can’t do 30 minutes, do 20 – it still counts.
Cross-train: Combine different cardiovascular and strength training exercises that you enjoy. It stops you from getting bored and also reduces your chances of injury through overuse of a specific muscle or joint.
Make it fun: Try and find an exercise you enjoy, find some exercise buddies, make a great playlist to exercise to or even watch your favorite television program – whatever it takes to get through it.
Don’t get disheartened: If you miss a few days, don’t worry; just start up again. You are still further ahead than you were at the beginning.
The hardest part of exercise is the internal motivation. So, go and look in the mirror and ask yourself if you’re going to follow these steps. Then do it again, this time in your bathing suit, and see if you’re motivated!
Billy Katz and Hudson Ellis are the co-owners of Simply Fit gyms. Read more tips from them in Renaissance Publishing’s
e-newsletter. Sign up by visiting www.myneworleans.com