Exercise and Enjoy it!

Exercise… Enjoy it!

Exercise is one of the key components of good health, especially as we grow older. Exercise helps us: sleep better, lose weight, gain weight or maintain weight depending upon our specific needs, improve your immune response to resist various infections, lowers our risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes and helps our brain work better, helping eliminate the brain fog.

For many… staying in shape is something that’s lower on their daily to do list. I hear people indicate they don’t have enough time to exercise. I think the real problem is – they just don’t like exercising or at least don’t know the value of it; so it never becomes a priority.

Here are some tips to make exercising something you actually may want to do:

  • Be consistent. Remove the eliminate of thought. If you can make exercise a habit then it becomes that much easier to accomplish.
  • Create the time. Don’t allow yourself the opportunity to say you don’t have time to exercise. Exercise improves your energy levels and mood which makes you even more productive than any time lost. If you have to, get up a bit earlier or schedule it right after work before you settle down for the day. Once you make the time and make it a habit, you’ll actually want to exercise instead of just believing that you should.
  • Set goals. Fitness goals; not just weight loss or muscle gain goals. Set goals to beat your past records in whatever aspect of exercising you’re doing. Fitness goals make exercising more of a game and helps improve your work-out.
  • Get past your comfort zone. Self-consciousness can be a big obstacle to enjoying your work-out if you go to a gym. The key is to get used to it – get over it! When you continue to do your exercises or show up at the gym, you’ll pay less attention to those around you and more to your work-out. Plus, you can become inspirational to all those who appreciate your consistency.
  • Start with short work-outs. If you don’t have the time or enthusiasm for a full hour, start with 10-20 minutes. Short work-outs can be better than longer ones if the intensity is higher and you become more focused as a result.
  • Keep a daily log. I recommend recording your fitness level more so than specific activity levels. Recording weight loss or muscle gain is a good idea; but, because of the way our metabolism functions, it becomes increasingly harder to make those changes as you go either consistently to the gym or doing your exercises more regularly. Fitness improvements can, if you work on it, continue to rise. Keep a record of your strength, endurance and flexibilities so you can inspire yourself to additional accomplishments.
  • Add music to your program. What? This comes as a surprise? Music makes the work go around. Music can enhance a work-out. Plus, time goes so much faster with enjoyable music than without it.
  • Enlist a partner. Try and find someone else to either go to the gym with you or do your work-outs together. Find someone who is equally committed, if not more to their own health. This way, you’ll always have someone else to pick up your motivation when it’s a little low. Being held accountable is usually motivational.
  • Diversify your work-out. Don’t stay with the same routine. Try various activities. Mix it up. Diversify it! There are many different exercise routines that you can follow activities to try. Assuming that exercise needs to be jogging or lifting weights may limit you from finding something that you truly enjoy.

If all else fails-  Walk!

If all else fails, start with walking; especially if you are overweight. Many individuals begin their exercise program with walking and this is an excellent choice. It is low-risk and inexpensive. A major problem with walking however is that many people become fit relatively rapidly; but, don’t increase the intensity of the work-outs as they become more physically stronger. Once you have become comfortable with the routine, it is important to increase the intensity in order to continue benefiting. Ideally… you should exercise at an intensity that makes it somewhat difficult to talk to the person next you. This prevents you from having to measure your pulse or use a heart-rate monitor.

If you can comfortably talk to the person next to you, you aren’t working quite hard enough to produce the benefits you need. However, if you are using too much oxygen with exercise and there is not enough left over to allow you to carry on a conversation at all; than you are exercising way too hard and need to cut back a bit.

Listen to your body

Lastly and potentially most importantly, listen to your body. If exercise worsens your symptoms, modify your program; or if need be, stop. As your endurance, energy and health improves, you will be able to tolerate larger and greater amounts of all the various types of exercise that you are doing. Remember, discomfort means change—pain means injury. Injuries can set us back and that is absolutely not what we want to have accomplished. Listen to your body. A little ache after a work-out or the next day means things are changing. That is good. If the next day after a work-out you can hardly getout of bed – you have been too aggressive.

Ease off. If exercising is not fun – it will not continue

Remember… the choices you make today concerning your health is how your health will be tomorrow. If you spend more time and energy on your car than you do your own body, your own personal future repairs can become extremely expensive if even possible at all. We only have one transport vehicle provided to us in this lifetime. I would advise to take care of it wisely.

We want to hear from you!  What are your tips for making exercise more fun?

Natural Wellness Centre | (740) 687-0279

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