Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Exercise regularly, in moderation

Here’s a post on one of the loves of my life, exercise. On the scale of my personal must-do’s in my life, exercise comes above writing and reading (which I love). Exercise is my most important leisure activity.

The holidays are a good time to keep exercising, or to add some regular exercise into your day to offset the abundance of food. Here are some rules I live by when it comes to exercise:
A short workout is better than no workout at all.

Choose a a type of exercise you enjoy!
There is no such thing as “too little” when it comes to adding daily activity.

If I am too tired after a workout to enjoy the rest of my day, then I worked too hard.
About 30 minutes, most days, of moderate to vigorous exercise keeps me feeling great. If I have less time, I make the workout strenuous (for me, that means dripping sweat by the time I finish. Forget the expression, “Women glow!”)

Do check with your doctor, of course, before starting a new exercise program!
There are some really enjoyable ways to get a good workout and get closer to your spouse/significant other, at the same time.

Don’t go all out the first day in a gym. You will be sore for a long time, you will not want to go back, and you may really hurt yourself.
Don’t compare your progress, or your exercise program, with anyone else’s. Your body is unique. One of my favorite expressions that one of my personal trainers used was, “Listen to your body.”

No excuses!
If you think you’re too busy to exercise, multi-task. While you walk, catch up on phone calls.

The more complicated it is, the less likely you will stick to an exercise routine. Ditch the special equipment and do something that is simple and fits your schedule, like brisk walking or jogging.
Use your body weight to build muscle: squats, pushups, situps, pull-ups, and planks are a few examples. These are things that we can all do at home.

Stretch after working out, when your muscles are warm. Skip the stretching before a workout unless it is dynamic (moving muscles) and also serves as a warmup.
Don’t skip the warmup! Injuries happen when you demand too much of cold muscles.

Even seasoned athletes don’t love every minute of exercise. It’s supposed to be hard, and tiring, and frustrating too. When I jog, one of my favorite activities is checking my watch – “Can I be done yet?”
Cross-train to burn more calories and keep yourself challenged. Your body quickly adapts to new workouts and becomes more efficient (thus burning fewer calories). One of the ideas touted by the insane workout, P90X, is “muscle confusion,” where your muscles never know what to expect from the next workout and don’t have time to adapt.

Cardiovascular exercise, which raises your heart rate over a period of time, is just as important as weight training. One supports your heart health and circulation. The other preserves your muscle mass as you age and helps with strength and balance.
Exercise is more important, the older you get.

You are never, ever too old to exercise! Exercise is for everybody.
Your health is important enough to make a financial investment, if that’s what it takes for you to exercise. If you have enough money to eat out, you have enough money to join a gym.

1 comment:

  1. This is more what i want. I have seen all the pilates machiens and they intimdate me I want the core workout benefits that i can do at home with a dvd or video or simply at a womens gym. I am ready for something pop and fun!

    ReplyDelete

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