Sticking to a regular exercise schedule isn't easy. But you can do it. No time? Break exercise into short chunks, or count daily activities, such as walking the stairs, as part of your fitness program. Worried about getting injured? Take it slowly. Start by walking. Too expensive? Work out at home rather than at a health club. Discouraged? Recall your past successes. Bored? Work out with friends or family.
When it comes to fitness, huffing and puffing your way through such aerobic exercises as running, biking or swimming isn't the only thing that matters. A good, balanced exercise program includes five key components: aerobic fitness, strength training, core exercises, balance training, and flexibility and stretching. If you're not getting all five, it's time to mix up your routine.
Starting a fitness program? Don't get carried away. Working out too intensely or too often increases your risk of injury and burnout. Start cautiously and progress slowly. And plan time between sessions for your body to rest and recover.
You don't need a gym membership to get in shape. You can fit physical activity into your daily life by doing things you enjoy outside of the gym. Play pickup basketball, go biking or walk around the park. Lift some hand weights while you watch your favorite TV show. Take the stairs at work or when shopping. Or take an exercise class through your community.
Work a little extra activity into your day by skipping the elevator when you can. Start by taking the stairs anytime you go up or down one floor. Then work your way up to three or four floors or more. Better yet, make climbing stairs a workout in itself.
Want to work out at home? Pick up low-cost products from a local fitness or sporting goods store, such as dumbbells and resistance bands. If you'd rather not spend a penny on exercise equipment, use ordinary household items, such as a staircase for step training. Try pushups and squats. Round up friends or neighbors for regular group walks. Plan routes through your neighborhood.
Don't let boredom kill your motivation to work out. Choose activities you like and include some variations in your routine. If you want solitude, try alternating walking and biking or in-line skating. If group activities are more your thing, try a class at the local gym or join a softball league. Or start a walking or biking group with friends. You're more likely to stick with an exercise program if you're having fun.
Have you started a workout program? Good for you! Record your efforts to track progress toward your goals. After each workout, record these items: 1. The date. 2. Your activity (swimming, lifting weights, volleyball). 3. How long you exercised. 4. How you felt afterward. Having a chronicle of your improvement can be a great source of motivation.
Finding time to exercise can be a challenge. If your days and evenings are hectic and busy, try a morning dose of exercise. Get up 30 minutes earlier twice a week, and hop on the treadmill or stationary bike while you listen to the radio or watch the morning news. Or step outside for a brisk walk. Once you've adjusted to early morning workouts, add another day or two to the routine.
Sure, you're busy. It's tough to fit in a daily workout. But being prepared to exercise can make all the difference. Put workout clothes, socks and all, on top of the dresser. Stock the fridge with water bottles. Keep athletic shoes and socks in your car, so you can sneak in some laps during your child's practices or rehearsals or while you're waiting to meet a friend for dinner.
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