Much of the information posted on web magazines like FitLyst and that you see in your feeds on Facebook and Twitter are all about how to get into take your workouts to the next level, get ripped like Calvin Harris, or get a booty like Kim K. But for most people, all they need are some simple tips to getting started on the right track.
10 Ways to Work Working Out into Your Life
For many of us, “eating right and getting fit” is a mantra that sounds good in theory but is so much harder to put into practice. Whether you exercise grudgingly (if at all) or haven’t set foot in a gym since elementary school, you can get fit again. Some tips:
- Know your body. You can’t go from couch potato to champion overnight. Meet your body where it is and work towards making steady progress.
- Check with your doctor and a certified trainer. More and more physicians are writing “exercise scripts” for their patients, prescribing cardio, flexibility and strength-training as part of their treatment plans. Speak with your MD, then meet with a trainer for a program that matches your workouts with your goals.
- Watch the clock. Current guidelines suggest 150 moderate-intense minutes of exercise a week. To lose weight, an intense 180 minutes. If time is tight, break it up into 10-minute (or shorter) increments. Squeeze in 2 minutes of barre, 5 minutes or running, stretching or even jumping jacks at your desk. Take a brisk walk around the block or run up and down the stairs. Try a balance challenge on a stability ball. Check YouTube and your app store for easy exercises that you can do anytime, anywhere.
- Open your mouth and say “om.” No, meditation by itself won’t make you fit (although it powers down on inflammation and stress) but yoga and Pilates, with their emphasis on breathing, mindfulness and body awareness, enhance balance, flexibility and calm.
- Mix it up. Sad but true, muscles get complacent. Get out of your physical comfort zone and try something new. Even if you can’t remember your left foot from your right, you’ll feel exhilarated by the challenge.
- Stay focused. Don’t compare yourself to others and try not to feel intimidated. The reality is, nobody’s paying attention to you. They’re too busy looking at themselves. Concentrate on your own work and progress at your own speed.
- Adjust your attitude. Treat your workouts as something you want to do. And if you find an activity you enjoy, you’re more likely to do it on a regular basis and eventually make it an organic part of your day.
- Put it on your calendar. If you consciously set aside time to work out, you will do it. (And like it!)
- Make FitbitTM your friend. Track your sleep, your calories, your steps and other health markers with wearable tech. It’s a great way to become aware of how much (or little) you exercise (or eat) and measure your success.
- Treat yourself right. Exercise has been shown to combat stress, control blood sugar, protect the heart and rev up the immune system. And if that’s not enough, it’s good for your state of mind.
This article has been republished with the permission of One Girl Wellness.
Susan Bodiker founded One Girl Wellness to help girls and women overcome the image disorders that eat away at their self-esteem and keep them from engaging confidently in their world, and has recently published a new e-book, “Fat Girl: how to let go of your weight and get on with your life.”