Keeping your exercise-routine interesting
Exercise is, for millions of people, a part of their daily routine. It is something that they love doing, whether it is going to the gym, going on a hike, for a swim or just walking in nature, it is part of who they are. For other people exercise is not something that they like, nor do. If you haven’t been exercising for a while, it is not easy to get back into your routine. However, if exercising was part of your lifestyle, then it will be easier to get back into your routine. If you have never / rarely done any exercise, then it is not easy to start.
Today there are so many new exercise-forms to choose from that there is something for everyone – even those who dislike going to the gym! Many times before, I refer to being outdoors whenever possible. I still believe that it is a wonderful, if not one of the best places, to exercise. Fresh air, beautiful sights and sounds are the perfect combination to not only exercise your body, but also your mind and spirit. Exercising doesn’t have to feel like a chore, nor become boring. For example, if you walk a lot but want to change your routine, why not add some ankle- and or wrist weights? Walking uphill from time-to-time is another great way to do more cardio, especially for the buttocks and legs. Walking faster than normal to get the heart rate up is wonderful.
If you are “new” to exercising, start at a slower, shorter pace. Trying out a Pilates- or Yoga class for the first time (or any other form of group exercise) can be daunting at first. Start with beginner-level and always listen to your body. If you can manage only 8 reps instead of 16, the first time, then that is fine. Using either your body alone or light weights, at first, is another way to get you going without injuring yourself. There is no point in pushing yourself so hard that you end up either extremely stiff and/or sore the next day / week. If it is your first time trying out either a class or just starting an exercise-routine, you want to feel great afterwards, not be so stiff that you can barely move!
If you like jogging, you can also change the pace and/or where you jog. For example, you can jog uphill, you can jog, then stop and do some lunges and jog further. Even changing the time of your exercise-routine (if possible), can make a difference. If you enjoy exercising in the morning, but it is winter and dark, why not try exercising in your lunch break or after work? If you exercise after work, but want to be home when it gets dark, make time to exercise before you go to work.
If you have a schedule that doesn’t allow you time during the week to do much exercise, make a date with yourself every weekend. You can even exercise on Saturday and Sunday; taking a walk / going for a jog the one day and doing Pilates, Yoga or whatever there is either at the gym or online that you like, the other day. It is always good to change the type of exercises you do, because your body does get used to certain movements. A person who is physically strong because of weight-bearing exercises, is not always flexible and struggle when they have to do either Pilates of Yoga. Being “walking-fit” doesn’t necessarily make you “swim-fit.”
If you don’t like exercising why not do it with your partner, your pet or a friend? Often people who don’t like exercising end up enjoying it when they do it with someone. Many ladies, in particular, enjoy group classes and/or working out with someone. Start a group at work and make a point of going for a walk outside during lunchtime, if possible, or otherwise meet before work. If it is too cold, wet and/or dark outside, then ask your boss if you can use an open space in the office either before work, during lunchtime or after work (if it is suitable). All you need is between 15 – 30 minutes, 3 times per week, to start seeing (and feeling) results.
Exercising can and should be fun; there has never been a better time than now, to start, regardless of your age and/or your size. Humans are born to move; our bodies were not made to sit all day and just move from one chair to the other. Without any form of movement, you not only become stiff (tight), but you breathe shallower, thus cutting off both circulation and oxygen to your organs. Your heart is a muscle and, just like your legs and arms, need to “move.” Indeed, it does as it pumps the blood, but getting your heartrate up is a great way to keep it healthy.
If there is nothing else you think you can get from exercising, think again. It is a great way to catch-up with friends, it is a wonderful way to unwind and relax, it will definitely help you to sleep better and cope with life in general, and it will change the way you look and feel about yourself. Gyms are convenient yes, but there are many other places where one can exercise (as mentioned before), so there is no excuse why you cannot get off the couch and move!