I’ve got great news for you. Improving your fitness level is one of the best things you can do for your body, mind and spirit. Research has proven time and time again the many benefits of how improved fitness levels improve your health. You will sleep better. You will have more energy. You will have less aches and pains (maybe not at first). Your digestion will also improve and will improve dramatically if you make a few changes to your diet as well. This is stuff you already know so let it serve as a reminder and motivator to get off the sofa and get moving.
Let’s get started. The first thing you can do is to realistically set some goals. How fit do you really want to be? How much fat do you honestly want to get rid of? Do you need/want to build some lean muscle mass? What does getting fit mean for you?
Everyone has different needs and goals. I’ve never been one for a one size fits all approach. But you gotta have a plan…. write it down.
For some people it might mean going for an hour walk three times a week. For others, it may need to be much more intense and involve running, bicycling, weigh lifting etc. There are some good videos/DVD’s on the market (I personally started using the P90X).
I personally believe most people would do well to get rid of some fat pounds and replace them with some good lean muscle. Muscle helps you burn calories while at rest. Yes you read that correctly.
Don’t get caught up in the trap of only weighing yourself because you can get rid of fat and replace it with muscle and the scale barely changes. The easiest indicators to know if your workouts and new healthy diet are working are to take measurements around your waist and by the way your clothes fit.
A light workout with weights can be beneficial for both men and women. Some women have the fear of building too much muscle and looking manly. Women can avoid that by using light weights and increase the number of repetitions. There are some good sites on the web to help you learn about exercising and weightlifting. Dr. Joseph Mercola has an extensive (over 50,000 pages) archive of articles. One of the best content rich websites I know of. I used the search capability to find this one: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2000/02/27/shorter-weight-training-very-effective.aspx.
It would be impossible for me to teach you what can take weeks to learn with this one article. For some other good information on workouts check out: http://www.weight-lifting-workout-routines.com/weight-lifting-tips.html.
- Set realistic goals for yourself (write them down on 3×5 index cards and review them three times a day (morning, noon and night). Many people can go for a short walk before or after lunch if just reminded
- Monitor your progress ( measure your waistline once a month)
- Find a fitness buddy to help you be accountable to and encourage each other.
- Check out my article Baby Steps to Health so you don’t overwhelm or sabotage yourself by wanting to do too much too soon or too little and you don’t see any progress so you quit. This is a very common problem with inexperienced people starting a fitness program.
- Get started. We sometimes tend to put things off by making excuses. No more excuses. Make it happen. Get started today. Even if it’s lying in front of the television and doing some stretches and crunches. You’ll be glad you did!
“Most people do realize that without good health, nothing else matters. Unfortunately, they often don’t make that realization until it is too late.” ~Bill Phillips
“He who has health has hope, and he who has hope has everything.” ~ Arabian Proverb