Fitness,  Health,  Well-Being

Exercise…A way of life

Written by Amanda Gamel

The hard part isn’t getting your body in shape. The hard part is getting your mind in shape.

Exercise should not be a chore, but a way of life.

You need to stay active to maintain heart health, mental health and overall physical well-being.

Going to the gym or taking a fitness class can be a daunting and intimidating task for most people. Finding a partner that will support and share your goals is a great way to achieve accountability and stay on track.

Whenever trying something new it takes the brain and body time to adjust. You must remember that this is a phase of breaking through your comfort zone, not only physically, but mentally as well. A good rule of thumb is to allow yourself at least 5 sessions of a class/activity before you decide to back out. Who knows when you will set into your groove and find something new you like.

Find ways to implement the things you enjoy that make you want to be active daily. Walking your dog, playing with your kids, going for a swim, exploring a new city on foot or discovering different paths in your city. Take up a new physical challenge such as a dance class, tennis, golf, or train for a race. You can work towards a new skill in life that will keep you motivated while getting in your daily exercise, as well as benefit from long term physical and mental health.

For instance, training for a 5K is a great way to get you motivated about physical activity while keeping you fit.

The human body was built to be active. The shapes of our hips and feet, the length of our legs, our shock-absorbing spinal discs, and our ability to sweat make it possible for us to walk or run mile after mile.

Therefore, it comes as no surprise that researchers have concluded that running/walking is strongly associated with several benefits for not only our bodies, but our brains as well. 

Many experts believe that simple exercise and diet is the most advanced “drug” in curing most illnesses.

Not only is running/walking a great way to improve cardiovascular health, but it has psychological benefits as well.

  • Researchers found that 30 minutes of physical activity can improve mood and help fight depression.
  • Improve sleep quality, boost mental focus and reduce stress.
  • Improve and strengthen your body and mind no matter your age, and help fight age related cognitive decline.
  • Running/walking is a great way to burn calories, which of course is a major factor in weight loss (along with a healthy sustaining diet).

Getting used to being physically active, especially if it has been a while, can be brutal. Once your body and mind acclimate, exercise can be blissful, meditative and provide a sense of freedom.

Some tools to get you started:

  • Running shoes
  • Workout gear
  • Journal
  • Timer
  • Perhaps a friend to train with for extra motivation!

Start off with a good stretch to loosen up your muscles and relax your mind.

Time yourself on your first run, write it down and set a realistic goal of where you want to be, and just for fun a dream goal…you might surprise yourself on race day! Also, write down how you feel; what the good was, the bad, and the in-between. It is important to log your activity to ensure accountability, but to also see your progress and results.

Make a schedule that works best for you and your lifestyle. Make it a goal to train at least 3 times a week.

What you should be doing each session:

  • Stretch static & ballistic
  • Cross Train/Warm-Up (Lunges, High Knees, Jump Rope, Jumping Jacks, Pushups, Squats)
  • Time your runs
  • Cooldown (Take the time…allow your body to rest)
  • Journal (Run times and thoughts on that session)

The human body is a unique machine made of the universe’s greatest mysteries. But just like any machine, the body needs balance to be sustainable. You don’t need to spend hours upon hours in the gym and counting calories to achieve this balance. All it takes is moderate activity that is comfortable to your specific lifestyle and capabilities, as well as providing your body with well-rounded nutritional needs.

A healthy life equals a happy life.


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