If you have decided it’s time to start exercising and getting in shape, then you’re already on your way to changing your body and mind. While fitness isn’t always easy, you can give yourself a head start by setting fitness goals and learning more about how to train your body. You can even learn how daily fitness will allow your body to fight off disease and obesity. In some cases, exercise is the best way to cure chronic illnesses like heart disease, so it’s not just a way to lose weight. It’s a lifestyle change that you can gradually or immediately include in your life.
You can choose one or many methods to get fit. Most people get started with light exercise such as walking, dancing, gardening, biking and jogging. However, you should actually choose activities that you enjoy. This will make it easier to form habits.
Create Fitness Goals
Most people think fitness is about losing weight, and they set really big goals at first such as losing 100 pounds in a specified period of time. When you’re just getting started and want to form habits, you have to set smaller goals such as “Walk one mile every day” or “Do 30 sit ups every day.” These smaller goals will eventually lead into bigger goals that you already have deep down, which is to lose weight or lower cholesterol.
Meet or Exceed Your Goals
You should keep track of your daily goals. On some days, you may want to go for a longer bike ride or you may want to train a certain part of your body. It’s important that you try to meet your goals each day or each week so that you can pursue those larger goals.
If you’ve ever wondered how body builders have such great physiques, it’s because they developed habits. After they brush their teeth, they may do five push ups or after they eat breakfast they go for a morning run. When you partner up a fitness goal with a necessary or healthy habit that you already have, you increase your chances of reaching your goals. The key is to pick out three or four habits in your day that are good for you or essential such as brushing your teeth, walking the dog or making the bed. After you perform one of these habits, you can add on your fitness goal. For example, after making your bed, you must do three yoga poses. You can form all kinds of habits using this technique, but the best way is to meet your fitness goals every day and feel proud of your accomplishments.
Next Step: Upgrading Your Fitness Level
As you start to work fitness routines into your daily life, you’ll no doubt want to try different exercises and demand more from your body. There are several different types of training and exercises that you can do including:
Cardiovascular or Cardio – These exercise speed up breathing and heart rate. They can be stressful on the body and joints, but they increase weight loss and exercise your heart muscles. Running, jump roping, cycling, walking, rowing, swimming and dancing are all cardiovascular activities.
Flexibility Training – It’s important to stretch before and after work outs. You increase the range of your joints when you stretch, but you also loosen your muscles. Before stretching, you should always warm up with a brisk walk or jog for 5 to 10 minutes so your muscles aren’t “cold.”
Strength Training – Low impact exercises are often best for those who haven’t trained or physically exerted themselves in a long time. It’s also a great way for older or overweight persons to start fitness routines. By weight lifting or using stretch resistance bands, you’ll build muscles. Push-ups are also considered strength training exercises.
Low Impact Exercises – These are exercises that don’t stress joints as much as running or jumping. For instance, yoga, cycling, strength training, swimming, rowing and aerobics allow your body to move, stretch, gain flexibility and even exercise your heart without placing a lot of weight on your joints.
As you start to develop a fitness routine, you’ll find there are some exercises and machines that really appeal to you. Many people get started with strength training and cycling, but eventually they’ll be able to run, dance and even join group fitness classes such as kickboxing or spinning.
Final Step: Balance Your Fitness
By making a fitness a top priority in your life, you’ll change other things about the way you live. For instance you may choose a healthier diet and cook your meals more often than going out. You also have to learn the importance of rest. Each day you should exercise a different muscle group. For instance, most people alternate between exercising their arm muscles on Tuesdays and Thursdays while exercising their leg muscles the rest of the week. This gives certain parts of your body a resting period.
As always you should take care of your body while going through fitness training. You’ll need to keep yourself properly hydrated and eat the right foods to aid in achieving your fitness goals.