One thing that I’ve learned about myself, besides eating correctly, is exercise is critical for our everyday lives. I know many people can lose weight simply by changing their diet, but that was never the case for me. I had to exercise and eat appropriately. Even if you can lose weight without exercising, it still should be done because exercise allows the body to circulate the blood throughout the organs, move toxins out of the body through your sweat as well as burn unnecessary fat around the organs and build muscle. Movement keeps your joints fluid. Also, I find that exercise actually makes me happy. An article I read said that exercise brings forth “happy hormones.” Well, that sold me! Seriously though, it’s important to add a little movement to your life.
I have been in the position of putting off exercise in the past, and I did find that my mood was affected in a negative way. Exercise makes me feel accomplished. I stick with a routine and here is how I do it:
PRAYER – As I mentioned in previous posts, prayer has been essential for me in getting my day started. Before I exercise, I make sure to go before God so that my day can be lined up properly.
PLAN – Planning makes the task less stressful because with a plan you know how you’re going to get the task done. I created a plan to work out in the morning because that is when I am at my best and most energetic. For some people, exercising at night is better. Whatever works for you is what you should do.
CONSISTENCY – Consistency is very important in your exercise plan. I choose to exercise a certain amount of days during the week. Monday through Saturday works for me. It’s just a personal preference. Ordinarily, five to six days is what I do. If I skip a Saturday, then I don’t beat myself up about it because I jump right back into routine on Monday.
TIME – Choose an amount of time that works for you, also, which goes with consistency. My time frame is from 45 minutes to an hour. Most experts say you can exercise for 30 minutes a day four to five days a week, which is the minimum that they recommend. Otherwise, if you’re trying to lose weight, then more than 30 minutes should be done.
CARDIO AND STRENGTH TRAINING – I do a combination of cardio exercises (three-four days a week) and strength training with hand weights (two days a week) with various DVD exercise programs. This is because the experts say that building muscle is important to burn fat. Also, having good muscle content and strong bones go hand in hand.
VARIETY – I do different cardio exercises to keep it interesting. I like to do exercise on a spin bike, mini-trampoline, step aerobics, walking, interval training, boot camp, etc. I find it important to mix it up so I don’t get bored. A lot of my friends do Zumba, which is big in the fitness world now. Just have variety so you stay interested.
WATER – Another must have during exercise is water. It is essential to replace what the body has lost during exercise and beyond. I know some people don’t like water, but it’s so important to your body. Some experts say drinking 64 ounces is good others say half your body weight in water is good. I’m usually somewhere in the middle. If you drink water in small amounts throughout the day, you can get all that you need in your system.
STRETCHING – When I follow the fitness experts on the DVDs that I use, they have us stretching at certain points during the exercises. Sometimes we stretch at the beginning after the muscles are warmed up for about five minutes, other times we may stretch at the end of the exercise. The amount of times I stretch depends on which DVD I’m doing. Stretching is important for your muscles to maintain flexibility.
As always, the experts recommend that you see a doctor BEFORE engaging in any exercise program. It sounds cliché, but it is very important so that you do not do anything too strenuous when starting out. Start out slow and don’t put too much pressure on yourself. It’s about making a lifestyle change over a period of time. You don’t need to do this for anyone but yourself and take your time by making small adaptable changes to your life in order to be successful! You can do it because with God EVERYTHING is possible!
God Bless You with Good Health and Wellness,