Making the Most Out of Exercise

woman exercising for health and fitness

Obviously, exercise is an important part of a weight loss journey, but are you going to do it? If you are the type who views exercise as a chore to get through, you have already placed yourself at a disadvantage.

So, how do you change that mind set?

You simply should find an exercise that you can do, and also one that you will enjoy. Otherwise, you will never stick with it if you find no sense of enjoyment while trying to perform an exercise regimen that might be beyond your current capabilities. Never lose sight that the best exercise is the one you will do, the one that brings satisfaction to you. Never mind what others believe the best form of exercise might be. Their opinion carries little significance if what they view as the best is of no interest to you, or you might not be capable of doing it. You need to know that if you are not capable of doing an exercise, your mind might demand that you do the exercise. However, your body will eventually exercise it’s veto power.

You simply will not stay at something that is too tough.

You will not stick with something that is just too difficult for your level of fitness.

Many people select a workout based on a means-to-an-end quotient of the goal they want to achieve. This is a valid thought process to be sure, but a better way to choose the best exercise is to take an honest assessment of yourself and what is going to nourish your body the best over the long run. The bottom line with exercise is that it should be like a great life partner. Not an adversarial relationship, but a complementary one. To choose the best exercise program for you, look closely at your personality traits and find a way to move your body that mirrors that.

Pick an exercise that you will enjoy.

This cannot be said enough. If an exercise bores you to tears, you are not likely to stick with it. When an exercise brings too much pain for your level of tolerance, it is not going to be a good fit for you. You need to start lightly, and then work your way up. In fact, I always recommend those who are new to exercise to begin easier than they believe necessary, and work their way to higher intensity levels.

Pick more than one type of exercise.  

By doing different exercise sessions you will add variety, and by working different muscles on different days, it will help reduce the risk of injury, as well as preventing monotony.

Vary the intensity of your exercise.

If you are new to exercise, go a little harder on some days, and then a little easier on others. When you go all out with high intensity with every exercise session, you will only burn out sometime in the near future. A variety of intensity will help you to avoid injury and will allow your muscles time to recover from hard work.

Choose exercise that fits your lifestyle.

While we teach people to create a new lifestyle for themselves to create a fitter and healthier version of themselves, there are some things that must still be taken into consideration such as children and jobs. Therefore, it will do you absolutely no good to choose an exercise that will not fit into your schedule. I would encourage you to find a way, it is almost always possible. However, it does no good to sign up for a exercise class at 9:00 am when you must be at work or caring for your children at this time of day.

Join a class or social sports team.

You might enjoy the discipline of attending a regular class or course. You may also get great benefit by joining a social sports team such as softball for example. By doing either of these options, it will help you to exercise regularly. Community centers and adult education colleges often offer classes in activities such as dance, yoga or Pilates, as well as classes for the older exerciser. Personal trainers will offer a variety of group and individual sessions that can be matched to your needs.

Set aside a time for your daily exercise.

Setting aside a dedicated exercise time each day can help to turn regular exercise into a habit, much like washing your hair or making your bed. In this way, you’ll find you are less likely to ponder whether or not to go for a walk or run. Before you know it you’ll be out there pounding the pavement just because that’s what you do at that time of day! Equally, don’t be inflexible about exercise: if you do miss exercising at your preferred time, and the opportunity presents itself at another time during the day, take the opportunity and enjoy it.

Lastly, this is HUGE!

Pick an exercise that accommodates any health problems you may have!

If you are new to exercising, are overweight, or you have been inactive for a long time, have existing health problems, or old or recent muscle, bone or joint injuries, see your doctor before starting or re-commencing regular exercise. Being unwell or having an injury does not usually rule out exercise, in fact, it is often a vital part of rehabilitation. However, exercise in this context may mean you need to amend the details of your physical activity program, under guidance from your doctor or other healthcare professional.

For example, many people with asthma find they can achieve high levels of fitness through swimming, as the air they are breathing during this exercise is warm and moist and less likely than cold, dry air to trigger an asthma attack. Long-term conditions such as high blood pressure can be improved by appropriate amounts of daily exercise, while the risk of developing conditions such as type 2 diabetes or osteoporosis can be reduced. People with arthritis are often suited to exercising in a swimming pool as the buoyancy of the water avoids weight-bearing stress being placed on inflamed joints. Weak upper leg muscles and poor balance in some older people can mean that a recumbent stationary bicycle is particularly suited to encouraging exercise without causing discomfort or risking injury.

Whichever exercise options you choose, and whichever strategies you use to keep motivated, remember to start off slowly and build up gradually. Don’t push yourself too hard, too fast: progression in fitness occurs over weeks and months, not days.

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13 thoughts on “Making the Most Out of Exercise

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