I recently revisited my fitness strategy and part of that included a re-evaluation of my current shape. In order to do this you have to ‘get real’, be brutally honest with yourself and take nearly naked photos. You’ll next want to look long and hard at those pictures, defining your trouble spots and make a date to begin training or altering your diet. Or both.
You’ll need to think long and hard about the possible choices you have to reach your new goals. Decisions on your fitness and health, the food you eat, how much you’ll need to exercise, and your perception of your finished weight and body shape goal.
So many people will just diet and hope that does the trick to slim down and change a body’s shape. Unless you are under the age of 25, just changing your diet won’t work. You need to include exercise in your strategy. Without exercise your body accumulates more and more fat cells. Besides making you uncomfortable about the way you look, that extra fat has many health risks as well. Just 10 pounds extra on your body increases your risk of developing much more serious medical conditions, such as diabetes, cancers and a propensity to heart attacks.
It’s easy to increase your daily exercise and this site is full of great ideas but I’m sure you can come up with your own. Ideally you should start with a slow 20 minute walk every day, consistently, and then look for other small ways throughout the day to move your muscles. Take the stairs, park at the far end of the parking lot, walk on a treadmill while watching your favorite shows at night. Increase your exercise once you feel yourself getting stronger by jogging, taking a cardio class, or join a gym.
If you’re still not seeing enough progress you’ll want to clean up your diet. Not by counting calories or following some fad diet plan, but by limiting portions, eating more regularly to increase your metabolism, and getting off the processed foods completely. Be conscious of every single bite you put in your mouth. Avoid fast foods as though they were poisonous – they are!
I’m not sure who coined that phrase but it is one of my favorites when I’m lacking in motivation. This is especially true when it comes to good health and personal fitness and the phrase motivates me every day to strap on my pedometer and get out there for a walk.
You see really, when it comes right down to it, the exercise we do today determines what we can or cannot do in the future. How hard we push ourselves this week will determine how good we look next week. However, it is important to remember that personal health and fitness needn’t be an all encompassing lifestyle. Make it a part of who you are and what you do. You don’t need to be a guru or a fitness expert to reap the rewards and you don’t need to knock yourself out.
While some may think that exercise and fitness needs to be hard, challenging or even painful, this needn’t be the case. Many trainers and fitness experts having written numerous studies on aerobic exercise and suggest that walking for just 30 minutes per day is sufficient to maintain a higher level of health and increase your life span.
Walking? Yes, walking. It isn’t particularly challenging – although you can make it so – and it doesn’t require a lot of money to get started. You really just need some comfortable and supportive shoes, motivation, and an accurate pedometer to chart your progress.
For your efforts you will reap the rewards of:
a reduction in body fat
lower your cholesterol levels
an increase in cardiovascular endurance
lower blood pressure
a strengthened immune system
a consistent weight range
higher bone density
lessened risks for colon cancer, diabetes, heart disease
plus much more.
How to Get Started
Here’s all you really need:
comfortable shoes (preferably designed for fitness walking)
a walking journal or notepad to record your progress
a step counter or pedometer
5 minutes to warm up and 30 minutes to walk
motivation to do it, every day
Now look around. You’ll see people walking for fitness in every park, city streets, along the boardwalk, down a country road – even in shopping malls. You won’t be alone in your quest for better health! The popularity of walking for fitness is growing by leaps and bounds due to it’s ease, health benefits and low start up cost. In conclusion, walking is truly one of the best ways to get back into a more active lifestyle while positioning you on the path to a longer and healthier life.