We’re a month into the new year and the onslaught of folks flooding local gyms is starting to wain. The majority of us make some sort of fitness resolution and most have good intentions but why do so many fail? Are you sticking to your exercise resolution?

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If you’re like a lot of people, you are starting to lose the enthusiasm you had when you lifted that glass of champagne and rang in the New Year. If you find yourself in this predicament, never fear, you re in good company. Here are some facts and tips to motivate you to keep moving.

Benefits of Exercise/Fitness

The list of the health benefits of exercise is impressive. Exercise is like a magic pill. It can cure diseases, including some forms of diabetes and heart disease. It helps people with arthritis and has been shown to help prevent stroke and cancer. It also helps reverse and prevent depression. Aside from these health benefits, physical activity promotes weight loss which, in turn give you an overall sense of well being.

Types of Exercise/Fitness

There are more types of exercise than there are days in a month. Any type of physical activity that gets your heart pumping is good. Many people fall off the exercise bandwagon because they can’t do what their friends do, or they simply don’t enjoy it. The key is to find something you really enjoy doing. This will increase the chances of making it a habit. Better yet, find a group of like minded people and do it with them. Everything is more fun with others! Think outside the box too.

Trying something new is a good way to stay motivated and changing things up not only breaks they cycle of monotony and boredom, it also improves overall fitness. Are you a runner? Try cycling, swimming or take a bootcamp or yoga class. Cross training like this will actually improve your overall fitness and helps prevent injuries.

How Much Activity?

Ideally, 30-60 minutes of moderate physical activity per day is recommended, however, don’t think because you don’t have that much time, you should skip it. Even 5-10 minutes of activity is beneficial. There is a lot of research showing that short periods of more intense exercise also has great health benefits. I will discuss this in an upcoming post.

What About Intensity?

Experts recommend exercising at 50-70% of your maximum heart rate. Not sure what that is? The non-scientific way of determining this is to use the chart below to gauge your “Relative Perceived Exertion”, essentially, how hard to you feel you’re working? Be honest with yourself. Most people are actually capable of more than they believe.

RPE

As always, check with your doctor before embarking on any new exercise routine, especially if you have any health concerns or issues.

Until next time, remember, if you work out, everything else will too!

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