Recently, I’ve noticed a light outside during the day, something round and shining in the sky. Oh, yeah, it’s the sun. Seems like forever since we’ve seen it. But it really looks like the weather is breaking and some real springtime weather is upon us. And, of course, as the weather improves we start thinking about getting outside, summer, sitting by the pool, bathing suits. And, (OMG) time to get back into shape!
There is no question that the fitter we are, the better we look, and the healthier we are. And this is pretty much age independent. So, whether we are in our twenties or in our seventies, we are all better off if we are exercising on a routine basis. Some people really have this down. They are working out regularly and the results show, while others have a problem either getting going, or keeping it going. So what makes the difference? While there is no one answer, several things can really help you keep a consistent exercise program.
First of all, do something that works for you. Different bodies are better suited to different exercises. For instance, my wife has very long legs, she is tall, and has a high center of gravity. Running never worked for her. But spinning, working out on an eliptical machine, and rowing do work for her. So, find out what works for you, and go with that.
Secondly, get a work-out buddy. This makes exercising more fun, and your buddy keeps you accountable. When you’re feeling sluggish and not quite up for your work out, your buddy will keep you on track. Whether or not you are physically working out with them, you know that they will be working out. So, your buddy keeps you accountable to your program because you don’t want to let them down, and your certainly don’t want them getting ahead of you! In our office, Trish and Theresa have been training together for triathalons and half marathons. I think they will both tell you that they have been more effective working out together than they would have been working our separately. And now they have Heather running with them, too. You go girls!
Third, add some variety — don’t do the same thing every day. Mix up your type of exercise (run, bike, swim, lift weights), and routine. If you are a runner, run different distances on different days. Or change the scenery, run in different places or on different paths. One home exercise program that a lot of people are having success with is P90X. Each day there is a different routine, and each month the weekly routine changes. Not only does this work out different areas of your body so that you see greater results, but you don’t get bored. So there’s a real benefit to mixing it up.
Lastly, make time for your workout. For busy people, exercise becomes a time management issue. The only way to make it work, is if you make the time for your exercise a priority. Find a way to work this into your schedule, and then protect the time! We can all find the time for the things we want to do. It just has to become important to do so.
Starting next weekend, our daylight hours will be longer (spring ahead), and the weather should be getting better and better. So the stars are aligned in favor of our getting out and getting fit (or fitter). Take advantage of this. Not only will you feel better and look better, but your overall health will be better too!