posted on 5/1/2017 in Monthly newsletter
The Fitness Craze: A Healthy Trend
You can see evidence of it everywhere you look. People in sweats or shorts and t-shirts are running or jogging right on your block. Gyms and health clubs are springing up in every town and flourishing. Sports fields are alive with competition. Stores feature athletic wear that makes you look stylish while you’re working out. And food establishments brag about their healthy choices, publishing the number of calories and encouraging you to work on your “beach body.”
It all adds up to a different level of focus on fitness and wellness in our communities and our culture. At long last, our citizens are taking note of the unfortunate and unhealthy fattening of America – literally two-thirds of our neighbors are overweight or obese, and not only is it bankrupting our country, it is causing untold suffering – and finally, we are waking up to take responsibility to change our ways and get fit.
Technology abounds that can help you on your quest, watches and meters and phones and tablets designed to support apps that move you toward better health. Heart monitors, mileage counters, diet calculators, online personal trainers and virtual accountability partners are making it easier to adopt habits that heal you instead of hurting you.
But even if you choose the low-tech approach, taking a walk after dinner or some stretching or yoga to get your day started, you’d be part of a movement that is circling the globe – getting fit is a worldwide hit. Try it, you’ll like it.
Exercise, The Habit of Champions
You can decrease your stress by noticing what stresses you, and do less of that when possible. For example, if you have physical stress from sitting at a cramped workstation for hours every day, getting up to stretch or adjusting your chair or computer monitor could help."
No doubt you’ve heard about the mind-body connection – it suggests that as goes your mind, so goes your body – and as goes your body, so goes your mind.
This is why it’s so important to make lifestyle decisions to reduce your stress, and adopt healthy habits that minimize the effects of the stresses you can’t avoid.
You can decrease your stress by noticing what stresses you, and do less of that when possible. For example, if you have physical stress from sitting at a cramped workstation for hours every day, getting up to stretch or adjusting your chair or computer monitor could help. If you have chemical stress, you can avoid toxic agents and be more careful with the foods you eat. If you have emotional stress, you can meditate or get more sleep.
But there is an all-inclusive habit you can develop that addresses all your different types of stress, and that magical key is exercise. Exercise serves your mind and body. It addresses physical, chemical and emotional stress. And, people who exercise look better, feel better, and perform better in all aspects of their lives.
If you are already including exercise in your daily or weekly routine, you are already taking bold strides toward wellness and longevity. You’re to be commended, and please keep going, keep moving forward, the quality of your life will reflect that commitment. And if you are not yet exercising, not to worry – getting started is easier than you think.
Most experts agree on one thing – the right kind and amount of exercise is very personal, based on your current condition and your desired outcomes. If you are young, reasonably fit and you want to get leaner and stronger, you will need a completely different exercise plan than if you are older, heavier and you’re mainly exercising to lose weight.
So, if you want to begin exercising, choose a frequency and intensity that matches up to your present level of fitness and your health and wellness goals. Like the tortoise and the hare, sometimes slow and steady wins the day. For others, high intensity exercise is a better fit. Neither is right or wrong, but you can blend as you prefer.
Some exercise is strength exercise, like weightlifting, resistance bands and kettle bells. Other exercise is wind and circulation exercise, like aerobics, Zumba, and breathing. Some exercises cover both, like walking, running, swimming, martial arts, or yoga.
But whatever you decide to start with, pick something you can maintain – it’s the first few weeks that establish the new habit, so engage at a level you can sustain until you condition that new habit."
But whatever you decide to start with, pick something you can maintain – it’s the first few weeks that establish the new habit, so engage at a level you can sustain until you condition that new habit. Better to begin with a modest expectation that you can commit to, instead of trying too hard and burning yourself out. Remember, ideally you’re adding exercise for the long term, so pick something you like to do, and do it.
For some people, getting out of their seat to turn off the TV instead of using the remote is more exertion than they’re accustomed to. For others, running ten miles is an average workout. But many exercise gurus believe that if you do thirty minutes three-to-five times each week, you will get in better shape quickly, and see the positive benefits in every part of your life.
You’ll be stronger. You’ll have more endurance. You’ll be able to work harder, play harder, and your rest will be deeper and more rewarding. And best of all, you’ll feel great about yourself, as you look better and feel better. And, it doesn’t take long to start achieving results – a few weeks into your new routine, you’ll be amazed by what you see in the mirror, on the scale and in your daily activities.
Take responsibility for yourself. No one can make you get fit – you elect to get fit, whether it’s because you want to or you have to. Either way, only you can make that decision – choose wisely.