There are many benefits to being fit. You will have more energy during the day, sleep more at night, feel more alert and emotionally sound, and your body can fight off illness and cope with stress a lot better than it did before.
When many people think of fitness, they imagine long hours at the gym, strict diets, and having less energy during the day. This could not be further from the truth. The truth is, there are many ways to become fit. By walking up the stairs or changing your diet may be all you will need. You will have more energy during the day by adding a few physical activities to your life.
Creating a fitness plan first requires a commitment to make lifestyle changes to include time for physical activity. The freedom to choose the activities you feel comfortable taking part in will help keep you motivated. Keeping a fitness diary or record of your activities is a great way to motivate and chart your progress.
Regardless of whether you are trying to lose weight, increase muscle mass, or improve the overall quality of life, incorporating a fitness plan into your daily routine is one way to gain more control over your well-being and happiness.
One of the biggest problems people face when starting a fitness program is staying motivated. Even though they may realize the benefits, and see results both physically and emotionally, it is still a struggle for many to adopt a fitness plan for life.
To stay motivated, you should:
- Create realistic goals
- Use a calendar to schedule time into your day for exercise
- Track weight loss and calorie intake if on a diet
- Find a partner to lose weight with
- Join a gym or fitness club
- Vary your activities
Once you have incorporated a fitness routine into your life, stay with it. If you can find a few fitness activities you enjoy, you will look forward to them instead of dreading them. Enjoying what you are doing will help you stay motivated.
Over the years, there have been more studies that have determined the need for physical fitness. Those who are not active are in a higher risk category of:
- Being Overweight
- Depressed more often
- Have less energy to complete tasks
- Experience more stress
- More likely to have eating disorders or other illnesses
- Shorter lifespan
- More prone to diseases including heart disease and diabetes
If you are not fit, you may experience many of the above. Even if you are not overweight, you may not be as fit as you could be.
There are many positive reasons you should incorporate more physical activity into your life including:
- Emotional well-being
- Intellectual well-being
- Being an example for others
While starting any exercise program can be difficult, push yourself to create a schedule and follow it until it becomes a part of your life.
You may wonder where to find the time to exercise. Since many people have careers, families, and day-to-day chores and events, it’s tricky to devote time to physical activity.
Some ways to include physical activity in your day include:
- Exercise in the morning or at night
- Schedule gym time during lunch hour
- Break up a 30-minute workout into two 15 minute sessions
- Walking at lunch time
- When traveling, stay in hotels with gyms
- Join employee sponsored sports teams
- Find gyms with 24-hour service
While it still may be difficult to squeeze in time between appointments, grocery store trips, your child’s after-school activities, and other events, if you get a little creative, you should be able to find an hour or two a week to devote to physical fitness.
Exercising with your children is not only another way to fit in physical activity into your schedule, but it also teaches children the importance of exercise. Going for a walk, kicking a ball, or visiting a playground are all ways for you and your family to enjoy being outdoors, getting exercise, and spending time together.