This week is all about exercise. I know many people dread it; in fact when I think about it, I groan inwardly. But if I stop and think about it, I like to exercise. I like Zumba, aerobics, volleyball, hiking, snorkeling… tons of great exercise. I think the problem is when we think about exercise we think about pain. I think that the responsibility for that first reaction when I think about exercise can be firmly placed at the feet of my first gym teacher. The one who had us run those awful sprints back and forth across the gym and run stairs. If you didn’t have one of those kind of gym teachers then you probably had a similar experience in a gym with a trainer or someone else who had the ‘no pain, no gain’ old school of thought.
The truth is the ‘no pain, no gain’ approach is completely ridiculous, if not down-right dangerous. Jump into exercise and push too hard and you are likely to damage your body. Even if you don’t, the chances are very good that you’ll feel stiff and sore the next day and the hard cold truth is you’ll want nothing to do with the activity that got you there. Which really is just sad because our bodies need exercise and when done right it actually can be fun and feel good. Exercise can lead to the body releasing endorphins and we all know those feel good.
My philosophy is much different. Create a reasonable plan to increase the amount of exercise and find exercise that you enjoy. Start by writing down the answers to the following to help create a plan.
- How much exercise are you doing now? If the answer is none then start slow. If the answer is not much then try and add more. If you are already exercising on a regular basis then just stick with what you are doing.
- How often are you exercising? Optimally you’d exercise 5 days a week. Three days a week should be the minimum.
- Pick what kind of exercise you are going to and how long you are going to do it.
- Decide what the goal is. Is it to get healthier? Or is it to lose weight? Healthier would mean 20 minutes a day minimum and weight loss would be 45 minutes a day.
Sometimes it is easier to decide how much exercise you are going to do by choosing what exercise you want to do. Try and pick something that you’ll enjoy or it will be fun. For example, if you don’t have joint issues, consider Zumba. There is a reason it is one of the fastest growing sports on the planet… it is fun! Music, dancing and social with interaction and just all around good fun. If you saw the word dancing and panicked, Zumba isn’t like regular dance. They have basic moves that you can catch on by watching and you just repeat. It is easy and you can guarantee that there will be several people in the class who miss a step or two and nobody cares.
Zumba not your thing or your joints won’t cooperate? Consider Yoga. Yoga is one of my personal favorites because it combines stretching, strengthening and peacefulness. If you have concerns that it is like meditation or has religious attachment, modern Yoga classes rarely have that and there is a great sense of accomplishment as you slowly grow stronger and more limber. Walking out of a yoga class leaves me feeling recharged and in balance.
Walking or biking are great exercises too. Outdoors is my favorite because it gives more variety but indoors is nice too with equipment. A great way to catch up on an audio book, just enjoy music or even watch tv. Remember if you are walking outdoors keep your pace brisk if you can. On the treadmill, you should always be able to talk. If you can’t you need to slow it down.
There are tons of fun activities from joining a recreational sports team to racquet ball, ping pong, martial arts or swimming. Find something that you’ve always loved or wanted to do and go out there and try it and make sure it is fun!
Remember, start slow, if you haven’t been exercising at all, don’t over-do it. One of the things that often is overlooked is that if you have done no exercise at all for years and decide you want to go hard core it can have some serious side effects and in some cases be fatal. If you are starting an intense exercise regime and you haven’t been exercising you should consult a physician before starting. That doesn’t mean that if you decide it is time to cut back on tv and chase your dream of running a marathon that you shouldn’t. It simply means that you need to start slow and work your way up to it.
For Step 2 of our process:
- Continue with Step 1.
- Exercise at least 3 times a week for 20 minutes. Increase your time to 45 minutes if you are trying to lose weight.
- Increase your water intake. There is an easy formula: Your body weight in ounces divided by 2 equals how much you should drink.
I like to add lemon, grapefruit or other citrus oils to my water. If you like the flavor consider the metabolic blend instead. It is a love – hate thing with the taste. You’ll either be happy to add it to your water or you’ll hate it. If you hate it, put drops in a shot glass and shoot them down (you still have to drink the water) or buy premade gelcaps. 5 drops, 5 times a day of the metabolic blend is considered optimal. It is important to note, if you start to feel hungry when you are using the metabolic blend that often is an indication that you aren’t eating enough nutritious food. Increase your protein and vegetable intake. Those low calorie diets are a thing of the past and have proven that they have the opposite result of what they were intended.
But I don’t have time to exercise… I’m going to be blunt. Make time. If you don’t then you may find that you’ll lose time on the planet in the long run. Everyone is busy and has things they’d rather be doing. My schedule has times when it is just a zoo too. One exercise I like to do when I’m on the phone is use balance pods like you see below. Walking across them is great for strengthening your joints and leg muscles and it can be fun and challenging. There are several YouTube videos with different exercises you can do. Just make sure when you start you begin next to a surface you can steady yourself on.
Note: All essential oils aren’t created equally. Especially for internal use check the label to see if it is safe. Why?…Essential Oil Grades
If you’d like to know more about what products I use please send me a message below.
PS: I’m not trying to keep it a secret… the brand doesn’t allow their products named or pictured on non-company websites. I’d tell you if I could!