Recent studies have shown that when people are given specific strategies to improve their activity levels, their motivation is higher than people that are starting out on their own without useful information to change their behaviors about exercise. The following strategies are simple, yet action-oriented to get you started on implementing a fitness program into your life.
If you want to get exercise to lose weight, but are lacking a workout friend, get a dog that loves to walk. Dogs are usually raring to go for a walk and don’t complain when they are tired (though they might slow down or lay down to give you a hint). So buy or borrow a dog – now you have a built in work-out buddy!
Remember during your workouts that your abdominals are muscles, just like any other group in your body. You need to build regular rest days into your fitness program. Even if you swap between cardio and strength training on subsequent days, you still need to give your abs a day off every now and then.
Be accountable for the exercise you do. Try joining a gym just because spending the money makes you more likely to be there and using those resources. If you can’t join a gym, pair up with a friend or two so that you can support each other. Being accountable to someone or something makes you more likely to stick with your workouts.
Practice “Four-Square Breathing” after your workout while stretching. Breath in for four seconds, then breath out for four seconds, and repeat for three minutes. “Four-Square Breathing” increases your lung capacity and reduces stress when done properly, which helps you relax after your workout, and get ready for the rest of your day.
The fall and spring are some of the best times to exercise. The weather is nice – not too hot and not too cold – so you can get outside and get moving. You won’t have to worry about over heating or freezing. You’ll be able to workout longer and burn off more calories.
Once you commit to your fitness plan, do not let an injury keep you out of the game. If you get the okay from your doctor, there are always ways to work around an injury and get in some sort of a workout. Working muscles that are not injured will burn calories and help keep you fit while you heal.
Strenuous workouts can put a great deal of strain on your muscles, especially in the neck area. To reduce tension and prevent strain when you do your sit-ups or crunches, hold your tongue on the roof of your mouth. This guarantees that your head and neck muscles are properly aligned in a natural position.
Staying on your fitness program is the single-most important gift you can give yourself and family. By significantly increasing your activity levels, the pay-off will be that you will feel better, look better, and the exercise will increase your energy level. Give yourself the gift of health by implementing a fitness and exercise plan into your life.