When I talk about people being fit I don’t necessarily mean that they should be athletes, although there is a strong health benefit to that level of fitness! What I am advocating is a level of fitness that allows you to truly enjoy life … to be able to run up a few stairs without losing a lung; to be able to play soccer with your child without having a heart attack; to be able to walk briskly down a country lane, while enjoying the sights and chatting with your partner! This should be no big deal but modern life has created a lifestyle that is increasingly sedentary … we don’t walk to the grocery store, we drive; we sit at a desk all day and in front of a television all night; we ride escalators and elevators instead of climbing stairs and our escape from this daily drudge is to lie on a beach sipping margaritas!
Don’t get me wrong, I do ALL of those things too, however I build exercise into my schedule to complement my sedentary existence and keep me fit. Here are some ideas:
1. Find a time to exercise that works for you, or better still MAKE a time that works for you. I exercise first thing in the morning before work.
2. Build a routine, and stick to it even when it is so warm in that bed or you could be doing something else. This is for YOU and the benefits are huge!
3. Build in time for cardio for the heart, lungs and general fitness. My favorite these days is the elliptical machine because it is easy on my old soccer knees. In the past I have run outdoors or on a treadmill, used a rowing machine and a stepper. Typically I will do cardio 3 or 4 times a week.
4. Build in time for weights to boost your metabolism, tone the muscles and stave off some of that flab! You don’t need to use big weights and you certainly won’t be building huge muscles because that takes a huge effort!
5. Build in some time to stretch! Often forgotten or missed, but this is the cause of many injuries. In addition one of the real indicators of age is the tell-tale stiffness as people do a shoulder check! Stretch and stay young!
6. Switch it up! Don’t do the same thing every time, because your body learns over time and the results are not as effective. I will use the elliptical mostly, but will throw in days when I use the stepper and/or rowing machine in addition to my weights.
7. If you travel stay in places that have a fitness room, or build a routine you can use in your room. Pushups, sit-ups, squats and skipping are some things I have done.
8. In addition to your fitness routine look for ways to burn calories! Walk more, drive less! Take the stairs rather than the elevator.
9. Work out with a buddy if possible. This way you can motivate each other and have a better chance of keeping it up.
10. Start now … don’t procrastinate, because it is not going to be any easier on Monday or next month or in January. The sooner you start the sooner you will see results!
Exercise gets the endorphins flowing which makes you feel good, it increases your metabolism which burns calories and it keeps you young and vital! If that isn’t enough … it is going to ensure you have the energy to be successful!
Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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