For many people in today’s busy world it’s quite easy to come up with an excuse for not being in shape and exercising regularly. Some of the more common ones are “I’m too busy”, “There aren’t enough hours in a day”, and “I’m so tired after work and taking care of the kids all day”. However most of these are just that, excuses. Unless your doctor has informed you that you should not exercise, some form of activity or physical fitness should be a priority on everyone’s daily routine. The key is realizing that your health is an important part of your life, and should be made a priority.
The best way to keep is shape is to be involved in some sort of physical activity on a regular basis (at least 3 times a week). If you can find a sports activity like swimming, tennis, racquetball, basketball, baseball, softball, running, or karate that you enjoy this is just as effective as a regular exercise routine. If it’s something you enjoy chances are you won’t think of it as drudgery and will look forward to doing it.
For those of us who don’t participate in some form of sports on a regular basis we are going to have to come up with regular exercise program. One of the most successful methods is to get up half an hour earlier in the morning and exercise. If you really like your sleep this may be hard, but if you exercise at night it’s much easier to say “I’m too tired today” and skip it. If you have kids around the house you are also setting a great example about how important taking care of your health and your body really is.
The first option to consider is choosing a gym. While a gym can be expensive you will have access to a wide variety of equipment and machines that you could never afford or fit into your house. You will also have access to health professionals like personal trainers.
If a health club is too expensive or doesn’t fit your lifestyle consider a home gym. You can usually purchase a set of free weights, exercise bench and floor mat for under $200. If you like exercise machines such as stair climbers or stationary bikes keep in mind some of these can be expensive. Watch for garage sales where you can pick up second hand units at a discount.
Some people prefer the guidance that an exercise tape can give you. While these are good choices if you are like most people, you’ll get tired doing the same routine after a few weeks. Consider choosing a series of tapes, borrowing some from the library, or trading them with a friend. With the expansion of fitness programs on cable TV you also have access to a wide variety of programs. If the instructor you like isn’t on when you exercise consider using your VCR or Tivo to time shift your viewing.
Once you start exercising regularly make sure you vary your routine and change it from time to time. This not only keeps you from getting bored but it keeps your body from getting used to the exercises. Most fitness experts recommend changing your routine every 6-8 weeks. As with any fitness program make sure to check with your doctor before beginning an exercise program.