I saw this T-shirt recently which I thought was funny at first, but given the rate of obesity in our country, it’s actually rather sad, but true. There are more people who would rather have the extra fries than do any exercise.
I find this so hard to believe. There are so many ways to get exercise which don’t involve joining a gym, or spending lots of money. It can be done inside or out, and you don’t have to kill yourself doing it. I can’t stand to be still all the time. I want to tell everyone “Just move!”
Here are five tips which anyone can follow:
- Find a park (findyourpark.com). There are thousands of local parks, national parks, state parks- find one and go for a walk or a hike. There are such health benefits to walking, it’s free and only requires a pair of walking shoes. An added benefit is getting to enjoy nature while you are walking – it almost won’t seem like exercise. For more on the benefits of walking, see my previous post “Walking is Man’s Best Medicine”.
2. Find a free fitness app. They make apps for every conceivable type of exercise from yoga to running to tai chi to strength training. These apps are with you wherever you go, so you can do them anytime. They can monitor your time, your heart rate, your distance, your speed, and lots more. When you can set a goal and track your progress it gives you encouragement to keep going. Find an app for an exercise that is enjoyable to you and go for it!
3. Join an exercise or fitness community on line. Many of these communities offer challenges for fitness and / or nutrition. You can earn points, win awards, and get support from others in the community. You can also just get information, tips and healthy recipes. Most health related magazines have an on-line sight, and most offer some type of fitness community you can join for free. Just Google “fitness community” and you will see all of the choices so you can pick one that fits your needs. It is really a boost to know you are not doing it alone.
4. Join a gym. Rates are usually much lower in the summer so negotiate a deal with a local gym and then commit to get in there at least 3 times a week. The more you go, the more you will want to go because you will see and feel the results, which is a great motivator. A good gym will have something for everyone, including weights, cardio equipment, and a variety of group exercise classes. Mine even has a pool, which is a must for me. Visit several gyms and choose one that makes you feel most comfortable. If you feel intimidated, you won’t be inclined to go. Just remember, everyone had to start somewhere, so don’t be shy about asking others for help.
5. Perform body-weight exercises. If you can’t afford a gym, or don’t want to make a long term commitment, work out at home or even in your office. These exercises are very beneficial – think squats, lunges, jumping jacks, crunches. There are so many ways to do body weight exercises which can target every muscle in your body, all with no equipment. Again, just Google “Body-weight exercises” and you will get thousands of choices for any muscle group that you want to attack.
Bottom line – get off the couch and do something. Have fun with exercise. Do not sit all day and stuff extra fries in your face. It does take some effort, but the payoff of good health is so worth it! (And once in a while you can eat fries guilt free if you have earned it- but all in moderation!)