A once a week, or less, walk plus watching your diet is not giving you the type of health routine you need to stay healthy. You need to design a regular regime of exercise, whether it is a “do it yourself” program at home or if you decide to try joining a gym.
You need a fairly vigorous routine that gets your heart rate up and adrenalin pumping and must be on a regular basis at least 3 times a week. This takes commitment, willpower and you must stick to it or there will be little or no resulting benefits.
Take Care of Yourself:
Just giving up desserts now and then or walking to work once in awhile instead of driving is not really taking care of your health. Your health is a total package of mind, body and spirit. Most of us have the idea that exercise is some kind of punishment when it should be a very good habit to cultivate. Starting out is always difficult, but once you can get yourself into a routine a good regular workout can make you feel energized. Set a plan for exercising and stick to it.
If you find it easier to go to a gym and have a coach help you along the way, then by all means go this route. Meeting people at the gym who are in the same boat as you are can be a big help. New friends and new ideas can be beneficial when shared with someone with the same goals as you have, whether it is to lose weight, build muscle or just give you more energy.
Studies have shown exercise helps the brain regulate dopamine and serotonin production, which are vital in combating depression, anxiety, fatigue, frequent headaches and other potential medical concerns. Any habits you hope to maintain have to start in the brain, with the steadfast belief that you can and will achieve your fitness goals. Willpower must be developed through positive thinking and the determination to stick to working towards your goals even on days when you don’t feel like it. [i][ii]
Some of us may not feel comfortable walking into a gym that is filled with people who look like they don’t really need to be there, so it is important to find the right kind of gym that caters to all body types and helps you to achieve your goals. Possibly these people you are looking at were in the same shape you were in when they started and who better to advise or mentor you along your journey to better health.
If you have the discipline to go the route yourself, then set aside a certain time each day, or every 2nd day at the least. A good brisk walk is the best way to start out. Some pre-walk stretches, especially as you first start your program will help your muscles get used to the extra efforts.
You Are What You Eat:
You not only will have to watch your meal time diet but also watch your snacking. When you feel hungry between meals, have a handful of nuts or a piece of fruit. Control the amount of fat and sugar intake in what you are eating. Changing your diet will also be hard to do and can be phased in. It is amazing how much sugar is in those supposed “health” bars. Check the nutritional values on the label the next time you are in the market – even some so called “healthy” grain cereals are loaded with sugar.
If just plain exercise is not your ‘cup of tea’ there are dozens of other ways you can regularly exercise without it seeming like exercise. Do you play golf? Increase your time on the greens and be conscious of the amount of time you spend in walking and playing the game. What about cycling to work instead of driving, if that is a possibility. There are many cycling clubs and groups that meet regularly. Combining new friends with a new hobby covers all aspects of body, mind and spirit.
[i] ABC Article Building Wellness Routines 2015-09-13, By: Kaelyn Kelly-Colon
[ii] ABC Article Finding the Right Gym 2015-09-11, By: Kaelyn Kelly-Colon