There are generally two types of people who make a resolution to exercise more and get in shape.
There are those who need to lose weight, and then there are those lucky ones who don’t actually need to lose weight, but want to be fitter and improve their physical condition.
Whichever category, the issues of finding the time, commitment and motivation to begin and stay with an exercise campaign are similar.
New Year’s is a great time to get active. In Australia the weather is fine for months and you can usually get a better deal on a gym membership. Still many gym passes are going idle as soon as February.
So why is this case? Research suggests this type of life change requires more planning than most people give it.
As with weight loss, to get fit you need to set specific goals. Don’t leave it opened ended. Say, ‘I’m going to do 150 minutes of cardio workouts each week’ or ‘I will aim to run five kilometres three times a week.’
Set your goal and then make a specific plan of action to achieve that goal. Set a weekly plan in place.
For the average person a successful fitness program consists of exercises to work the whole body. You will need cardio to improve the function of the heart, lungs and blood vessels. Weight-bearing exercises enhances the health of bones, muscles, joints and connective tissues.
To work, exercises need to be done just outside your comfort zone which is where many people’s hopes fall down due to them being out of shape or just inconsistent.
This is where a plan comes in handy. Assess where you are now and then break your fitness objectives into achievable goals.
To choose activities to get you to these goals you need to consider the kind of person you are and what you like to do.
Do you like the gym or are one who loves team sports? If you’re a bit of a loner you might prefer to jog or walk around the neighbourhood or set-up a home gym.
Apparently it doesn’t matter so long as your chosen exercise increases your bodies demand for oxygen.
Weight bearing exercise doesn’t need to be complicated either as it can involve walking, jogging, yoga, martial arts, push-ups and free weights. You will see best benefits if you focus on the larger muscle groups in the trunk, thighs, chest, back and abdomen.
If you are still unsure as to what exercises you should do seek help. Sometimes just a couple of sessions with a personal trainer are all you need to set you on the right track.
Whatever you choose remember to start slow and gradually progress. Many a resolution has been thwarted due to injury when people try to do too much too soon.
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