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JUST MOVE IT
I have a pretty good idea why you’ve clicked on this particular page.
You are perplexed by the by advertisements on TV, FB or Instagram highlighting yet another new fitness guru, gym or workout program.
The fitness industry is constantly re-inventing itself by introducing new methods, practices, and programs and it has created so much confusion that it can make your head spin. Am I right? What’s worse though is this overload of information and is keeping you from actually starting an exercise program.
Getting healthy and physically fit should not be so complicated.
Health and Fitness is a $30 billion industry in the U.S. which has been growing by 3 – 4 percent annually for the past ten years and shows no signs of slowing down.
Apparently, we’re spending a lot of money on getting fit yet we still have this same burning (pun intended) question. What is the best way to get fit and lose weight?
Let’s get back to some basics.
Physical Fitness should focus on improving your everyday activities, reaching you ideal body weight and composition and improving your quality of life. Regular Physical activity helps you move better, look better, feel better and even age better.
Exercise may be the closest thing to being the fountain of youth. Regular activity strengthens you muscles, improve heart and lung function and reduces risk of a variety of illness and disease like heart failure, high blood pressure and diabetes. Exercise also stimulates the growth of new brain cells and can add years to your life.
Did you know that people who work out on a regular basis are thought to have up to a 50% lower risk of dying from these illnesses? Don’t take my word for it Read the details in this article by the NIH.
But the fact is, many of us aren’t exercising nearly as often as we should if at all.
Physical fitness includes two simple concepts:
It really is that simple. I know you may be thinking that it’s too basic to actually work and you want to find a way to complicate it but bear with me, OK.
First of all, you really must do both! If you focus on one and not the other you may improve some aspects of your health however, it will not be complete! Health a fitness are a package, one doesn’t really come without the other.
Someone once said that you can’t out train a bad diet and I believe that whole heartedly. I also know that not about perfection but about consistency.
As it turns out what we think of as the hard way- eating right and being active is actually the fastest, most efficient way to achieve physical fitness. Following every new program or philosophy and constantly changing our focus is negatively affecting your fitness and keeping you form reaching your goals.
I talk about the Eat Real Food on another page so I will focus specifically on Physical Fitness.
No matter what you read or want to believe there is no magic pill or one specific exercise that will help you lose weight or stay healthy and fit. There’s no “secret” to toning muscle, losing weight or gaining strength.
Why? Because not all exercises are created equal. Some are more efficient at targeting multiple muscle groups and others help you burn calories more efficiently. The best exercise(s) for you may simply be the one that suits you and your fitness goals. We’ll talk about goals a little later.
Assessing your fitness goals is the place to start and even when you know what your goals are it will take effort on your part. Physical Fitness is a way of life so you may need to adopt a new lifestyle or tweak what you are already doing. Either way you must put in the time to reap the benefits.
To become physically fit you must exercise. According to Wikipedia Exercise is any bodily activity that enhances or maintains physical fitness and overall health and wellness. So, give it a name that you are comfortable with exercise, play, workout and just Move It!
Disclaimer: If you haven’t exercised in a while it may be a good time to see your doctor.
Before we move on its important to understand that all of the different exercise programs, gyms, and exercise fit into 4 simple categories: Aerobic (or endurance), strength, flexibility and stability. Certain types of exercise may fit into a combination of them but in general one is usually dominate. Each component is important to maintain a healthy body that functions at its best.
Let’s touch on each of them briefly.
Aerobic exercise, aka cardio is essential for heart health, stamina and one of the most popular types of exercise for weight loss. Women tend to gravitate toward cardio exercises especially in a gym setting where there are often a number of treadmills and elliptical machines. Other examples of cardio include rowing, cycling and swimming.
Benefits of Cardio Exercise
Strength training is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle and is vital for strong bones and muscles. Strength training doesn’t necessarily mean lifting heavy weights, though that has its benefits, too. Resistance bands and body weight exercises like pushups and lunges, work equally as well for some people as pumping iron, plus they take up less room and are easy to travel with.
Strength training gives you a more sculped body that hours on the treadmill can ever provide. Remember, different exercises provide different results. As we get older strength training can help reduce accidental falls and helps you do everyday activities that require lifting.
Benefits Strength Training
When you were a kid could you do cartwheels, splits and easily bending over to touch your toes? As we grow up, we spend less time playing and moving freely. Instead we sit at computers, drive our cars and spend ours fiddling with our phones.
Activities that lengthen and stretch your muscles help keep your body limber. Nimble muscles help prevent injuries, back pain, balance problems and help you maintain range of motion. You’ll also experience more freedom of movement for other exercises and everyday activities like reaching, bending, or stooping.
All the things that suffer with sedentary lifestyles.
Yoga and Pilates can not only help you regain and maintain your flexibility they also help build strength, too. Also, once you develop strength and flexibility your body can withstand more physical stress which helps prevent injuries.
Benefits of Flexibility Exercises
The most overlooked and arguably the most important word in health and fitness is balance.
Balance equals control.
Balance training involves performing exercises that strengthen the muscles that help keep you upright, including your legs and core. As we get older and I mean even just a little it is essential to maintain and improve balance. The ability to keep yourself steady could mean the difference in continuing to do everyday activities such as walking, going up and down the stairs, and even leaning over to tie your shoes.
Certain yoga poses, standing on one foot, heel-to-toe walking and tai chi poses help improve your coordination and ability to react to sudden changes of direction which can prevents falls.
Understanding the categories and benefits each provide is important however, if you read about them and never start exercising the information is useless.
You want to know HOW TO GET STARTED
We’ve come up with 6 manageable ways you can add exercise into your daily routine that will help improve your physical fitness
Nike says to “Just Do It”. I’m telling you to Just Move It! You need to do something every day to groove your body. Studies show that just 30 minutes of physical activity a day is all that’s required to reap big benefits.
However, that does not mean that It’s OK to sit for the rest of the day. Regular movement like walking, running, lifting and bending add cumulative benefits to your health and physical fitness.
Exercise does not have to be complicated and it does not have to be boring. Is there a sport that you like or used to play? Your local recreation center or sports facility may offer adult sports teams and classes. Look into your local continuing education program for introductory and intermediate classes. Did you ever want to try ballet but thought you were too old? YouTube Videos hosts a plethora of adult ballet/barre classes that you can do in the privacy of your living room. When you find something, you enjoy schedule the appropriate time in your daily calendar and “Just Move It”!
Once you’ve been doing an activity for a little while, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut doing the same exercises at the same pace day after day. When you feel this way about your workouts it’s time to slowly add some intensity. (Adding intensity too soon can cause injury and burnout so you want to listen to your body.) Intensity bring variety to your workouts, helps you to burn more calories and boosts your endurance. It’s also a great way to get an effective workout in only 20-30 minutes. Here’s an example.
Add a few minutes of jogging to your walks. If you’ve been jogging incorporate a few short explosive bursts or add a hill workout. For strength training add a little more weight and decrease the number of reps. Check out these bodyweight circuit workouts and increase your intensity. Next workout, see if you can do more circuits. It’s great! Try this circuit
Post work out recovery is important it helps you avoid injury and keeps you in the game. Here are some suggested Recovery practices.
You don’t need to buy expensive equipment or join a gym especially when you are just starting out. Bodyweight exercises can do amazing things for you and if you are a relative beginner, you should start with this type of exercises before progressing to weights, anyway.
You don’t need cardio machines, either! Step outside and walk, run, bike, skip, or jump. Your local high school football stadium is the perfect place for a stair workout. Walk up and down a few times and feel the burn in your butt and thighs.
When you are ready to up your game there are a number of terrific workout facilities that will help you achieve your next level goals. Check put the resources at the bottom of the page.
When setting fitness goals (or any goal for that matter) its vital to understand you WHY! Why are these goals personally meaningful to you? It’s one thing to say you want to lose 10 lbs. Its specific but is it enough to keep you motivated? Say your goal is to lose 10 lbs. because you want to take a hiking trip in the mountains, now that is A LOT more specific!
Whether you’re looking to lose weight, get in better shape or just want to feel better about yourself, there are many benefits to working out that have nothing to do weight loss.
Non-Weight loss Benefits of Exercise
Movement and proper nutrition are essential to your physical fitness and overall quality of life. We’ve given you information to help you get started on your journey to a healthier you.
If you want to do more research well, we’ve done that, too!
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Below you’ll find additional resources from video suggestions to various workouts and sports clubs and other recommendations we thought that you might find helpful on your health and fitness journey. Living Healthy lists is not affiliated with any of these programs and we do not receive compensation.
Sports Facility Examples
Rose Mofford Sports Complex
24 Hour Gyms
In Home Fitness Programs
Biggest Fitness Chains by number of locations