Sunday, November 5, 2017

Getting fit little by little

One of the things I enjoy most about being relatively fit is that life is so much easier than when I was out of shape. It’s easier to carry in the groceries. It’s easier to pick things up off the floor. There’s virtually no spot on my back I can’t scratch. And I can twist to get something out of the backseat of my car without risking a back spasm. My energy level is higher, and I sleep more soundly.

I had no idea I was taking sips from the fountain of youth eight years ago when I started what has become a regular fitness program. How did I get going? Fed up with being sluggish, achy and tired, first I began walking most days of the week. Then I started working with light dumb bells two days a week. Later I took yoga classes to build my core strength and flexibility.

I benefited from regular exercise so much that I wanted to share it with others and began studying to be a fitness professional.  Over time my strength, endurance and flexibility improved so much I now feel 20 years younger.

Are you game? To create a good balance of physical activity, opt for aerobic workouts (walking, dancing, tennis or such) at least three to five times a week and strength training two to three times a week. Warm up before you exercise and cool down afterwards, finishing with stretching.

If that sounds like too much time, remember many benefits of exercise accrue with a minimum of 150 minutes of exercise a week, according to scientific research. That’s 30 minutes 5 days a week or however you want to split up the time. Check with your doctor if you have health concerns to learn if you need to limit or modify exercise in any way.

If you have a hard time scheduling large blocks of time, accumulate activity in increments of 10 minutes or more several times a day. What about stretching or lifting dumb bells (or cans of food) while you watch TV? What about a short walk? Ten minutes here and there can kick start your fitness program.  Life is not only easier with exercise, its better.