To get started on the right foot this year, I want to encourage you to take the first step to making your health a priority, and there is no better way to do that than with exercise. You do not need to wait until gyms reopen inside. Instead, buy a membership or invest on a treadmill, bike, or the latest equipment. If you wait to start until you are ready, you will never get anywhere. Throw all excuses out the door and simply put one foot in front of the other.
Here are my top tips to help you get started:
It is the easiest, most simple form of exercise that anyone can do. You can walk with your family, friends, dog, or even a friend on the phone. Do not underestimate how much good walking can do for you. Walking lowers blood pressure, helps your heart health, increases energy levels, and can instantly put you in a better mood. Next time a friend calls you to come over for coffee, invite her for a walk instead. Start slow, then try challenging yourself each week.
You do not need weights or a gym for good strength training; all you need is yourself. You can do many exercises that will help you increase muscle mass and lower body fat just by using your own body weight. Here is a simple strength training routine you can do at home:
• 4 sets of 20 squats
• 5 sets of 10 push ups
• 3 sets of 10 burpees
• 5 sets of 25 alternating lunges
• 2 minutes holding a plank
You can also find thousands of classes on the internet and YouTube.
Avoid Overdoing It
I see this all the time. Someone becomes so obsessed with wanting to get fit, that they do every possible workout and routine in the first month. Then, they get burned out and never want to exercise again or they end up getting injured from pushing too hard. It is better to start off by walking or jogging lightly, then slowly building up, rather than go into a full-on binge and get so burnt out that you just want to take the year off. Balance is key.
Additionally, if you work out too hard, it leaves less energy to get you through the rest of your day. It is better to stay active on and off throughout the day, instead of working out once and sitting in front of the TV for the rest of the day because you have no energy left.
The older we get, the more important it is to stretch. Take ten minutes during the day or before bedtime to stretch your muscles. It prevents injuries, keeps you flexible, and helps you feel less tight all over. If you want to step it up in the stretching and flexibility department, you can even pick an online yoga class to take.
With these tips in mind, have an amazing 2021 and remember: positive thoughts, positive life!