They say there is no magic pill that you can pop and shed those extra pounds off your body. I’d say “Exercise is a magic pill” and what’s even better – melting away the extra fat is only one of the good things this magic pill does for you.
When you exercise you sow the seeds of a better health today and tomorrow, you prevent and cure heart diseases, build strength, stamina flexibility and endurance, prevent or even reverse depression, begin to love your body irrespective of it’s size, and weight loss happens as a bargain along with a zillion other benefits.
Exercise does not only mean burning up at the gym. If that works for you, nothing like it. If it does not, the good news is that we can reap benefits from different forms and levels of exercise. Running, jogging, walking, dancing, aerobics, gardening, even household chores are a form of exercise. To begin with you will have to choose what fits in your routine and excites you enough to do it every single day.
Here are some tips that have helped me in starting out and holding on to a fitness regimen:
Get Set Go!
The first step towards starting a fitness routine would be taking the time out or modifying your routine to increment the physical activity. Ideally, most Health Regulatory Bodies recommend 30 minutes of moderate exercise on most days a week. But if you can’t do 30 minutes does not mean you shouldn’t do at all. Even 5 or 10 minutes a day will garner health benefits.
The next step after you’ve made up your mind to take the time out will be to evaluate your fitness level. I highly recommend, consulting a doctor and getting a full body check up done. I was definite that I did not need a body check up, it was only a formality, but the reports had a different tale to narrate.
Vitamin deficiency, border line cholesterol, low haemoglobin and a few other factors could not be ignored. This check up acted like a wake up call for me to exercise and monitor what I eat, not only to loose weight but to work towards a healthy mind, body and soul.
There is no condition that will worsen with the right kind of exercise, but a check up will give you an insight into your health. This will help you chalk out a program either with the help of an expert or by yourself.
If there is one definite way of making exercise a part of your daily routine, it is to progress at a slow pace. Start slow and go slow. If you start out intensely, the chances of you giving up or ending up too tired, sore or injured are high. Also when you exercise aggressively in the beginning you will expect major results and not receiving them may discourage you. Start at a slow pace and be consistent.
Set realistic goals
I have never set goals like loosing X kgs in a week, month or year. Gaining strength, flexibility, mobility, and stamina are parameters that define results for me. Goals like eating clean food, finishing dinner a little earlier than you usually do, getting some exercise done atleast four times a week, reducing sugar intake, are some examples of goals I set for myself.
Types of exercise
When you start out a fitness routine, the ocean of information and workout videos to choose from can be overwhelming.
Here’s how I started out :
Cardio or High Intensity Interval Training For beginners or any kind of cardiovascular or aerobic activity – Three times a week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday
Strength Training (weight, resistance or body weight) – Twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays . Weight lifting and exercising with resistance bands are examples of resistance training activities, as are exercises like pushups in which you work against the weight of your own body.
Rest On Sundays.
This has been a basic plan. However I keep it flexible depending upon what my day and week looks like.
Warm up cool down
Warm up and cool down are a must. It is significant to prepare your body for the stress of exercise and equally important to allow it to cool down after the intense part of your exercise routine. For a cool down, I like to do yoga and stretches that relax the muscles and let me take deep breaths.
Nutrition and Nourishment
Another inseparable aspect of fitness is nutrition. We are well aware of foods that are right for us and those which are not. Over a period we have begun to choose foods that are agreeable to the palate and not our inner system. Simply put, foods that are fresh, tender, juicy, raw, rich in nutrients are good for health even if they are calorie dense.
Don’t punish yourself
The idea behind a workout, exercise or diet is not to commit an act of torture on your body. Do it with a smile, push to the limit that keeps you are your body happy. Intensive regimens and crash diets may lead to weight loss but will never ever lead to health gain.