Are you one of those people who thinks you have to be super fit to exercise? I know that sounds like a crazy question, but many people feel this way. They don’t think they’re fit enough to begin exercising or being more active. Wrong! It’s never too late to benefit from exercise or activity. More and more research is proving that exercise is as close as we can get to the fountain of youth. Dr. Mark Tarnopolsky in the September 12, 2016 issue of Time magazine states, “It’s unbelievable. If there were a drug that could do for human health everything that exercise can, it would likely be the most valuable pharmaceutical ever developed.” Now that is one powerful statement and we have the power to do something about it!
You don’t have to join a gym or do crazy, intense workouts to reap the benefits of exercise; though high intensity interval training (HIIT) can be a fantastic way to get fit fast. But strenuous, all-out workouts or even all-out intervals, are not for everyone. Always talk to your doctor before beginning or trying a new exercise program. It’s the smart thing to do.
I believe the best workout is the one you’re doing, but if you’ve been doing the same ole thing for months or years, switch it up a bit. Not sure how, ask a reputable fitness expert or hire a certified personal trainer for help. I personally love to walk/jog on the Ma and Pa trail and strength train in my unfinished basement. Nothing glamorous, but it gets the job done. And I never, ever (especially my back) feel better than when I’m going for a hike or doing something a little adventurous like zip-lining. I think the fact that I really enjoy those things helps, don’t you?
And please don’t forget about STRENGTH TRAINING. It’s just as important as cardio. One of the first signs of aging is loss of muscle mass. Down the road, this can rob us from doing basic daily tasks, to increasing our risk of devastating injuries. Strength training will help you maintain or even gain muscle mass. And pssssstt, you can use your own body weight to get stronger.
And here’s some more good news, a lot of what we already do counts as physical activity. Activities like cleaning the house, washing the car, gardening and mowing the grass….yep, they count!
Find an activity you love to do. Maybe it’s dancing, yoga, Tai chi or taking your dog for a brisk walk through your neighborhood. Whatever it is, your body will thank you.