Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a big advocate of physical fitness. The benefits of exercise cannot be overstated, especially as one gets older.
Exercising is one of those things that often goes under appreciated. The value may not be apparent until you have an injury, come down with an illness or have to run for your life. This is what separates the fit from the unfit. In most cases, the person who has been working out all along will recover quicker from sickness and be able to move faster in an emergency.
If you haven’t exercised in a long time, don’t worry. It’s never too late to start, and everyone can do something regardless of their physical condition. Today, there are so many low impact options available, from yoga to chair exercises. If you think you can only get a good work out standing up, think again. Chair-a-cise routines target both upper and lower body areas, just like traditional exercises. But it’s far more gentle on your joints.
With summer here, it’s a perfect time to get out of the house and start walking. But don’t just walk, put some thought into how fast and how far you go. Walking is one of the best things you can do for your body, according to doctors, because it gets your heart rate up, works the whole body and doesn’t put added pressure on your knees.
We all know we should work out for better physical health. But the mental and emotional health benefits that result from exercise are just as important. The mind and body are connected. What affects one part affects the other. The natural high you get after a good work out calms your nerves and relieves stress. It helps you deal with challenges more effectively, because the hormones released through exercise puts you in a good mood.
A common excuse for not exercising is that it’s boring and takes too long. Let’s dissect this for a minute. If you dread exercising, maybe you need to change your mind about it. Don’t call it exercise, call it “movement.” Think of Michelle Obama’s fitness campaign. She didn’t say, “Let’s exercise.” She said, “Let’s move.” You can move in a lot of different ways—walk, run, jump, bend, swim, play ball, work in your garden, strenuously clean your house or build something. The key is to enjoy what you do, then it won’t feel like work.
Find information about the number of calories you can burn doing certain activities. You might be surprised to learn working out with a Hula Hoop for 10 minutes burns 77 calories. Trick your mind into believing that you’re not really doing boring exercise, you’re just having fun. Then, decide to do more of it.
With all the uncertainty about the future of healthcare, committing to physical fitness is more important now than ever.