So last week I made a big deal about the fact that exercise won’t actually make you lose weight. But I don’t want people to think that means you get to sit on your rear all day watching tv. If only! Exercise is an essential component of good health and it does make weight loss easier. It’s also of particular interest to me because regular exercise is supposed to help reduce blood pressure.
There’s a few problems though. I don’t like exercise. It’s boring. I’m not into team sports, I hate gyms and I don’t have a lot of free time. So how to establish a regular exercise routine? I struggled with this for years until I finally woke up to myself.
I was looking at exercise as a punishment. Something I hated, but had to do. Not surprisingly none of my exercise regimes ever stuck. So how can you make exercise an enjoyable part of your day? Follow these simple guidlines.
Ignore the Fanatics
If you search on line for exercise advice you’ll run into the fanatics everywhere. They think exercise only counts if you are running 10 miles a day or doing a hundred reps per exercise.
Ignore them. They’re posers. Healthy exercise has nothing to do with being able to boast about the amount you can bench press. You’re not training to be an athlete. All you need is a handful of basic exercises and you’re set.
Don’t Spend Money
Unless you really like going to the gym (and some people do), don’t buy a membership. Don’t buy weights. You have everything you need in or around your house. If you want a basic workout for strength and stamina, try this:
Want an alternative exercise? Use your step stool for some step aerobics. Use the cans in your larder as weights. Remember we’re not trying to build big muscles here, we’re trying to exercise. You don’t need 50lb weights. If you spend money and then quit, you’re going to feel worse about yourself, not better.
Only Do It If It’s Fun
Trying to do an exercise you don’t like is a waste of time. You won’t stick with it for months on end. Nobody has that much will power. Exercise doesn’t need to be formal. A vigorous walk once a day will make a huge difference. Mowing the lawn counts, along with other gardening.
It’s more important to find something active that you enjoy than it is to burn maximum calories. You’re looking for something you can do 5 days a week ideally. If you happen to like running 4 miles a day, by all means do that. But if you’re reading this article, you probably don’t.
30 Minutes Is All You Need
There are lots of adverts for 10 minute workouts. Don’t waste your time. That’s just not long enough for your body to get the benefits from regular exercise. But you don’t need to spend 3 hours at the gym either. 30 — 60 minutes is plenty.
Variety is Good
Once you’ve found one exercise you enjoy and you’ve got into a routine with it. Find another. And then a third. There’s two reasons for this. First off, you will get bored. It’s just human nature. Secondly the variety will help to exercise a wider variety of muscles.
The bottom line is if you make exercise a chore then sooner or later you’ll stop exercising. You have to make it fun. Figure out what you enjoy and go with that. Don’t worry too much about what everyone else is doing.
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