Discover the benefits of getting in shape!
Do you find exercise to be a chore? Have you let yourself become a couch potato? Do you have a few extra pounds that you can’t work off? If so, then National Physical Fitness and Sports Month is for you! During the month of May, you can make it a goal to do something about your physical fitness. You can set a plan and start getting your body moving!
To help motivate people to embrace fitness, the Presidential Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition is offering two great online resources: #0to60 and #MoveInMay. With these supportive resources, you can work toward a better version of yourself. If you’re still not convinced, just think of some of the health benefits of exercise:
- Better weight management
- Healthier heart and lungs
- Stronger muscles
- Improved mood
- Stress relief
- Lower blood pressure
- Better metabolism
- Reduced body fat
Getting in Shape
To begin a program to get in shape, the most important thing is your safety. If you are out of shape, it’s best to consult with your doctor about a safe way to start improving your fitness. If you join a gym, a personal fitness trainer may be able to help you create a workout that fits your level of fitness, and gradually builds to be more challenging.
Once you’ve got the green light to pursue an exercise program, you will have a world of options! There are so many new and interesting ways to exercise. If you are a traditional sort of person, you might want to start out with tried-and-true exercises, like walking, running, yoga, Pilates, weights at the gym, and group classes. In addition to these options, there are also some newer cutting-edge exercise trends such as spin classes, aerial yoga, boxing, parkour, and gyrotonic. Discovering some of the newest exercise trends is a good way to keep your workouts fresh and interesting.
For best overall fitness, it’s important to include all four types of exercise into your regular routine: muscle strengthening, cardiovascular (also called aerobic/endurance), balance, and flexibility.
Sneaking in some fitness
Despite our best efforts at working out, the American public tends to be too sedentary. We spend too much time seated at a computer or seated in our cars. To combat the negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle, you can sneak in small doses of exercise to break up the long periods of sitting. Try these ideas:
- Take a walk with a friend
- Do sit-ups or squats during commercial breaks
- Stand while on your computer (you may need to get a movable attachment for your desk)
- Do housework
- Go outside and play with your kids (if you’ve got ‘em!)
- Get a fitness app on your phone to challenge yourself to take more steps
- Take the stairs—not the elevator
- Take the dog on an extra walk
- Park at the farthest parking space
- Walk or bike to work/school if you can
- Get off the bus one stop too early and walk
These tips don’t sound too hard, do they? Like it or not, exercise is something that should be a part of your everyday life. But the good news is, the more fit you get, the more you enjoy your exercise. So if you think it’s time to get in shape—or even if you’re just getting bored with your current exercise routine—why not make a change today? Your body and mind will thank you!
The Salter School, located in Fall River and Malden, Massachusetts, offers personal and professional tips in its weekly blog. Find out about our training programs in medical assisting, massage therapy, and more.