Becoming healthy and acheiving fitness goals are a process that involves time, commitment, and a willingness to change. However, with some dedication you can start building habits you can feel good about. Establishing a healthy routine can actually help you get fit in the long run if you stick with it. Here are some important points while involving in this process.
Exercise every day.
Exercising your body through formal fitness routines or simply through being more active throughout the day is beneficial to your health. Regular exercise is one of the most important steps toward a healthy body and mind, with innumerable benefits such as a decreased risk of Alzheimer’s,type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancers.
- You should strive for some form of physical activity each day. You don’t necessarily have to hit the gym seven days a week. Simply look for opportunities to be active at least 20 or 30 minutes each day, such as parking father away or choosing to walk somewhere instead of driving, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, taking your dog for long walks, etc. You will still get a lot of health benefits through daily moderate exercise.
- Choose an activity that’s convenient and that you enjoy. If you love long walks, take your dog for a brisk 30 minute walk each night. If you love biking, consider biking to work each day instead of driving. Try aerobic classes, Zumba, pilates, or high-intensity training.
Reach your ideal weight.
Carrying too much or too little body fat can affect our health in many ways. Being underweight is also not ideal for your health. It’s important to find a comfortable and healthy balance for your frame and height. Speak with your doctor for guidance as to where you fall on that spectrum.
- One tool that can determine if you need to gain or lose weight by discovering your BMI. This is a calculation based on your height and weight and you can use a BMI calculator online to figure out if you need to gain or lose. Your BMI should be between 18.5 and 24.9. Anything lower than 18.5 is considered underweight. Anything higher than 24.9 is considered overweight. A BMI over 30 is considered obese.
- Be aware that BMI is not always an accurate indicator (if you are very short and very muscular, for instance, your BMI may be skewed), so make sure you also talk with your doctor.
- If you are overweight or underweight, talk to your doctor about a weight loss or weight gain plan. You gain or lose weight by eating more or less calories than you consume each day.
- While being overweight or underweight is not healthy for your body, it is also unhealthy to make very sudden or drastic changes to your diet.
- Remember that weight gain and loss both require a slow, gradual, and consistent change to your diet and exercise routine in order to be safe and healthy for you.
Work on all the muscle groups
Exercise all of your muscle groups. Many people prefer to focus exclusively on either cardio health (running, biking, etc.) or weight training. However, a truly healthy body needs to exercise both sets of muscles.
- Not only does doing several different activities work all your muscles (which can help prevent injury), it also keeps you from getting bored. Include aerobic and strength training workouts in your routine.
- Aim for 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity weekly. Moderate aerobic activity would include things like walking or light cycling. Vigorous activity would include things like jogging, running, and intense cycling.
- You should incorporate strength training twice a week. Strength training can come in the form of lifting weights or engaging in activities like Pilates, which forces you to use your body as a weight to strengthen and tone core muscles.
Keep in mind few things when exercising.
While exercise is necessary for a healthy body, if you don’t follow certain precautions and exercise correctly, you put your body at risk for injuries. Make sure you treat your body with respect when working out.
- Ease into a fitness routine. Do not try to go from a sedentary lifestyle to working out at the gym five days a week. Give yourself small fitness goals, like taking a certain number of steps per day, or running half a mile, then a mile, then two miles.
- Stay hydrated. You should sip water throughout your workouts. Becoming dehydrated can lead to dizziness or headaches during your sweat session.
- Have a rest day between strength training workouts.
- Get a fitness partner. Having someone to walk or jog with or take group fitness classes with at the local gym can be motivational. It can also help by providing you with someone you know that can watch for signs that you are overdoing it.