The flu has a season and so do allergies. I believe it is time for exercise to have one as well, so I am declaring Jan. 1 as the official start of "exercise season."
Jan. 1 is just a few weeks away, so here are some valuable tips on how to get your "exercise season" started off on the right foot. (You can just as effectively start on your left foot as well.)
Tip No. 1 - Forget About Your Past Attempts
Just thinking about exercising (for say the past year or so) does not mean you have actually been exercising. But now that you are contemplating a more serious attempt, go out of the gate like the tortoise, not the hare.
You remember the story, right? The slower tortoise wins the race because he/she was slow and steady even when the hare was clearly faster. So this year try a slow-and-steady approach with your exercise program. Start with just 15 minutes a day and work towards building a little momentum. Any time of the day works just fine.
Tip No. 2 - Only Bite Off as Much as You Can Chew
During the past year of thinking about exercise, I am sure you have created some amazing fitness programs in your head. First you will hit the weights three times a week for an hour so you look like a bodybuilder come summertime. Then you will strap on your running shoes and head out the door so you can complete one of the three-day charity walks.
This is the fantasy fitness program that is contemplated and tried by many. It generally leads to injury and/or the rapid realization that you might have to quit your job to actually get in shape. Again, start slowly and make your goals and actions realistically fit your life.
Take your 15 minutes a day and do a few sit to stands, walk a little, maybe attempt a push-up or two and make time to stretch. Less is much better at this stage in your program and remember you have all year to increase your time, intensity and exercise variety.
Tip No .3 - Exercise for Your Health and Not Your Waistline
We would have many more success stories if I could only get people to realize that trying to get rid of that extra bulge around your waistline with exercise is just too much hard work. That is why so many people stop exercising after just two months at the gym.
Let me show you a simple example that helps explain my point. Each pound of body fat contains 3,500 calories. If you workout for an hour and burn 350 calories then it takes approximately 10 hours of exercise to burn an extra pound of fat.
How long does it take to eat 3,500 calories? You can easily consume 3,500 calories in an hour or less. So you can see how your mouth can do a lot more damage than your good intentions and exercise will ever fix. Healthy weight loss involves portion control. A healthy body and mind requires regular exercise.
This year I suggest dedicating a realistic amount of time, start slowly and exercise for your health. Over the coming year, I look forward to hearing about your exercise success story as you use my helpful health and fitness tips.