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TO BE OR NOT TO BE – FIT AND HEALTHY

WE MAKE THAT CHOICE

I have never met anyone who would deny the health benefits of a fit and energetic body. Yet, it seems that standards of fitness and healthy eating may be of minor importance to many of us. Some of us make a choice to work out and eat healthy foods. It becomes a lifestyle.

Others may defer this choice until such time that it becomes more “convenient”. That time may never come. If someone were to devote 30 minutes per day to fitness, that would represent 2.8% of one’s day. So, it becomes a matter of setting and abiding by priorities. Who doesn’t have 30 minutes per day to spend in pursuit of better fitness?

The benefits of such a small investment of time are many, such as:

  • A stronger heart and lower blood pressure
  • More muscle mass and lower body fat
  • A boost in metabolic rate
  • Stronger bones
  • More high density lipoprotein, less low-density cholesterol
  • A lessening of aging effects
  • Better sleep
  • An increase in energy
  • Improved appearance and self-esteem

I don’t believe that anyone makes the choice, “I don’t want to become healthier and fitter”. Many of us tend to look for easy ways to look better – “cool sculpting”, fad diets, cosmetic surgery and the like. Or we may avoid workouts, since it is easier to lie back and rest. Or maybe we dislike the idea of “sweating”.

Whatever our predisposition, I am convinced that motivation is the key to developing and maintaining a lifestyle of fitness and good overall health. For that reason, don’t be surprised to see a few motivational quotations throughout the remainder of this post. Let’s all strive to become the best physical version of ourselves that we can!

BEGINNING IS THE HARDEST PART

By “beginning”, I mean the personal commitment to a lifestyle of fitness and good health. We may “begin” at any age or at any level of fitness. For the “time-constrained”, let’s start with 30 minutes per day or maybe even 15 minutes – for exercise. And let’s include a diet of more leafy vegetables, fruit and protein. I might add that it helps me to avoid sugar, salt and fats. These were addictive foods that led to weight gain for me.

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Simply go outside and take a walk – every day if possible. Have an indoor option – treadmill, stationary bike. Share the outdoor walks with your dog, if you have one. Make this a special time for both of you.
  • Choose a method of exercise that you enjoy. For example, I played basketball and tennis for at least 50 years each and never felt that I was “exercising for health”. This was enjoyment for me.
  • Swim, run, jog, walk fast, ride your bicycle, practice yoga, dance or choose something else, for daily activity. Develop several of these pursuits and interchange them.
  • Don’t overlook resistance exercise. This is as important as cardio and can even be another form of cardio.
  • Join groups of like-minded people and inspire each other. At least, have one workout partner. But not a slacker.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends the following for adults:

  • At least 150 minutes per week of moderate aerobic activity
  • Or at least 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week
  • At least 2 days per week of moderate to high intensity resistance exercise

Also, children between the ages of 6 and 17 should get at least 60 minutes per day of moderate to vigorous physical activity

MAINTAINING YOUR PROGRAM

Remember – this is a lifestyle, not a temporary fix. The good news is that physical changes can quickly become apparent to others and compliments on your new appearance will be forthcoming. After 2-3 months of dedicated daily physical exercise and calorie control, you will look noticeable better. Looking good is a great ego boost, even though the internals are more important to your overall health.

I have found that record-keeping is a very important factor in my fitness program, maybe the most crucial part. This is not especially time-consuming, but it keeps me motivated. Every day, I post the following to my computer-generated chart:

  • Morning weight
  • Morning blood pressure and pulse
  • Aerobic activity in minutes
  • Resistance exercise in number of sets
  • Breakfast calories
  • Lunch calories
  • Dinner calories
  • Other calories
  • Total calories

This “journalizing” works for me and some form of this has been recommended by all such programs, at least all that I have read about.

It is also advisable to change your routines periodically. Weight training, for example, can become tedious if the same exercises, amounts of resistance, sets and reps are used for too long. Also, a variety in our routines can produce better muscular results.

Similarly, choose different tennis partners or opponents, different walking or bicycling trails, a variety of golf courses. Try to learn to play several sports or to engage in differing exercise activities.

Finally, set specific goals. Make them achievable, with due effort. Not too easy. But not too difficult, especially as you begin a new program. You will be energized as you reach these goals. Reward yourself when that happens. Then set new goals

HELP FROM AMAZON

As an Amazon affiliate, I may earn from qualifying purchases. This has no effect on pricing.

Here are a few items that will add increased effectiveness and enjoyment to your fitness program. Click on the links and scroll around as you see fit:

Videos:

Equipment:

OTHER RESOURCES

  • Dick’s Sporting Goods is the best source I have found for all sports equipment, fitness gear and active sportswear.
  • Bullworker products – are of excellent quality and provide both isotonic and isometric options for home workouts.
  • FitTrack – features the Dara scale, to report on 17 important body metrics.
  • Goli – apple cider vinegar gummies for appetite suppression. Tasty and effective.

CONCLUDING

Since 30 minutes per day of scheduled physical activity leaves us 97.2 % of our day for other endeavors, I am surprised that all of us are not involved in exercise routines. I do, however, see an uptick in the general awareness of the value of fitness activities. Looking backward 30-40 years, I can recall fewer available tennis courts, fewer people out for a run or jog and less appreciation of fitness equipment.

Going back even further, I recall baseball players advertising for cigarette brands. Even further back, overweight people in some cultures were lionized since they were presumed to have more money with which to buy food.

Let’s keep fitness and nutrition on an upward and rapidly accelerating scale!

Please leave me any comments or questions in the “Comments” section below. Or email me, richard@myworkoutathome.com.

Be well!

Richard

2 Comments

  1. Definitely, the only answer is to be fit and healthy. One of the things I have struggled the most is with sticking to a program. Since the pandemic begun, I have already tried 2 and both I put aside. I feel I should not be so quick to judge a program bad, and keep working-out with patience.

    • Thanks, Ann. Yes, an imperfect routine is better than none at all. I design my own, so I have no one else to blame!

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