Many of you already know that regular exercise is good for you. The questions many have about fitness are "how much is enough", "how can you find time in your busy schedule for fitting fitness in" and "how can I get started"?
Experts recommend that you accumulate 30 minutes of activity a day most days of the week in order to achieve health benefits. Health benefits can include reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, heart attack and stroke.
Exercise can also offer other benefits such as strengthened muscles, increased flexibility. Regular activity can also promote, stress relief, reduced anxiety, better sleeping habits, and help you to sleep better and increase your energy!
The 30 minutes can be broken up into separate sessions, such as a 15-minute walk to and from the VTA station or around campus. Of course, you can increase the health benefits by working out for a longer time, at a higher intensity, or both.
Time wise, studies have shown that the average American spends an estimated four hours watching television every day. Substitute just 30 minutes of walking for TV watching four times a week, and you will see positive benefits! Good habits and healthy life style changes take time and effort to form, but by following the steps below and getting started today, you will be on your way to an active, healthier and fitter lifestyle in no time!
STEP 1— Plan Exercise Into Your Day
Plan fitness into your day and make it a priority. Make an appointment with yourself and keep it just as you would any other important appointment. Plan ahead and pack what you need the night before. Put it in your car, write yourself a note, set a reminder in your phone or e-mail, whatever it takes to help you stick with it!
STEP 2—Establish a Support Network
You'll be much more likely to stick with exercise if you have support from two different groups: people who will work out with you, and people who will support you even though they don't exercise with you. Those who exercise regularly will probably be happy to help you get started and can help you to stay motivated. Those who don't can help you through roadblocks and barriers you might find. Friends, family members, significant others, co-workers are all great resources for your support system!
STEP 3—Set Your Goals
Are you trying to lose weight? Get stronger? Improve your quality of life? Write down specific, measurable and realistic goals. This will help you to identify which direction to go in and chart your progress. Create both short-term and long-term goals, and make sure they are realistic. Do not expect to lose 30 pounds in 30 days!