Are you exercising enough?
For most people, the answer to that question is “no” – especially at this time of year, during the holidays. Exercise might not feel like your top priority right now. But keeping active is crucial for good physical and mental health.
Even if you don’t need to lose weight, exercise is important. It will give you a greater sense of vitality: you’ll feel better in your body. You’ll see this in physical effects like greater flexibility, and mental ones like greater wellbeing. There is even evidence to suggest that depression is reduced dramatically by exercise.
There are two key types of exercise that you can do:
When you do strength-training, your weight will be redistributed – giving you a more desirable shape. This happens through building muscles (and losing fat in other areas). For instance, if you’re a man, you will be able to broaden your shoulders by chest and shoulder exercises.
Cardiovascular exercise (like jogging or cycling) lowers cholesterol, reduces blood pressure, and improves your mood. It also helps you to lose fat, which reduces the size of your fat cells – helping your newly-defined muscles to show.
How You Can Find Time to Exercise
Exercise represents something that’s important but not necessarily urgent. If you don’t exercise, it won’t normally cause problems right away – but over time, it can lead to serious illness.
It’s essential to force important-but-not-urgent items into your schedule. That might mean you exercise:
- First thing in the morning
- Immediately when you get home
- During your lunch hour or another scheduled break
Build exercise into the rhythm of your life until it becomes a habit.
About three weeks ago, I took a cruise from Boston to Halifax to Maine. Along with a friend, I went to the gym every single day. Despite eating very rich meals (and even partaking in a chocolate buffet!) I came back without having gained a single pound, because I’d kept up my exercise routine.
Use Your Body
Instead of thinking about “exercise”, think of how you can “use your body”. You could:
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator
- Park at the far end of the car park
- Do some yoga before work
- Take a five-minute walk to clear your mind
… anything that keeps you active.
If you can, work on your goal as part of a community, perhaps alongside colleagues. Many offices will have a weight-loss challenges and regular weigh-ins together. They may even have a personal trainer come in a couple of days a week and run exercise classes at work.
Don’t wait until the New Year to start being more active. Begin today.
Bio: Barry Demp is a business and personal coach in Michigan. He writes about professional and personal development on his website – click here to read his Four Simple Tips for Healthy Eating During the Holidays.
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