So you’ve slacked off a bit and avoided exercise. Maybe your job demands too much of your time or you simply fell out of the routine. I have news for you. Whether you’ve taken off one year, ten years or haven’t exercised a day in your life – it’s never too late to start. You see there are problems with living a life devoid of exercise. Big problems. Your weight rises along with your blood pressure and cholesterol. Your muscles and joints degenerate at an astounding rate leaving you with daily aches and pains. Your body becomes weak, making you susceptible to all kinds of medical issues.
Why Should I Start Now?
You’ve heard about the benefits that consistent exercise brings, but what if you haven’t been consistent? Should you even start at all? This has been the subject of many medical studies and the results are unanimous: Exercise helps improve your quality of life even if you start late. Researchers are constantly finding new benefits to consistent exercise. It’s no wonder that Dr. Robert Butler, of the National Institute on Aging, once said “If exercise could be put into a pill, it would be the single most prescribed medicine in the world.”
Imagine if a pill could offer all of these benefits (without harmful side effects):
- Substantially reduces the risk of coronary heart disease and osteoporosis
- Decreases the risk for stroke, colon cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure
- Helps to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight
- Contributes to healthy bones, muscles and joints
- Helps relieve anxiety and depression
- Promotes well-being and reduces stress
- Is associated with fewer doctor visits, hospitalizations and medications
- Helps prevent and treat chronic medical conditions associated with old age
- Increases energy levels and promotes sound sleep
- Strengthens immune system
Many people have started an exercise program only to quit days later. Now that you have decided that exercise may be worth your time after all, ensure your success with the following tips:
Make a Commitment
You know the meaning and value of a solid commitment. It’s in your blood. So don’t view exercise as something you will merely try. You will only reap the true benefits of exercise when you stick with it. A great way to reinforce your commitment is to solicit the support of your friends and family. Tell them how you plan to improve your health and quality of life through exercise – who knows, they may join you.
Set Reachable Goals
This is an immensely important ingredient to your success. Don’t start your exercise program with unreasonable expectations. If you expect to lose all of your unwanted pounds, drop your blood pressure and cure your joint pain all in one week then you will be sorely disappointed. Remember that it took years for your body to fall out of shape so it makes sense that it will take some time to regain it. The key to unlocking all of the benefits of exercise lies in one word: consistency.
Rearrange Your Schedule
As we age there is a tendency to become ‘stuck in our ways.’ Remind yourself that exercise is worth your time and then think long and hard about your daily schedule. The fact is that you do have time to lend toward exercise – you simply need to find it. Set aside 30-60 minutes for exercise and then stick with it.
Increase the Challenge
You should start your exercise program with the thought of easing into it. Since you haven’t exercised in awhile your body will need to build up strength and endurance. Consider a car that has been sitting in your garage for years. You wouldn’t turn it on and instantly slam down on the gas would you? You need to warm it up. However, this warm up period should not last forever. Your body has an amazing ability to adapt to new challenges and will grow complacent when asked to do the same exercises over and over. When your routine begins to feel easy take that as a hint to increase the challenge. Don’t let another day pass you by. You deserve the good life.
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