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Easy Physical Fitness Tips for Life-long Health

Updated on May 27, 2018

Do these excuses about taking care of your physical fitness seem familiar?

  • You're too tired.
  • You'll start tomorrow.
  • You forgot to wash your workout clothes.
  • You like cheesecake.

There are probably just as many excuses why you think you can't stay in shape, as there are good reasons why you should. Unfortunately, these excuses often outweigh any motivation to exercise or eat right. Sure, you want to look and feel your best, but why does staying fit have to be so much work?

It doesn't. You can have stronger, more limber muscles; lowered blood pressure and cholesterol levels; a strengthened immune system; and an improved self-image -- and you don't have to spend hours at a gym pumping iron or doing endless abs exercises. You also don't have to eat like a rabbit. Many of your daily activities burn more calories than you think. The chart below demonstrates how some of the functions you ordinarily perform burn calories and help keep you fit:

These physical fitness tips can help at just about any age
These physical fitness tips can help at just about any age

Consider These Facts

  • 13.5 million people have coronary heart disease.
  • 1.5 million people suffer from a heart attack in a given year.
  • 95,000 people are diagnosed as having colon cancer each year.
  • 24 million Americans use diabetes supplies to control their blood sugar.
  • 50 million people have high blood pressure.
  • Over 60 million people (one-third of our population) are overweight.
  • 45 million Americans get headaches every day

The good news is that ALL the above conditions can be positively affected by maintaining a fitness program. But it's up to you to motivate yourself to be fit! No one can do it for you.

For the greatest benefit, 20 to 30 minutes of aerobic activity three or more times a week and some type of muscle-strengthening activity is recommended, along with stretching at least twice a week. If you are unable to maintain this level of activity, however, you can gain substantial health benefits by accumulating 30 minutes or more of moderate-intensity physical activity a day, at least five times a week.

The chart above demonstrates how some of the things you do every day can help fulfill that requirement. If you look at fitness as a lifetime pursuit, with everything you do contributing to it, even dressing your child or repairing your car's engine can be part of your "fitness philosophy."

Another way to make sure you get the exercise you need is an easy one - walking. It is not as strenuous as other forms of exercise, such as tennis or jogging, and you'll reap obvious benefits, whether you're a senior citizen or a teenager. You'll get more restful sleep, even if you've historically had trouble sleeping. You 'll also experience a release of tension and stress and a feeling of overall wellness. Walking can also result in weight loss when combined with a proper diet.

Need a nudge? Here are some walking fitness and weight loss tips to get you started:

  • Walk with a buddy. You'll improve your overall fitness as you catch up with friends.
  • Stretch before you begin. Muscles need to be warmed up to prevent injuries.
  • Wear the correct shoes. They should be comfortable with a rubber sole to absorb the shock of each step, especially if you walk on concrete or asphalt.
  • Adjust your pace. If you're huffing and puffing as you walk, you're exerting yourself too much.

Using an exercise bike at home is also a great form of exercise that's both fun and easy. If you don't already have one, it's a good idea to do some research to see what others consider to be the best exercise bikes on the market. Finding one that's comfortable for you can make a difference in how often you use it, so it's worth investing time to compare before you buy. Once you have the bike, you might consider putting it near a television, so you can fight off the boredom that may result from a long ride.

And if you work in an office, you're probably really at risk for not getting exercise. Thankfully, there are office exercises you can do to at least add to your cumulative exercise total for the week.

Last but not least, it's important to point out that you shouldn't get too carried away trying to achieve fast weight loss. As they say, slow and steady wins the race. You'll have a much better chance of keeping weight off and staying fit for life if you take a reasonable pace.

Eating Right is One of the Most Important Fitness Tips

Unfortunately, we humans sometimes have an appetite for fatty, salty and sugary foods. (Who wouldn't choose a chocolate éclair over a stalk of celery?) Denying yourself the occasional treat will only make you crave it more, however, so forget about completely eliminating those "forbidden" foods -- just make sure you only reach for the gooey dessert after answering "yes" to two questions:

  1. Have you met your nutritional needs for the day?
  2. Are you really still hungry?

And remember, while it's best to fuel your body by eating the recommended daily servings of whole grains, vegetables and fruits, it's a good idea to take a vitamin and mineral supplement to ensure that your nutritional needs are being met.

Don't forget that when you exercise, your body needs four to eight ounces of water every 20 minutes to replace water loss. This also holds true for everyday activities that are big calorie burners. Keep in mind that if you feel thirsty during exercise, you've already passed beyond a "safe" stage of hydration. If you are exercising vigorously for more than an hour, you may want to consider sports drinks -- the extra carbohydrates in these drinks help your body to retain body -- and always avoid caffeine or alcohol, both of which further dehydrate your body.

Be patient about seeing results from any fitness program. If you're out of shape, you didn't get that way overnight. You won't get back in shape overnight either. Work your way into a routine, one step at a time. Pushing yourself too hard after a long period of only exercising the finger that presses the button on the remote can result in injury. And don't be too concerned with the numbers on your scale. Your weight might actually climb -- muscles weigh more than fat -- so aim for a certain look in your clothes rather than how much you weigh.

Remember that you're less likely to stick with a fitness routine if you don't enjoy it or if it doesn't fit well into your daily life. An enjoyable fitness experience that works well for you can mean lifelong health, increased well-being and a happier life. This means that if you haven't done so already, you have every reason to start on the road to fitness today!

© 2008 Carla Chadwick

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    • profile image

      saurabhh 

      6 years ago

      Great!

    • profile image

      Sacudas Foo 

      7 years ago

      Staying in shape is difficult especially with the type of lifestyle the young generations are introduced to at present times. Many spent their time coped up inside the confines of their room, facing the computer or the television, take your pick. This is a nice post. I hope many can read this and realize that keeping your body healthy starts with yourself, and a friend to keep you motivated all throughout.

    • donnatru profile image

      DS 

      7 years ago from Danville, IL

      Enjoyed this read of useful information. I'll be returning to follow up and to implement some of this advise into my unhealthy lifestyle

    • profile image

      Workout Routines for Men 

      7 years ago

      Great Hub, WordPlay. That chart is really good. I'll have to use that with some of my clients...ANY type of activity is better than NOTHING. Even cooking!

    • profile image

      Eric de Jesus 

      7 years ago

      If you're at the office I suggest you bring packed food. All cooked by steam. When you're at the office, you need to stretch once in a while to get that blood of yours going. Another is you can work out in your office by simply doing chair leg raises or even push ups.

    • WordPlay profile imageAUTHOR

      Carla Chadwick 

      8 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks! :-)

    • GmaGoldie profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 

      8 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      Eating right is critical! Great article! I am a fan!

    • profile image

      Mushtak Mohd 

      8 years ago

      Great Information. I think every one has to work out for an hour. this will keep fit and free from the problems.

    • WordPlay profile imageAUTHOR

      Carla Chadwick 

      8 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks for the good info, Woodamarc. I'll check out your hubs. :-)

    • woodamarc profile image

      Marc Woodard 

      8 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      Great Article.

      I've found through walking I've been able to control my overall body weight including the overall body fat. I even walk in the winter... Just bundle up real well and try to walk around the sucker holes if possible.

      Walking like use of aerobic fitness equipment can put your Target Heart Rate at the proper level to maximally burn fat. But walking & good nutrition is easier on the body and gets the same thing accomplished. Also, light weights with high repetition for upper body can maintain muscle tone, while sculpting and burning more body fat.

      Overall body weight effect... More body fat gone from the body "If in cardio Target Heart Rate." If fat stores in the lower back, hips, stomach, thighs, buttocks, etc., these areas will reduce in size as you continue your daily walks!

      Good article and if you enjoy my articles, I'd appreciate the follow. Thanks again for spreading fitness tips that will work regardless of season. Good health to you and your family!

    • lowerabworkout profile image

      lowerabworkout 

      8 years ago

      This hub is a useful reminder of the importance of diet in any fitness regime. So many people overlook this, especially in the arena I work in, and somehow expect their abs to pop out from under that layer of fat!

      Thanks for an interesting read.

      Michael

    • profile image

      Jack 

      8 years ago

      Nice Post. Really helpful. Thanks for sharing,.

    • WordPlay profile imageAUTHOR

      Carla Chadwick 

      9 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks, midnightbliss!

    • midnightbliss profile image

      Haydee Anderson 

      9 years ago from Hermosa Beach

      Its true, its always easy to find excuses not to exercise but you have here lots of useful tips and information.

    • WordPlay profile imageAUTHOR

      Carla Chadwick 

      9 years ago from Georgia

      Hi, Phil. You're quite welcome. I agree with you that trying to exercise too much is a great way to create a roadblock for yourself.

      BTW, I "fanned" you back. :-)

    • shunshifu profile image

      shunshifu 

      9 years ago from Valley Springs, California

      Hello WordPlay,

      Great article. And thanks for mentioning Break Pal. It's a great way to work in your 20-30 minutes.

      I've really been reccomending that the best thing for people to do is to start small. I think that trying to add to much to fast is the biggest cause of failure.

      Good job and I'm fanning your profile.

      Thanks

      Phil

    • WordPlay profile imageAUTHOR

      Carla Chadwick 

      9 years ago from Georgia

      I agree, Fitness Model. Moving is a good thing! :-)

    • profile image

      Fitness Model 

      9 years ago

      Good advice!

      The best fitness advice I ever received was this . . . MOVE. It doesn't matter if you go for a run, ride an exercise bike, walk with a friend, or go outside and play with the kids. As long as you are moving, your body is benefiting.

    • profile image

      suven 

      9 years ago

      great hub

    • KateWest profile image

      KateWest 

      9 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Right on!

    • WordPlay profile imageAUTHOR

      Carla Chadwick 

      10 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks, salsadance007! :-)

    • salsadance007 profile image

      salsadance007 

      10 years ago from San Francisco

      Really great usefull information. I am a fan!

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