The Benefits of Yoga and Exercise
Taking The First Step
I have never been a fit, health conscious person, and I haven't been a slob either. I just never really got into the whole exercise craze but as I get older I realize that my body doesn't just bounce back like it used to. Before I had my first child at 19 I was a size 9 and of course after I had him I didn't go on an exercise spree and try to regain my youthful body. Then a few years later I had child number two and was too busy between raising them and working full time to exercise. Now that they are a little older, and so am I, I decided it was time to get back into shape. A big step for anyone who isn't accustomed to working out a lot but wants to get in shape is to actually want to do it. You need that drive and that goal to help you succeed. You may want to have a "sexier" body or lose 20 pounds but you really need that drive to do it. I think that is what has stopped me in the past. I would start a routine, do it for about a week and then give up. Recently I realized that I was about 40-50 pounds over what I would like to ideally, and realistically be. Of course I wouldn't mind having my size 9 body back but I know that that is next to impossible. I am not being negative by saying that but being realistic. I have had two kids and know my hips are wider than they used to be, but that doesn't mean I can't get into a small size than what I currently am.
Steps Toward Victory
After you have made that decision to get in shape and have the drive to do it the next step is to set realistic goals. If weight loss is what you're wanting to achieve then set multiple goals and remember that weight loss cannot successfully happen overnight. I would love to lose 50 pounds by the end of this year but I know that that is not realistic with it being October and can actually be dangerous to attempt. There are lots of weight loss programs and miracle pills that claim you can lose 20 pounds in a month, or something unrealistic like that, and those are either frauds or extremely dangerous. The first thing in approaching weight loss is looking at what and how much you intake whether it is foods or fluids. Sodas are ok in moderation but if you drink too much that can attribute to weight problems, and obviously fast food while ok in moderation again can attribute to weight problems in eaten frequently. Try cutting back boxed and fast food and try healthier options like meals cooked with fresh vegetables and fruits. Stir-frys are amazingly simple to cook and not too bad for you as long as you don't drown it in soy sauce, and they still have great taste. Roasts are something you can throw everything together in a crock-pot before work in the morning and come home to a wonderful dinner in the afternoon or evening (although the veggies do get soggy if left in all day, so if you can swing by at lunch and throw them in then that's better). But a change in diet isn't the only thing you need to change for weight loss.
Exercising and yoga attribute to not only weight loss but firming up as well. If you're near an ideal weight and just want to tone up then exercising and yoga will certainly do that. Either way you don't need to go get an expensive gym membership or buy expensive equipment for your home. There are apps for your computer, smartphone, and tablet that are free or cost very little and are great. I have a Nook Color and bought 3 apps to work out with for 99 cents each and they are amazing. They each have 2 or 3 different routines, or you can make you own, and you can set the time for anywhere from 5 minutes to 10 or 15 minutes. I also have an Nook book by yoga instructor Rodney Yee that has built in videos. It is my favorite routine for AM Yoga that he does and it helps a lot especially if you do it before exercising. Again, like with the exercising you don't need to enroll in a yoga program to achieve anything unless you like programs and going to the gym. If you're the type of person that works out better with other people then by all means go to a gym. They can be great in motivating you and the staff can be helpful with choosing the right equipment for you.
If you're someone who thinks you'd rather go the gym and yoga class route I would recommend a trial membership to make sure before you go laying out the money for it only to find out you hate it. I personally am not a gym and class type of person. If you choose to do it from home like I do then you will need to buy a few things, and none of them are overly expensive. I would recommend a mixed hand weight set like 2 and 4 pound sets and a yoga mat (can also be used for exercising). Also make sure you have plenty of room to do it in and stick with it. The first few weeks are the hardest and probably sorest but in the end it is worth it. I just completed my third week and already see results and don't feel like quitting.