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Lose Weight, Get Fit and Keep That Resolution
It’s that time of year when many of us look in the mirror and realize those holiday dinners have added padding to our middles. Just look in the sale circulars and you will see you are not alone in thinking exercise is a good start to the New Year. Treadmills, yoga accessories and weight lifting equipment fill all the advertisements helping us get started to a better healthier look.
With our busy schedules the biggest obstacle is finding the time. The kids have practice; we have dinner to prepare and chores to do leaving little opportunity for physical fitness.
Even though it doesn’t seem like it, you can find the time. If you want it badly enough you will be surprised how creative you can be to shift your schedule around making way for a healthier lifestyle. I’m going to give you a few ideas you might not have thought of.
1) Get up a little bit earlier two or three days a week. You can jog, exercise to a video or go to the gym just by getting up an hour or so before you normally would. We are most rested and have the most energy first thing in the morning. Three days a week is a good amount and it won’t feel as much like a chore if you spread it out a bit: every other day works well.
2) Trade off days with your husband if you have young children. On days that you exercise Dad can take the kids to daycare and vise versa. If you go to the gym after work, take turns picking the kids up or carpooling them to activities.
3) Some people work better with a buddy. If you feel like someone is counting on you to be there you’re more apt to keep up with the program. If going it alone is your thing you can buy a treadmill, stair stepper or exercise at home.
4) Single parents can use the buddy system for babysitting with a friend. Watch each other’s kids and/or carpool in a barter system.
The types of exercise you do are endless. Choose what is best for you and what you think you are most likely to stick with. I bought a treadmill five years a go and use it religiously but I have friends that use them to hang clothes on. Don’t let someone talk you into equipment you really don’t think you will use. It’s best to sign up for a trial membership to a gym, testing out their equipment and see what you enjoy first. I put a book up on my ledge and read while I walk. Some people watch television or movies. If it seems boring you won’t stick with it. Many prefer to walk outside but keep in mind if you live in an area where the weather is not always fair there will be interruptions in your routine.
Many people enjoy walking at the mall. If you have a stroller that is conducive to walking in long strides you can take your child along and won’t need to worry about a sitter. Junior will enjoy the ride and you both get out of the house.
Those with health conditions should check with their doctor before starting any routine. He will know what you are capable of doing and may have suggestions.
Many hotels have gyms now days; when traveling use the machines and see if you like any of them. You are already there and it will save you gym fees. This is great when away at conferences or training for work. Just because you are away from home doesn’t mean you can’t keep up with your exercise routine.
Borrow exercise videos from the library or rent them from your local movie supplier. This will give you a chance to try them before spending any money. I bought an aerobics video second hand that was much more aggressive than I cared to do on a regular basis. I’m glad I didn’t pay full price.
Speaking of libraries, some offer Tai Chi, Yoga and other group exercises for free. It’s another way to try out a method before committing. Instructors give classes for a short amount of time letting people get a taste of what they have to offer and then sign students up for more advanced courses if they are interested. I started Tai Chi at my local library and decided I really liked it and continued for several months.
Don’t forget your local YMCA or YWCA they have lots of classes and equipment you can use as well as indoor heated swimming pools. Water aerobics are great for people with arthritis or injuries because it is low impact.
Colleges and vocational schools often offer exercise classes and you don’t have to be a student there to take advantage of these programs.
Don’t worry about what to wear or looking chic. Most people are sweaty and stinky and aren’t worried about what you look like. You are going for health, not a beauty contest so what are you waiting for? Get out there and get your body moving!