By Rhonda Armbrust, Best Life-ing Copywriter, Best-Selling Author of Remote Viewer Series Do you ever get discouraged by failed attempts to get fit? You are not alone. The vast majority of people who join a gym quit working out after three months. The typical reasons range from lack of time to lack of motivation. A primary cause of low motivation is because you are not enjoying yourself.
I’ve run the gambit of ways to exercise from jogging to gyms to hiking groups, to fitness classes, and using home equipment. I want to stay healthy and fit, but I realized that when I don’t enjoy a form of exercise, I won’t do it for very long. I start out excited and determined, biting my lower lip and reciting self-improvement mantras while shooing away the cackling devil in my head who claims I will never stay with it.
What does she know? I’ll get up earlier every morning. Begin with running a half-mile, work up to a mile and end up in a Boston marathon. Or, I’ll sign up for one day at the gym, increase to two, until I’m working as a personal trainer and getting paid to exercise!
One day, UPS left a gigantic box on my doorstep. I maneuvered it inside (great exercise in itself!) and I’m on a roll. I read the directions and eventually put together the full-body fitness machine.
However, my mornings don’t involve a burst of energy right out of bed. I need two slow cups of coffee before anyone should dare speak to me. Then I have important things to do. That’s how the morning jog plan flew out the window. The fitness class was “too intense” (quoting the devil). The home equipment got boring. What’s a girl to do?
After trying many things, I discovered enjoyable ways to stay fit. I learned how to line dance for balance, cardio and some of the most delightful times I’ve ever had, pickleball for stamina, and arm and leg strength, and my home exercise machine to tone the rest of my body with occasional hikes thrown in since I love being in nature and a splash of tai chi and yoga that calms me and keeps me flexible. The result, along with a healthy diet, gave me an “effective age” (a term my doctor uses) of 15 years younger than my “chronological age” (the term I use when explaining the effective age I go by).
The bottom line is that it doesn’t matter how you get exercise so much as that you enjoy what you’re doing. An active lifestyle benefits both your body and mind. Plus, your internal cleansing facility, the lymph system, only clears away debris when prompted by movement. Exercise improves brain and body functions, can lower blood pressure, improve sleep, protect you from diseases, increase your stamina and energy level, and enhance your memory and moods.
Yoga and tai chi can be fine-tuned for any age group, and focusing on breathing improves respiration and the moves increase your flexibility and reduce stress. Aside from eliminating fat, gaining strength, and toning your body, gym and fitness classes can also motivate people to stay with a program. Heart-related diseases are the number one cause of death, so keeping this organ strong is important. Jogging builds heart stamina, helps you manage your weight, and enhances your immune system.
Exercise makes you look good, feel strong, and boosts your confidence. It’s not a punishment unless you make it so. And there are many ways to stay fit. Think yoga, tai chi, sports, dancing! Get creative and try different modalities until you find a match. You don’t have to go to a gym to get in shape. You don’t need to break world records. But you do need to practice some form of steady exercise to feel and be your best.