Exercise is good for you because it lowers blood pressure, increases your “good” cholesterol (HDL) and decreases unhealthy triglycerides. It can prevent stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression, anxiety and arthritis.
In addition to all these benefits, exercise can also become your friend. Something that you can turn to when you’re upset, uncertain, not sure what to do next.
It’s also one of the most powerful ways of caring for your body, mind and spirit. And the more your body knows that it’s being cared for, the better it performs, the better you feel, the more trust you build with yourself.
For a lot of folks, putting an exercise program in place is a difficult experience. That’s why I’m writing this for YOU.
I'll take you through all the steps before you actually start to go to the gym, work out at home or take a yoga class.
Start by adding to your calendar exercise check in on May 1st. This gives you enough time to get prepared, gear up and begin an exercise program.
Before that date, perhaps even now, I encourage you to ask yourself the following questions.
1)Introvert or Extrovert?
Do you crave quiet time by yourself or do become energized in the presence of others?
Quiet, introverted types like myself benefit from alone time while they hike, swim, walk or find a good online yoga or Pilates class. Extroverts will get added joy from the comradery that exists in yoga classes, water aerobics, or by joining a rowing club, soccer team or playing pickle ball.
Ambiverts may want to go to the gym where there is a certain amount of companionship or find a walking buddy.
2) How much time do you have?
The recommended daily allowance is 150 minutes of moderate exercise a day. That translates to roughly 20 minutes a day, 30 minutes 5x a week, 50 minutes 3x a week. Take a look at your schedule and see if you can fit this in. Remember, something is always better than nothing. Even setting aside 5 minutes a day of movement can be beneficial. When you decide when you’ll be exercising, set aside blocks of time on your calendar.
3) What local resources are available?
We live in an area where the great outdoors is always available. Think about what other resources there are either close to home or work. Ask friends and colleagues what kind of exercise they do and what places they recommend.
4) Online or in-person?
Do you prefer the convenience of a class you can do at home or do you crave being in the same you as other people? We have so many options available on the Internet today, so it’s important to choose what is right for you.
5) What’s your budget?
Many exercises can be done for free. Walking is a great example. Even with that you’ll need to buy comfortable, walking sneakers. Other activities require shelling out some cash – a gym membership, buy skis or a bathing suit. Set aside some funds to use to support your exercise costs.
6) Indoors or outdoors?
This is really important. We live in New England. If being outside in the cold is not your thing, you’ll need to find an indoor class, a gym or an activity you can do at home.
7) What equipment do you need?
Make a list of stuff that you will need to be comfortable exercising. Sneakers, comfortable clothes, weights, skis, kayaks, a bicycle, etc… Give yourself time to get these things.
8) Same or different?
Do you like to do the same exercise routine everyday or are you looking to mix things up? This is important so that you either don’t get bored or have too many scattered plans.
8) When will you begin?
Pick a day. The begin. See how it goes. Take a look at my blog Create One New Habit in the New Year for some inspiration.
And remember, you got this!
In practice for over 20 years, Bonnie Diamond offers individualized, heart-centered care using a pain-free, Japanese style of acupuncture. Her work is influenced by her nine year struggle with and complete recovery from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.