many women, I found "diet" and "exercise" to be nagging and dreaded
words that brought no motivation to change. I would stay on track
for a week, maybe two, then find myself right back where I started.
just couldn't find the time or energy to devote to exercising, and
fast food french fries were just too tasty. When I didn't see results
immediately, I would get discouraged and lose any motivation that
I had managed to summon up.
this time I knew I had to do something differently. I soon abandoned
my old idea of "diet" and "exercise" as I began to learn about the
importance of physical activity for my overall health and well being.
with a different perspective and a definite goal, I decided to make
some changes. I want to share some things I have learned along this
road to better health.
First, block out all those images of skinny people in tight outfits
running for an hour, five days a week. Forget the claims of a fabulous
stomach in seven days. The goal is to be more physically active,
not become a fitness maniac. Physical activity is so much more than
"exercise" or "fitness"; it can be anything to make you move more
than you do now.
best part is that new research shows that physical activity doesn't
have to be strenuous to achieve health benefits. Forget the days
of "no pain, no gain." Just 30 minutes of moderate activity accumulated
over the entire day can benefit your health, making you look and
feel better. Now, this is do-able!
activity is everywhere. It's at home, at work, in your neighborhood.
You can choose to set aside time in your day to be more physically
active - take a walk, go to a health club, or participate in a recreation
or sport activity. Or you can just make physical activity a part
of your day - work in the yard, vacuum, take the long way, walk
chose to join a health club. I lift weights for strength, stretch
for flexibility, and swim and use an upper arm ergometer (bicycle
for your arms) for aerobic exercise. A purposeful increase in physical
activity made a huge difference for me. I soon found that I didn't
get as tired during the day. My daily activities were easier, because
I had more strength and endurance. My clothes fit better. Overall,
I just felt better.
This is an opportunity to make choices for your own health. The
first step is to decide that your health is important enough to
make changes. No matter how long you've been sitting on that couch,
it's never too late to be more active.
you've made the choice, the key is deciding where to begin and staying
motivated. Here are some hints for getting started and sticking