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In order for your body to be fit, you have to get active. Let me help you get started with an activity plan to help you to get the results you deserve. My approach to getting fit features a sustainable long-term plan, so you can get and keep your results progressing week after week.
Everyone should be active in some way, especially as our technology filled life keeps us seated for too many hours a day. No matter what your current fitness or activity level is, there’s so much research that shows us that balanced nutrition and a consistent approach to being active is a great long-term strategy for improving and maintaining a healthy body.
How much activity do you need?
You should strive to get active for at least 30 minutes on 5 days of the week. Some of the many health benefits associated with exercise are improved bone density, improved muscle tone, cardiovascular improvements, and increased energy levels. If you want to make a big impact on body composition or improve your athletic performance, you’ll need to strive to be active for longer periods of time. Aim for 60-90 minutes of varied intensity levels that fit in with your specific personal fitness goals.
Don’t be scared of exercise
The reason so many people avoid exercise is that they associate it with many negative things like not feeling good, sweating, hard work and sore muscles or possible injuries. Now, I can’t promise that getting active won’t make you sweat. But I can tell you that if you follow a slow, progressive approach to getting active, you’ll start to associate fitness with improved body composition, body confidence and feeling great. Jumping into a routine too quickly can lead to increased muscle soreness, so be kind to your body and increase your intensity as your fitness level increases. During your next session push yourself enough to get results, but not too hard, you can’t walk the next day.
Take a fun approach to getting active
Your chosen activity should be fun because that’s what will keep you coming back for more. Avoid the extreme January jump or summer push and slowly progress your activity level as your fitness level improves. If you fall off track, you’ll have to start back at the beginning. When you stop exercising, you lose some of your cardiovascular fitness and muscular strength. Have confidence, though, because the climb back to where you left off may be faster than the first time you started out. Our bodies have amazing muscle memory.
How to start or reclaim your fitness level
Here are my few simple tips to get you started…or back on track.
- Perform simple stretches to ensure you’re moving your muscles and joints through their full range of motion each day.
- Increase your daily activity level by taking the stairs, parking in the furthest space from the store, gardening, dancing, playing with your children.
- Start adding regular walks to your day. You can slowly increase your time for most 30-minutes feels comfortable. Then increase your intensity level by walking faster. Start including varied terrain such as hills, then progress to a jogging or running pace (DO IT AT YOUR OWN PACE SO YOU WON’T INJURE YOURSELF!)
- Perform body weight resistance exercises such as simple squats, lunges, push-ups and then progress to using weights.
The most important thing is to listen to your body. Push yourself enough so you feel like you’re challenging yourself, but not so hard that you risk getting injured or walk around feeling terribly sore the next day.
I encourage you to get started because your body deserves to be healthy and fit.
The first week
- Do light weight training (3 lbs weights) 3x a week
- Do a brisk 5-minute walk 2 times a day (Morning and After Dinner but also whenever works for your schedule)
- Add 20 squats to your day 5 days of the week. The best thing is that you can do them anywhere.
- Do 10 crunches each morning before you start your day and as each week or every two weeks add 5 more crunches.