Copyright (c) 2011 Robert Trimvuller
If one of your plans for your life in the upcoming year is to get more exercise, you may be making a great investment on your health. Exercise has many benefits for people of practically any age, particularly these days, when post-modern life encourages us to sit or lie down for both work and amusement. Here are some tips for approaching this resolution well.
To begin with your new diet and fitness plan, make sure not to rush into an exercise routine with the conviction that it will magically heal your body of its ills. On the contrary, exercise can have some rather disturbing effects on the body, and it is important to keep track of changes in how your body works. For example, it is not uncommon for female athletes to have very irregular periods due to the increase in testosterone production attributed to strenuous exercise. This symptom is not limited to sportswomen. A woman who is unused to exercise can miss a period or two after she starts to work out regularly, even if the exertion is mild. The point is that a change to your routine—even if it is for the overall good of the body—can shock your system. You might want to ask your doctor about whether certain effects are a normal part of your body’s adjustment process, or whether they are signs that you need to scale back a bit. Too much exercise too soon is very risky. If you are accustomed to being sedentary, do not dive into a strenuous workout routine right away. This kind of drastic change can be very dangerous, even lethal—a person’s heart may give out, for instance. Start with mild but regular exercise, such as a daily walk.
If you find yourself always putting off exercise, try to figure out exactly why this is happening. Is it really because circumstances make working out impossible, or because certain aspects of the “workout experience” turn you off?
For instance, If you find that your local gym is full of overly judgmental, intrusive, or even downright obnoxious people, try exercising alone or with friends, away from people who give you negative feelings. You might try doing your exercises outdoors: jog in a park instead of trapping yourself on a treadmill. You will have a more varied experience as you speed through your surroundings, and can get some fresh (non-sweaty) air to boot.
Another reason for a person to be averse to exercise is that it can simply be a boring thing to do. Going to the gym and running is not fun for everybody. One of the best (unintentional) illustrations of this comes from pop culture. In the teen comedy film She’s All That, Amanda Bynes’ character attempts to socialize/reform a group of geeks into “mainstream” culture. One of the ways she does this is by taking the geeks to a gym in order to show them how “normal” people have fun and stay healthy. The film portrays the gym as an improvement on the geeks’ pre-Bynes form of recreation: having mock medieval battles in the woods, complete with chivalric armor and weapons. However, this writer believes (and perhaps many audience members did, as well) that the “original” geeky workout actually looked much more fun than the gym. Also, given how heavy the gear looked and how enthusiastically the participants were going at each other, it is safe to say that the geeks probably got at least as good a workout as their more conventional counterparts did. In other words, you do not have to be hidebound by traditional or fashionable types of exercise. Many interesting hobbies/activities can also function as a good workout. Gardening, playing with children, dancing, and participating in community theater are just a few of the things you might try, outside the bounds of a gym or home workout set-up. You can even try a more productive spin on your workout by doing more chores and errands yourself, if you rarely take part in such activities at present. As many underappreciated homemakers might say, simply keeping a household running is hard work!
Pick an appropriate type of exercise given your health, schedule, and interests, and make one of your best investments for the coming year.
Losing weight and getting fit is one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions. However very few people manage to fulfill their goal of losing weight and looking younger mostly because they lose interest due to boredom after a while.