Are You Really Ready To Get Back In Shape?
© Doug Champigny, http://flirtingwithfitness.com
All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
So you’ve decided to get back in shape – that’s great! But how many times before have you started getting back in shape, only to abandon your pursuit short of reaching your goals? Or gotten back in shape only to let your fitness level slide again? To help keep you on track this time, let’s take a quick look at what it means to get and stay in shape…
Fitness is a LIFESTYLE, not a static target.
Everyone has different fitness goals, so getting back in shape means different things to different people. You might have to lose weight, improve your cardiovascular health, build lean muscle, overcome injury or become more flexible to feel you’re progressing. Senior fitness often means becoming more mobile, able to walk further or be better able to maintain balance better, or overcome conditions like osteoporosis, arthritis and diabetes.
Once you’ve identified the negative factors in your lifestyle that brought you to this point you can start altering your daily life to both include helpful physical exercise and eliminate those negatives. After consulting with your doctor you’ll know what you have to avoid or be careful about, and have a better idea of the pace you should, or even must, make those changes at.
Healthy Nutrition is just as important as Exercise.
But less time on your butt watching TV and more time exercising is just one part of getting in shape and enjoying a healthy lifestyle. Just as important are the foods and liquids you put into your body each day, and the amount of rest your body gets between active periods.
Chances are you aren’t an expert in nutrition – but there’s an equally good chance you already know what you eat and drink that you should avoid. Bad habits like eating at fast food joints, drinking excessive sodas or alcohol, munching on chips and/or cookies while watching TV or surfing the web, second helpings of desserts – these are all very common in our society, and all of them contribute to the unhealthy lifestyles that lead to obesity, Type 2 diabetes, heart attacks and strokes.
Start, of course, by limiting and eventually removing those from your daily life. It’s as easy as a trip to the library or a book store to start learning about healthy nutritional habits, or spend some time researching it online – you’ll find lots of healthy recipes for starters, entrees and desserts online too. Remember, small changes can lead to big improvements in your life!
Getting enough Sleep is another major factor.
The cells of your body cannot feed and expend energy at the same time; neither can muscles exercise and repair themselves at the same time. As a result, most of your body’s healing occurs when you’re asleep. One of the greatest perils of today’s lifestyle is a lack of sufficient rest, and it’s one you have to overcome if you want even a reasonably healthy lifestyle.
Your body functions best when it gets 8 – 10 hours of sleep per night, so aim to get at least 7 hours of sleep per night with an average of 8 or more hours. If that doesn’t seem possible right now, supplement with naps whenever you can and take a long, hard look at how you spend each day.
If being healthy & fit means being sick less often, recovering faster, having more energy and a clearer mind, being able to participate in any physical activity you choose and potentially living a longer and more pain-free life upon retirement, isn’t it worth re-evaluating some of your current activities that are preventing you from getting enough sleep?
Far from being extreme, the above points about lifestyle, nutrition and sleep are just the starting blocks – the foundation steps – towards getting back in shape and enjoying the fitness lifestyle. If it seems like too many changes or you don’t feel ready to adopt these steps then you simply aren’t yet ready to get back in shape.
If that’s the case, check with your doctor to see if any physical conditions warrant you changing your view immediately. In other words, make sure you really do have time to put off getting back in shape. Then decide which of the above improvements to your daily life would be easiest to incorporate and begin with those. Hopefully before too long you’ll find the changes aren’t as radical as you first thought & you’ll be ready then to start getting in shape and living a healthy lifestyle.
On the other hand, if after reading the above you feel you’re really ready to get back in shape then more power to you! Check with your doctor to see how radically you can change your exercise level and daily dietary intake, have at it – you’ll be SO glad you did!