After almost 3 weeks of New Years Resolutions, many of us are losing our motivation to get (and stay) in shape. I think keeping our bodies healthy is a critical to our other successes in life. I do not own a gym or teach exercise classes--I just think it is really important.
Here are a couple of my personal ideas to help you make exercise a way of life:
- Tackle it in 10 minute increments. You can do anything for 10 minutes. After careful planning and purchasing, I have set up a mini-gym in my basement. I have an eliptical, a recumbant bike (easier on my back), and a treadmill. If you do each one for 10 minutes you have been exercising for 30 minutes!
- Escalate your workout. If you buy in to the 10 minutes, try increasing your speed every 2 minutes. It is even easier to do something for 2 minutes than for 10. And the benefits are greater!
- Add some music. I have a small television (with cable) so that I can watch VH1 and MTV. Not only does it keep me moving, but I have seen more music videos than my teenagers...music is a neutral topic, so my exercise sessions give me some things to talk about with my kids! Radio, MP3 player, Walkman all work well, too. Just make sure you have fast tempo music.
- Get out and Walk. You don't need a fancy set up, just walk! I always walk 1/2 an hour (or more) from my house--because I have to walk back. All of the sudden, I have added an hour of exercise to my day, gotten away from my work and spent some time outside.
- Weights and mats. As you add more time to your work out, put in 10 minutes for weights. Bicep curls are easy, and you would be surprised how many exercises you can find in magazines and online to help you. Just remember to keep your form to avoid injuries.
- It is not all or nothing! I think sometimes we feel like we either go to the gym daily or we are not 'exercisers.' Nothing is that cut and dried! You need to figure out what works for YOU and implement it.
This morning I was heading upstairs to get dressed for the day and realized that I had an extra 30 minutes. I did not feel like exercising, but just did not give myself the option of skipping it. You know what? I feel a lot better!
If your budget does not allow for fancy exercise equipemnt, here are a couple of idea:
- Check out CraigsList.com and see if people in your area are selling equipment
- If your area has Freecycle.com, things are FREE!! You just have to make arrangments to pick it up.
- Ask your friends...people get tired of the treadmill in their bedroom and want to get rid of it. Sometimes it just takes the offer to move it to make it yours!
- Buy an exercise stand for the bike that sits dormant in the garage...all of the sudden you have a stationary bike!
Good luck with your exercise program in 2008!
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