Never stop moving
Do you think you need to be in the gym to get a good workout? Why? Because the magazines, your friends, the local trainers tell you so? Well that's wrong. The gym is a great place to find structure, motivation, gain knowledge, and of course, get a great workout using someone else's equipment. If the gym is free to you, even better. However, you don't need to walk into any facility to get and stay physically fit.
Physical fitness means that you are able to perform physical activities outside of the norm. Cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility and body composition are all components that have to be worked on to improve and/or maintain a certain level of fitness.
If you've been off the workout wagon too long or just never really started it is extremely important that you begin, NOW! There's no time like the present. Leave the excuses behind. I've heard them all and barring an illness that keeps you off your feet or specific Doctor's orders, there really isn't much you can't do to stay active every single day. You don't have time? Well, then maybe later you'll have time to be ill, how about that? You're tired? Hmmmm, maybe it's because you need to become physically active and give your nutrition an overhaul. Are you sleeping? Do you drink enough water?
One excuse I've heard often is "I'm so out of shape, I don't want to walk into a gym the way I look." Well guess what? Going to the gym is what will change the way you look. You're not there to impress anyone, you're there to get healthy. However, like I said earlier, you don't have to go to the gym to get started.
1. Walk. Free, easy, don't need transportation, enjoy music or digital books. The benefits are endless with walking. Start by walking away from home for 10 minutes and see how far you go, then turn around and come back. There, 20 minute walk, DONE! Next time try to get to the same place in less time. When you cut that time in half walk at the same fast pace for 10 minutes and see how much further you go...and so on. You get the idea. Before you know it you are walking an hour at a moderate to fast pace and getting a great workout. It wont be long before you find yourself jogging that walk.
2. Bike. Like walking, it's free and easy, do it any time of day. All you need is a bike, helmet and a reflecting belt or vest (for safety). Follow the same walking program, hit some hills and watch yourself go further and faster each time.
3. Kids. Yes I know, when you have kids things are a little more complicated. Or are they? Kids are little energy machines. They just go, go, go. So take them to the pool or beach and play WITH them, don't just watch them play. Go to a park and play WITH them, get dirty. Take them on a walk or bike ride. Go play basketball, volleyball, soccer wherever, you don't need a special field or equipment. Have you tried WiiFit? Believe me, it's quite the workout. With kids, anything active goes and that is your chance to get in a workout and spend quality time with the children.
4. Home Fitness. Finally, I know this is difficult, use the library or go to FitTV, or purchase videos with structured classes to get you started at home. Sometimes it's hard to get motivated to exercise at home but all you need is an hour and sometimes less time to do a cardiovascular workout. Start with a short class and move up from there.
I have to mention ACCOUNTABILITY here because I believe it is important to be accountable for what we do or say we're going to do. Either get a buddy to do this with or share your progress with your family and friends. You will get lots of free motivation, exercise tips (take them or leave them), and most important, you will have the support of those around you. Getting back to fitness doesn't have to be some secret. The more people know the more likely you are to continue doing it because you feel accountable to someone other than yourself.
Keep in mind that physical fitness is not about being a size zero; it's not about getting a six-pack or even about fitting into a 2 piece bathing suit. It's definitely not about burning off that "momma pouch" just below the belly button or getting rid of your God given hips. Some things are there to stay and you just have to learn to work around them (no pun intended.) So get moving and don't stop. Invest time in you now and later you'll be able to invest more time in others.