There is scientific evidence that 30 min of exercise per day is extremely beneficial to short and long term health, however, you would be surprised at how many people do not do any form of exercise. Ever! Understanding that we all have busy schedules and do not make time for fitness, we should really reevaluate our priorities. Well I am here to give you a fresh perspective on how everyone can afford the time, the money and the motivation to make fitness and the health a priority by sharing with you the benefits of starting a fitness regime.
The first thing to point out that financial health can be included in this as when you begin to look after yourself, you begin to manage your finances more effectively. A study that was published in Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine notes that people who exercise on a regular basis, are more productive at work – therefore the more opportunities for increased pay or other self-employment opportunities.
“Typically, people who exercise, start eating better and becoming more productive at work. They smoke less and show more patience with colleagues and family. They use their credit cards less frequently and say they feel less stressed. Exercise is a keystone habit that triggers widespread change.”
– Charles Duhigg, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Busines
In this article, I seek to provide you with three options for getting underway (and hopefully maintaining) a fitness schedule, that will work in with your lifestyle – whatever it may be.
Option 1 – The Gym
The gym is always a good place to start as you have an abundance of tools for maintaining fitness at your disposal. You will have so many options available to you, depending on what gym you decide to go to. This could be a mix of running on a treadmill, bulking up on the weights or swimming in the pool. Depending on what gym you decide to go to you, they usually throw in a few free personal training sessions to get you started. If you do need to lay out the money for personal training I would recommend getting two sessions, and asking them to prepare a training plan for you. Depending on your current level of fitness and the goals you would like to get out of it, a personal trainer will be able to assist with this. Just ensure to make it clear to the personal trainer your intent of two sessions only, otherwise you may feel stuck training and paying for them.
How to keep motivated for this option: Begin with the end in mind. Whether it be a weight goal, a fitness goal or even a time goal of say three (3) months of a gym session twice per week – just to feel the difference in yourself.
Differences to expect: Weight loss / muscle gain. A sense of wellbeing. Clearer focus and determination.
Option 2 – Outside
This option can be used at any time of the day, night or afternoon. It could be running or walking for a certain amount of time each day, night or afternoon or perhaps a length of 5 kms. The benefits of option is that all you need to do is throw on a pair of runners, and quite literally walk out your front door. Explore the streets around your home, take your dog with you and hey, maybe you might find yourself on a walking track that leads to a beautiful lake or garden. If you are close to the beach, a run along the beach each morning (or each 2nd morning) is a great way to start the day and the beauty of it is, it’s free!
Once you start to see how happy it makes you to go to the beach each morning and see the sunrise you will never want to stop. It is just too nice.
How to keep motivated for this option: sign up for a 5km charity walk or run. Grab a few mates and make it a social event! Or if you have a pet dog, make it more about him. He will love to be taken for a run everyday and to see your dog happy always makes you happy!
Differences to expect: A connection to nature. Weight management. Reduced stress levels.
Option 3 – Group Sport
Softball, cricket, netball, basketball, soccer or tennis. Pick one that takes your fancy, get on the internet and have a hunt around for a sports club near you. It’s a great way to get out and meet new people and in a fun and safe environment. Group sport is great as it teaches you about teamwork, being a team player, recognising strengths and weaknesses and all while you are getting fit. It requires dedication, patience and respect! Team sport builds confidence especially social confidence and helps people develop healthy relationships with not only one person but a whole team. You will need to learn to lose and learn how to control your emotions. The best part is that you will also have a whole team to celebrate your winnings too! It encourages a family environment, as you could bring the whole family down to watch, or even get them involved. It’s a win all round!
How to stay motivated for this option: You will not want to let your team down – ever! This is a great way to get started on your journey to getting fit.
Differences to expect: A connection to the community. Ability to think on your toes. Weight management.