Consistent exercise and proper nutrition play a vital role overall health and quality of life. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, consistency in these two areas can help maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease as well as lower risks for certain forms of cancer, for starters. Your body needs quality fuel and proper maintenance to function optimally. Nutrition and exercise help meet these requirements.
The American Heart Association recommends a minimum of 30 minutes of physical activity per day five times per week. Little changes can lead to a big difference such as taking the stairs or walking to the store if you need to buy something quick. Having a dog will also activity, as they need a 20-30 minute walk per day.
Office jobs can make it very difficult to maintain high levels of activity, so be sure to get up, stretch, and do a few laps around the office every hour. A 15 minute walk after you have eaten lunch can have multiple benefits as walking aides digestion and being outside can get you much needed vitamin D. On weekends, chose a fun activity such as hiking, biking, and a day at the beach. Each of these tips will help get you up and out of the saddle to a new and healthier lifestyle.
If you’re having trouble beginning an exercise plan or following through, you’re not alone. Many of us struggle getting out of the sedentary rut, despite our best intentions.While practical concerns like a busy schedule or poor health can make exercise more challenging, for most of us, the biggest barriers are mental. Maybe it’s a lack of self-confidence that keeps you from taking positive steps, or your motivation quickly flames out, or you get easily discouraged and give up. We’ve all been there at some point.
Ditch the all-or-nothing attitude. You don’t have to spend hours in a gym or force yourself into monotonous or painful activities you hate to experience the physical and emotional benefits of exercise. A little exercise is better than nothing. In fact, adding just modest amounts of physical activity to your weekly routine can have a profound effect on your mental and emotional health.
Be kind to yourself. Research shows that self-compassion increases the likelihood that you’ll succeed in any given endeavor. So don’t beat yourself up about your body, your current fitness level, or your supposed lack of willpower. All that will do is demotivate you. Instead, look at your past mistakes and unhealthy choices as opportunities to learn and grow.
Check your expectations. You didn’t get out of shape overnight, and you’re not going to instantly transform your body either. Expecting too much, too soon only leads to frustration. Try not to be discouraged by what you can’t do or how far you have to go to reach your fitness goals. Instead of obsessing over results, focus on consistency. While the improvements in mood and energy levels may happen quickly, the physical payoff will come in time.