Fitting in Fitness

Do you find any and every excuse not to exercise? Would you rather do anything else—even sort your socks or clean the oven? Here are a few ways to get you going, and keep you going.  

Do What You Love

The easiest way to sneak exercise into your life is to choose an activity you enjoy—one that doesn’t feel like exercise, even though it is. Ask yourself: What am I good at? If you play to your strengths, you’ll find fitness activities you can enjoy for years.

Choose Your Hour

Studies have shown that people who work out in the morning are most likely to stick with a routine. By getting their exercise in before the day starts, they skirt the last-minute scheduling conflicts and end-of-day blahs that thwart even the best intentions. What if you’re not a morning person? Your best time is whatever works for you. If you’re in top form from noon to 1 p.m., aim for a midday or lunchtime workout.

Call It By Another Name

Substitute any aerobically challenging household activity for the standard exercise routine. If it’s something you have to do anyway—like washing the car or planting some bushes in the yard—you’ll meet two goals at once.

Do It to Music

Sign up for classes in swing dancing—or flamenco, folk, or African dance. All provide a terrific workout and a lot of fun. Or load an MP3 player with your favourite songs – your personal soundtrack will make any workout time go faster.

Be a Bookworm

Read a book or listen to an audiobook while you exercise. That way you’ll look forward to your next session.

Don’t Sweat It

If a damp T-shirt is not your idea of a good time, try gentler forms of exercise such as yoga, Tai Chi, or Pilates, offered at many gyms.

Partner Up

Exercise is more fun when you do it with a friend. And on days when your motivation is low, you’re more likely to stick with the program to avoid disappointing your exercise buddy. Or visit websites like iVillage and find a fitness buddy to cheer you on to your next fitness goal.

Train With an Expert

A personal trainer will help you set goals, design a personalized fitness program, and vary your routine to keep it challenging.

Join a Club

Make fitness part of your social routine by joining a running, walking, hiking, biking, or tennis club. You can even join a team-sport club.

Start here for a moderate aerobic work-out:

  • Brisk walking
  • Slow jogging
  • Cycling
  • Low-impact aerobics classes
  • Step class (with a low step)
  • Swimming
  • Power yoga
  • Swing dancing
  • Stair-climbing machine
  • Elliptical trainer
  • Tae Bo (cardio-boxing)

   

Find the best books and DVDs on well-being and healthy lifestyles at the readersdigest.ca online store.

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