Ever noticed how people who exercise regularly tend to be rather happy and energetic? Exercise floods our bodies with feel-good endorphins, increases confidence levels and helps us sleep better too!
Despite all the life-changing benefits, many of us still think of exercise as a chore or something we don’t have time for. The truth is that it doesn’t take hours of pumping weights in a gym or running mile after mile to enjoy the benefits of exercise. No matter what your age or fitness levels, there are lots of enjoyable ways to use physical activity to help you feel better.
"Exercise is boring."
Sure, pounding on a treadmill for an hour may not be everyone’s idea of a good time, but not all exercise has to be boring. Just about everyone can find a physical activity they enjoy.
The key thing here is to mix it up! By having a variety of activities, chances are you’ll find something you love, and you won’t get bored! Here are a few ideas…
- Aerobic activities like running, cycling, and swimming strengthen your heart and increase your endurance.
- Strength training like weight lifting or resistance training builds muscle and bone mass, improves balance and prevents falls. It’s one of the best counters to frailty in old age.
- Flexibility exercises like stretching and yoga help prevent injury, enhance range of motion, reduce stiffness, and limit aches and pains.
If you hate jogging, you might find it tough to maintain a jogging program no matter how good it is for you. On the other hand, if you love to swim, dance, or play tennis, stick with those!
Give some thought to your likes and dislikes, and remember that preferences can change over time. Pairing exercise with another activity makes it easier and more fun. Simple examples include:
- Dance or yoga class (like Zumba!)
- Blast some favourite music and dance with your kids
- Make a deal with yourself to watch your favourite TV shows while on the treadmill or stationary bike
- Workout with a friend
- Compete in a charity run
- Enjoy as many outdoor activities (such as gardening) as much as possible.
Make it social!
Exercise can be a good time to socialise with friends and keep you motivated. For those who enjoy company but dislike competition, a running club, water aerobics, or dance class may be the perfect thing. Others may find that a little healthy competition keeps the workout fun and exciting.
Having a workout partner can be a great motivator - For example, if you won’t get out of bed to swim yourself, but at the same time would never cancel on a friend, find a swim buddy.
Well, that’s it for now! Think of it as a cycle. Being healthy makes you happy, so be happy with your exercise and get healthy! At Natural Balance Foods, we love to find new ways to get fit and stay that way, so check our Fitness Section regularly for some more great ideas!