Everybody knows that being healthy requires plenty of exercise. However, you must enjoy your exercise if you want it to help you live longer. A routine that takes the fun out of working out will only make you less motivated and weaker. It will do more damage in the long run. You may exercise rigidly or lightly. Just make sure you are enjoying it and it does not become a punishment for your body.
Here are important considerations for a fun-filled but effective exercise:
Do The Exercise You Love
Never impose something on yourself if you don’t love doing it. Never mind if it’s the latest craze in town. If you don’t enjoy it, don’t do it. Never mind if the exercise you enjoy is old fashioned, out of this world, or something you just made up yourself. Do it if it fits your lifestyle, and if it’s something you enjoy doing.
Make Sure You Workout A Sweat
Whether you want it rigid or light, sweating is your gauge of effectiveness. If you want it light, do it until you are sweating good, then gradually stop.
Some people think they always need to get too tired and breathe so heavily, to get a good workout. This is not true. Make sure that you do not spend all your strength just so you can say you had a complete workout. You don’t need to tire yourself each time. You must end each workout relaxed and still energetic.
Exercising once a week is not good. In fact, you may even be harming your body that way. Doing cardiovascular exercises, 3 to 4 times a week, for at least half an hour each time, is ideal.
Do A Variety Of Exercise Activities
They say variety spices up everything. If you feel like running today, go ahead. Run leisurely and enjoy the scenery. Next day, if you feel like doing table tennis, go ahead. On the third day, you may feel like just staying at home and doing some rounds of skipping rope and weights. Go ahead. Variety can eliminate boredom and can motivate you to enjoy your exercise.
Don’t Be Obsessed With Muscles
Bulky muscles are not important. You will survive without them. The important thing is to be fit, pass your medical tests, avoid a protruding stomach, and maintain your ideal weight. If you’re working out like crazy just to have those rippling and bulky muscles, you probably have been watching too much TV and movies, or you’re very insecure about yourself. Bulky muscles are not for everybody. Cheer up! Just be thankful that you have a body to keep fit and healthy!
Break It Down
If you don’t have enough time in the morning, break your exercise session down into smaller sessions during the day. Have 10 to 15 minutes of exercise in the morning, another one at noon, and another one in the afternoon. You may also do exercises while at work. Take very short breaks now and then for good stretches. If possible, do push-ups, isometrics, squats, or other simple but significant exercises (without need for any equipment).
Some people who are glued to their computers 8 hours daily do hard and tight hand/ arm compressions now and then, along with occasional squats. If you can walk instead of commuting or driving, that would be a healthier and cheaper alternative.
Shift Your Focus
Remember this truth: Having healthy internal organs is more important than having big muscles. People who live long, healthy, and happy lives are seldom preoccupied with gaining big muscles, though they are fit and have healthy internal organs. Focus more on aerobic exercises, muscle stretches, and deep breathing in a healthy environment.
Don’t Strain Yourself Too Much
Although the saying “no pain, no gain” has a ring of truth in it, always listen to your body. When it urges you that it cannot do more than two or three sets of nine push-ups, then comply accordingly. Do more next time.
Exercise In A Quiet Place Where Fresh Air Freely Circulates
If you can, exercise in the early mornings when there is lesser noise and pollution. A calm mind during a workout is very beneficial. When your mind is at peace, your organs will acquire most of the invigorating effects of smooth respiratory and blood circulations. A troubled or agitated mind due to a noisy environment sends unwanted stress signals that cause interruptions in the functions of your body organs.
Keep A Cheerful Heart While Exercising
Get rid of all evil thoughts, malice, anger, wrath, hatred, and other negative emotions. Make sure not to just put them aside for a while; instead, get rid of them! Negative emotions store prolonged distress in the body, thereby triggering bad chemical reactions in the blood and adversely affecting internal systems. These are the silent killers – time-bombs waiting to explode. Exercise will only hasten the time mechanism.
Some people pour their outrage into exercise — like angrily doing the punching bag, or lifting heavy weights — and feel much better later. This may be excusable if not done habitually. Don’t get used to releasing your negative emotions through rigid exercise. At times, fierce anger triggers high blood pressure, which is a silent killer. It often does not give warning signals. As your anger wells up, your blood pressure likewise jacks up.
Any doctor will tell you that exercise is bad when you are suffering from high blood pressure. What you need to do is to relax or rest, and not to engage in rigid exercise. Remember, feeling good does not always mean being healthy. Bad food feels good in the mouth too.
Pause A While For Deep Breathing
This ensures good air and blood circulation in your body. Rest and relax in-between exercises.
Drink A Lot
Make sure to drink lots of water or natural fruit juices during your rest periods to replace lost body fluids through perspiration.
HOBBIES OR CHORES AS EXERCISES
There are hobbies and house chores that involve physical activities. With a little imagination, you can have fun doing them and convert them into real body workouts.
Here are examples:
All the gardening activities such as squatting, bending, stretching, trimming, and sweeping are real exercises if done regularly. If possible, try not to use the water hose for watering plants. Instead, fetch a pail of water from the water source to the plants, alternately using your right and left hand in carrying the pail.
Sweeping The Street
Do a little favor for your neighbors. Sweep not only your yard, but also the portion of the street in front of your house as well. All that body sways, bending, and carrying trash into the garbage can are good exercises.
Wash not only your car, but volunteer to wash others’ cars as well. Again, don’t use the water hose but use a pail to get the water. The fetching of the water, the hard arm scrubs, and the stretching and bending are all good exercises. These build good relations too.
Cleaning Your Library
If you are a book lover and have piles of them in your home library, clean that room at least once a week. Bring out the books from the shelves and clean everything spotlessly. Place the books on the floor while you wipe the shelves. It would be better if you’re climbing up and down a ladder. After cleaning, replace the books.
Now, imagine all that bending, going up and down, and carrying from the floor up to the shelves! That is a mighty workout! Try alternating the cleaning of the library, the kitchen, and the basement, week after week.
Hop onto a bike, instead of your car, when you need to go to the market, shop, grocery, mall, school, or even work. Forget about shortcuts. Biking can promote good cardiovascular health. Just make sure to ride safely always. We want a long life here, don’t we?
Hiking And Taking Pictures
If your hobby is photography or filmmaking, take hikes as you look for things to shoot. Appreciating the beauty of nature can give you an inner sense of peace.
Rearranging Your Rooms
Do major clean-ups and rearrangements of your rooms often. Rearrange your living room, bedroom, and dining room. Rearrange the furniture. Don’t just drag them as you move them; lift them as much as possible. Choose manual tools for cleaning.
Note: It is important for you to enjoy doing a house chore to take out the pressure and tension in an exercise session. It is wearily doing a chore that makes it stressful.