The words exercise, fitness and workouts might conjure up images of women trying to catch their breath as they sweat their way through a grueling cardio class, men grunting as they lift and then drop their heavy weights on the gym room floor, or speed walkers you see every day briskly making their way through your neighborhood.
But fitness, like most things healthy living, is not one-size-fits-all! And you don't need a gym membership to make it happen.
And at the end of the day, if the fitness path you're choosing doesn't incorporate some sort of fun, get you excited about moving, and provide a great outlet for daily stress, well, it's probably not going to last long.
Webster defines exercise as, "activity requiring physical effort, carried out especially to sustain or improve health and fitness."
And that's great news because it means exercise can be found in any number of physical activities, such as:
Riding your bike to work
Playing soccer, basketball or tennis with friends or family
Hiking with your dog
Taking a yoga class
Going for a walk around your neighborhood
Doing a series of bodyweight exercises
Swimming laps at your local pool
Did you know... The American Heart Association recommends adults engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity at least 5 days a week (that's 150 minutes a week), or at least 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity at least 3 days a week (that's 75 minutes each week) as well as incorporating some form of high intensity cardiorespiratory exercise and strength training activities 2 days a week.
Sound like a lot? No sweat! I've got you covered with some fun, creative and outside the box move your body ideas!
If you enjoy soccer, tennis, volleyball, softball, hockey or football this one is for you! Your local community center or parks and recreation probably offers some classes and sports leagues that will get you having fun with your tribe in no time. And not only can this be a fun way to sneak in more exercise during your week, it's a super fun way to meet other people who enjoy the same activities you do. And bonus, having a partner or being a part of a team has been shown to boost results by offering accountability and social support.
Studies show that regularly engaging in a physical hobby reduces daily stress and boosts self-confidence by providing providing a healthy outlet you can look forward to!
Mind, Body & Spirit Fitness
Are you looking for some work/life balance or aspire to slow your go-go-go? Maybe you want to work on being more mindful and in the moment? Explore the mind, body and spirit benefits of mindful based fitness activities that foster individual growth and development. Some examples of this type of fitness are martial arts, Taekwondo, yoga, pilates, and creative dance. The great part of this type of fitness is most exercises can easily be adapted to your current fitness level, so that you can start where you are and gradually progress while working at your own pace. And because they're centered around mind and body awareness, you'll gain the benefit of a deeper connection to your body, improved breathing, raised awareness, allowing you to get strong and fit --- body AND mind!
Are you drawn to the outdoors? Would you much rather get your heart pumping outside than at-home or in the gym? Taking your fitness outdoors is for you! From outdoor bootcamps and open water swimming, to trail running and biking, there is no shortage of possibilities outdoors. The best part? The benefit of getting your exercise outdoors has been shown to boast all sorts of mind and body benefits, such as boosted mood, enhanced self-esteem, affordability, accessibility, and a fostering a deeper connection and appreciation for mother nature. Plus getting your exercise outdoors is a great way to support healthy balance, coordination and flexibility by providing varying terrain and weather conditions for greater resistance and stability challenge.
From body weight exercises to weight bearing exercises, there are many ways you can incorporate strength training into you at-home fitness routine. Joining a gym or group fitness class can feel daunting, especially if you’re new to exercise. At-home workouts offer you the convenience and flexibility of working out at your own pace, without the pressure of keeping up, or the anxiety of doing it in front of a bunch of people. Aside from helping you get stronger and fitter, strength training exercises carry some pretty great health benefits, such as supporting heart health, bone density, and muscle mass, and improving mobility. And you don't need fancy equipment or a ton of space to get an effective workout. If you're new to fitness or recovering from an injury, bodyweight exercises can be a great way to start. Traditional exercises such as squats, lunges, push-ups, planks, and sit-ups are excellent for building muscle and you can use items in your own home to increase challenge, such as using water bottles for weights, or adding incline/decline or varied positions by using a chair, stool, or stair.
Bottom line: the best kind of fitness is the fitness you want to do more of! Studies show when you choose a physical activity you enjoy, not only will you look forward to doing it, you're far more likely to stick with it over the long-term. And it's that consistency over time that equals results!
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