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When You Begin To Enjoy Your Fitness, These 10 Things Will Happen To You

When You Begin To Enjoy Your Fitness, These 10 Things Will Happen To You

Our bodies were meant to move. To run and jump and climb and explore the world.

Sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day, hmmm, not so much. And so you have to admit that it’s a little strange that we segregate a part of our day to grudgingly march off to the gym or the bootcamp to check the virtual box for the day’s exercise. We turn our health and movement into more of an obligation and less of a celebration of what our bodies can really do.

But when you begin to open your mind and understand that what really matters is movement – pure and simple – then you are on the right track to enjoy your fitness. And when that day comes, you’ll find yourself thinking in these 10 new ways:

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1. Fitness will no longer be an obligation

I’m starting off the list with the single most important realization that fitness should be fun. Because we were meant to move in our bodies. Because as kids we all ran and jumped and climbed and threw things and so on. But as we grew up we started to see fitness as something we were only supposed to do in a gym using weights, treadmills or exercise bands. But when you enjoy your fitness, you’ll see that it has no boundaries. Making time for fitness will become more of a lifestyle theme and you’ll actually look forward to your time exercising.

2. You will think in terms of activities, not reps and sets

When you start to become happy with the way your body moves, you’ll begin seeing fitness as just a series of activities. That game of kickball with friends becomes the whole point. Or maybe it’s your yoga class. In other words, you’re no longer training for anything, but you’re actually doing it!

3. You will be skill oriented

Similar to #2 above, you start to view fitness in terms of new skills. For instance, instead of overhead pressing for 5 sets of 5 to build your strength, now your goal is to perform a handstand. And when you nail the handstand your new goal becomes a handstand push up. This is a fun way to train. So if you’re struggling to begin a new program yourself, try thinking of your success in terms of a skill – it can be a very powerful way of looking at your fitness.

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4. You will be happy with the way your body looks

This is the big one: being happy with your body. And to understand this we have to go back to the recurring theme of this post – that when you enjoy your fitness it is no longer obligatory. Because now you’re exercising for fun. And when this happens you’ll find yourself moving a whole lot more than you used to. If weight loss is your goal then you’ll start to see the pounds come off. Or, if you’re looking to build muscle you’ll begin to see new definition because you’re probably spending more time resistance training. Either way, your body is going to start being a reflection of your lifestyle.

5. You will be less concerned with fitness apps

Fitness apps are growing in popularity these days and for some people they have been a great help. And while you may still continue to use your favorite app, you’ll see it as more of a ‘nice to have’ versus a ‘need to have.’ In other words, you’ll go to the gym because you want to. Or you’ll go on that run because you look forward to it all day at the office. You’ll no longer need that nudge from your app to do so.

6. You will be less concerned with expensive fitness gear

We all fall into this trap sometimes because the latest and greatest fitness gear can be enticing. But do we really need the latest version of a pair of shorts or workout top? And when you really begin to find fulfillment in your active lifestyle, it will become more and more clear that what you do matters far more than how you look while doing it.

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7. You will be more social

When fitness becomes a lifestyle you’ll find yourself spending more and more time with like minded individuals. That can mean new friends and better relationships. And perhaps most importantly, maybe the enjoyment you find in your own fitness will help encourage those around you to be more active themselves.

8. You will spend more time outside

You’re not still walking on a treadmill, are you? Of course not, because this post is about enjoying your fitness! If walking or running is your activity of choice, then odds are you’ll have many of your workouts outside. And even if you’re a weightlifter you should give calisthenics a try. A bodyweight workout on an adult fitness ‘playground’ can be both humbling and very effective.

And training outside means sunshine, soft grass and scenery. What are you waiting for?

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9. You will spend less money on your health

This shouldn’t come as any surprise. Living at a healthy weight puts you at a reduced risk for a myriad of health complications like diabetes and heart disease. In fact, according to the American Diabetes Association, living with diabetes may incur costs of up to $7,900 annually.

10. You will be happier

You are probably aware that exercising promotes the release of endorphins – the chemicals we most often associate with a runner’s high. But there’s even more good news! A recent Penn State study suggests that people who are more physically active report greater feelings of excitement and enthusiasm when compared to their more sedentary counterparts. In other words, if you need a boost in your day, try adding some invigorating exercise to help you reset.

And this makes sense, right? When our level of fitness matches the activities we want to do – whether it’s a simple game of kickball or a 70.3 Ironman – then simply put, we can do the things we want to do. And that’s just one less barrier between us and what we’re going after.

See ya out there!

Featured photo credit: Brooklyn Morgan via unsplash.com

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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