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How to Start and be Successful with Any Exercise Regimen
by stephanie reck
9/18/2019 / Health
Who really likes to exercise, maybe those people who practically live at the gym; but for most folks exercising is not on our fun activities to do.
When I started running over 3 years ago, I didn’t want to nor did I have any desire at all to do any form of exercising. I began running first to challenge myself, I had never ran a day in my life before and I hated to run. I also began running for my health. I wanted not only to get into shape as I had begun to put on weight that was noticeable because of my short height, but I wanted to have energy again before the perimenopause starting draining me of my energy. I was in my early 40’s, never ran or for that matter exercised a day in my life, but I could not help all the research that pointed to exercising to improve not only your health but your energy. I googled countless ways I could feel better, lose weight and have energy and most if not all the research concluded exercising was the number one way to achieve these results.
I understand what the research said but I hated exercising and I just didn’t feel I could because my energy levels were so low. I learned some valuable key points that helped me during that time to overcome my limited mindset and begin to exercise and succeed at it:
Here is what I learned:
- Decide what type of exercising you want to do, for how long and on what days. Also determine if you need to incorporate additional forms of exercising into your plan, such as I am a runner but I don’t run every day because it is difficult on my knees and joints so I alternate between running and walking. I also lift hand weights on the days that I run.
- Research the benefits of exercising. You most likely will begin exercising if you know the amazing benefits.
Here are a few of the benefits:
- Improves your mood and decreases feelings of depression, anxiety, and stress. It does not matter how intense your workout is, your mood can benefit from exercise no matter the intensity.
- Helps you to burn calories and lose weight. It also helps to maintain your muscle mass.
- Builds strong muscles and bones. Practicing regular physical exercise is essential to reducing muscle loss and maintaining strength as you age.
- Increases your energy levels. Exercise can be a real energy booster for those that are healthy and those with various medical conditions.
- It can reduce your risk of chronic disease. Regular exercise has been shown to improve cardiovascular fitness and decrease blood pressure.
- It can help with your brain health and memory. Exercise can improve brain function, protect memory and thinking skills. Exercise has been shown to cause the hippocampus, the part of the brain vital for learning and memory to grow in size.
- Helps with relaxation and sleep quality.
- Reduces chronic pain. For many years the recommendation for pain was rest and inactivity, however recent studies show that exercise helps relieve chronic stress. Some studies have shown exercise can help control pain with chronic back pain and fibromyalgia, just to name a few.
- Get prepared. Buy a couple of workout pants, shorts and tops and invest in a good pair of walking or running shoes if that’s the type of exercising you plan on doing. You will also want to consider head phones for music as listening to music during a workout certainly helps.
- Make realistic goals. Start off slow, one of the best types of exercise that you can start with is walking. Aim for 20-30 minutes, 4-5x per week. Some things you can do while you walk: listen to music, pray, and/or speak positive declarations over yourself.
- Begin speaking over yourself daily that you are physically strong, that you enjoy exercising and that you are motivated to exercise. See yourself exercising and enjoying the benefits of exercising.
- Commit to 30 days of exercise in the beginning to form a new habit, it takes anywhere from 30-45 days to create a new habit. Make your mind up that for the next 30 days you will exercise 4-5x a week for 30 minutes as you may be challenged in the beginning with sore muscles and wanting to go back to your old ways.
- Stay hydrated before, during and after your workouts. Making a fresh fruit and vegetable smoothie after your workout, peanut butter and wheat toast or a boiled egg is a great way to repair tissue damage and build muscle mass after a workout.
- Make sure you are eating a balanced diet with fresh fruits and vegetables. A diet saturated in fat, sugar and lots of carbs will weigh you down and you most likely will feel too sluggish to exercise.
- Warm up/stretch before your workout and cool down/stretch after your workout.
- Determine if you like to work out alone, with someone else or a combination. I enjoy working out by myself, mainly because my main form of exercising is running. You may however enjoy group workouts like a Pilate’s class.
- Find the best time that works in your schedule for exercising. The best time for me to exercise is in the morning, which means I have to get up earlier but evening exercising just doesn’t work for me.
- Stick to a routine and schedule as much as possible. You should know the days and times you want to exercise so you can adjust your schedule and even put it on your calendar.
- Understand there will be days you just don’t want to exercise, it’s completely normally. Get past the feeling and do it anyways. On these days especially remember the benefits of exercising.
- Reward yourself as a form of motivation. Giving yourself small rewards for progress that you make will increase the chances of you continuing to work out, especially in the beginning.
Beginning any exercise regime starts first with the desire. Ask yourself why you want to start exercising. Make a plan and even write it out until exercising becomes a new habit for you. You will want to commit to at least 30 days of exercising so that you can form a new habit. Invest in good workout clothing and shoes. Speak and see yourself with the ability to exercise and the benefits you will receive, and reward yourself at least once a week to insure continued success in exercising.
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