Fitness - A Vital Ingredient to Well-being

Arrgggh. I hear you say.  No not exercise, I hate exercise.  Yeah, I know you do and I get it, I really do but our bodies were not made to be sedentary.

When most of us think about exercise we automatically think about the gym junkie and the “beautiful” people in their active wear showing off.  Did you ever think that maybe just maybe some of those gym junkies were once exactly in the same situation you are right now?  Well I can tell you that a lot of them were.

Ever thought, I’ll lose weight then I will be able to go to the gym?  Yeah, me too.    How successful were you with that mindset!  It seems an impossible situation, you want to move your body, you know you should move your body, maybe go to a gym, but feel that it is obligatory to be slim to attend.

No-one needs to attend a gym to gain fitness or exercise.  All you have to do is to start walking. Start by just going around your immediate house block and push yourself a little more each day.  You don’t need to be running marathons, just start slowly and keep pushing yourself little by little.  The benefits of gaining fitness and exercising build confidence and self-esteem which then has a very beneficial domino affect in other areas of your life.

Why is Fitness good for me?

Physical activity can take many forms it isn’t necessarily defined by going to the gym, doing bootcamps, running marathons.

It’s about movement that makes your muscles work to sustain a healthy body and mind. Every organ in your body, every part of your body including your skin relies on blood and oxygen flowing freely throughout to keep you alive.

Fitness/Exercising can:

  • Improve your mood and reduce feelings of stress, anxiety and depression
  • Its imperative to support a fast metabolism to burn calories and maintain muscle mass and weight loss
  • Physical activity helps build muscle and strong bones which also helps prevent and reduce the risk of osteoporosis
  • Exercise is shown to increase Energy levels even in those who suffer fatigue and serious illnesses
  • Activity is essential to maintaining a healthy weight, weight loss and reducing the risk of chronic disease
  • Increased blood flow from moderate exercise can provide antioxidant protection, delaying signs of ageing and protect your skin generally
  • Regular exercise improves blood flow the the brain helping to maintain brain health and memory functions at all stages of life
  • Regardless of the physical activity undertaken, including aerobic or weight/resistance training, it can help you sleep better and deeper.  Sleep is a restorative activity and so important for overall health and wellbeing
  • Regular exercise activity has shown an increase in pain tolerance and favorable benefits on existing pain associated with various conditions
  • Improved increased in the production of hormones that make you feel happier, enhance sleep and strengthen the cardiovascular system

Fitness for Fun

There are a number of ways you can begin your Fitness regime that don’t require over exertion particularly if you have been sedentary for some time due to obesity or obesity related physical issues.

In my many years of Clinical practice I have found most clients will own a treadmill, exercise bike or some other piece of fitness equipment that has been used as a clothes rack!!!  Move the clothes people.  Get the machinery out.  Put it somewhere you know you will see it and use it.  I know you have been bombarded with “thin” people telling you to do at least 60 minutes of exercise a day.  Let’s face it – it ain’t gonna happen!  It’s just another pressure, another reason we delay the whole process of getting moving.

So, here is what I get my clients to do.  Get on that treadmill, bike or whatever and go as fast as you can, like, really as fast as you can,for at least 3 minutes.  Then STOP.  That will have increased your heart rate and you are probably gasping for air.  Three Minutes.  That is all you need to do at one time and if you can’t do 3 minutes initially build up to it.  Then build up to five minutes, then ten and so on.

Now, I also want you to start doing your 3 minute rapid workout 10 times a day – build up to the 10 times if you need to, but you know what?  10 x 3 minutes every day???  There you go, you have done a workout of 30 minutes in one day of rapid exercise that has increased your blood flow, your heart rate, your oxygen levels.  It’s easy when you break it down like that.  Do 3 minutes, go off do some housework (yuk), whatever, and then get on and do another 3 minutes. And repeat. Take the overwhelm out of it and you will look forward to it.

Below are some Gentle Fitness activities you can do that won’t overwhelm you or your body as you begin reclaiming that slimmer, healthier, fitter you that is just craving to be discovered.

Walking

Its obvious, its cheap and anyone can do it.

Weights

Weights are a great way to start getting those muscles working.  You don’t need a gym full of weights, hell,  you can even use a couple of weighty objects you have around the house.  If you can afford it,  a Personal Trainer can be great for getting started and they come to you!  How good is that.

Pilates

I just love Pilates.  It uses every muscle in your body and elongates your body

Zumba

Yeh I know, I said Gentle. BUT.  Zumba can be done at a slower, gentler pace.  Its fabulous, its fun and it is my most favourite thing.