The Shape You Are In

Helpful ways to keep your exercise program working, fun, and successful

Exercise…… we all know it is good for us, but do we do it regularly, do we enjoy it, is it making us more fit, are we doing it safely or are we one of the many who are exercising but not seeing any results? There are many factors that keep us motivated, keep us on track, and help to keep our body reaping the most rewards for the time we spend exercising. This article will give you some factors to consider if you are thinking of beginning an exercise program or to see if you are getting the most out of your current workout.

1)Buy the right equipment. Do you have proper running shoes and comfortable clothing to work out in? Are the weights you are using or the stability ball the right size for you?

2)Choose a convenient location. Join a gym close to work or home, purchase equipment to use at home when you’re watching TV, or find a place you like outdoors! If it is not convenient, you will not exercise as often.

3)Set the right workout time for you. Really consider your schedule. If you’re a morning person, get up earlier and enjoy your workout. If you’ve got time at lunch, do it then. Don’t plan on working out after work if you have a lot of errands to run.

4)Make exercise a priority. Plan your workouts like a doctor appointment. Schedule them ahead of time and don’t change it. It is an appointment with yourself – an important one.

5)Consult a licensed fitness professional. To devise a fitness program tailored to your needs, to teach you proper technique, to be safe, and to get the most out of your workout. They can really help you to see the best results possible and use correct form. Hire someone reputable.

6)Warm up. To avoid injury, start off any exercise program by moving for five minutes. It gets the blood moving into your muscles. At the end of your workout, do a cool down and some stretching. This is an area many people skip, but is important to do.

7)Realize every little bit counts. Walk instead of drive to the store, use the stairs, stretch at your desk, do calf raises and side leg lifts while cooking dinner – don’t cut yourself!

8)Let your hobbies help you get fit. Garden, dance, play badminton, curl.

9)Try new things. Add variety to your program to avoid boredom: a new piece of equipment, heavier weights, or trying a fitness class – your body will respond to the new activity and it will be more fun! Check out the new Parks and Rec. Leisure guide for affordable options. Many of the classes are for Full Figured women. Even a Frisky fitness dance class for you adventurous ladies!

10)Lift weights. To build muscles and burn fat. The more muscle you have, the more fat you burn (and you can then eat more – yeah!). Learn how to work with free weights properly.

11)Reward yourself. Reach a goal and treat yourself to a massage or a movie. Tip: Instead of saying you will exercise 3 days a week, plan the reward after 20 exercise sessions – it takes the pressure off the week and is better mentally.

12)Don’t forget to rest! Our body gets stronger with some rest days, especially if you are strength training.

I hope these tips help. Exercise is very important to put into your life – strive to do it safely and productively and you will be happier with the results!

Tara McNeil,owner of the Shape You’re In, award winner for her concepts on weight loss, and long term weight loss maintainer herself. In business for 3 years, she also is the personal trainer for Parks and Rec., Nanaimo and teaches many fitness/health classes there.