There’s no doubt that keeping fit has its benefits. By taking care of your body, you’ll live a longer, more productive life. You’ll have more energy, improved mental health and increased self-confidence. Your body will be less susceptible to disease, which will reduce your health care costs. You’ll look and feel better, and you’ll even enjoy a better sex life. Perhaps most importantly, you’ll be there for the people who love you and need you—your partner, children, grandchildren, and aging parents.
That said, today’s sedentary lifestyle makes it harder than ever to keep fit. The fact is, we’re spending more time on our butts than ever before. Whether in front of the computer, reading, watching television, playing games, or at work… there’s a whole lot of sitting going on. And that is not good news.
Consider a study conducted by the American Cancer Society. Researchers tracked 123,000 healthy women and men over a 13-year period and recorded their activity levels and death rates. The results were astounding, especially for women. It was found that men who spent more than 6 hours a day sitting were 18% more likely to die than those who sat fewer than 3 hours per day. However, women who reported sitting more than 6 hours a day were found to be 40% more likely to die during the time period studied than women who spent less than 3 hours sitting.
As a result, it’s never been more important to start and maintain a fitness regimen. The human body is the most intricate mechanism on earth, even more so than the space shuttle. Yet despite its complexity, maintaining your body’s health is a relatively simple process. Regardless of what we’ve been taught, keeping ourselves healthy and fit doesn’t have to be a complicated or time consuming process. In fact, it’s much more difficult, time consuming, and costly to live with a body that’s not functioning properly.
There’s absolutely no excuse for not maintaining some type of fitness program. Fitness is available to anyone regardless of budget or age, because it’s FREE. Being a former natural bodybuilding champion, I always look for ways to make my quest for fitness effective, simple and of course, fun. Here are some of my tips and strategies to get you started. These will work whether you have a tight schedule, travel a lot, would like to exercise at home and save time and money, or if you are just getting started with a fitness plan.
- Walking can have amazing benefits and can be done just about anywhere. I do a 20-minute walk on the treadmill first thing in the morning, and I can tell it improves my mood and clarity throughout the day. Integrate as much walking as possible into your daily routine. Leave your car at home when doing errands, or choose a parking spot at the far end of the lot. Walk with a brisk pace, similar to if you were running late to a meeting. A walking pace of about 3 to 4 miles an hour corresponds to 120 to 135 steps per minute. Look into the many phone apps that allow you to gage your steps.
Work out your midsection. Here’s a little trick you can do while standing or sitting: Blow out all the air from your body while simultaneously sucking in your tummy. Hold and tighten your tummy for about 3 seconds before breathing back in. Repeat. This exercise can have as much an effect as doing sit-ups, and you can do anytime, anywhere, and as often as you’d like. And no one will ever know!
Give yoga a try. Despite its amazing benefits to your mind, body and soul, only 5% of Americans practice yoga. Yoga can be performed just about anywhere, and at your own pace. Invest in an instructional DVD or check out some free yoga videos on YouTube. Or, take an introductory class through a community center, gym, or yoga studio.
Turn your chores into a workout. Pump up your energy and burn lots of calories as you’re vacuuming, doing laundry, changing linens, dusting, and washing floors. Make it fun by adding some background music. Be creative and wash your car to the song “Car Wash.”
Eat consciously and practice “trading.” By that I mean, trade unhealthy food for better choices. For example, if you usually eat fries, opt for sweet potatoes. Trade soda for water or unsweetened iced tea. Trade a hamburger for grilled chicken. Remember, while exercising is a big step, its effect will be minimized if you don’t eat healthy. You must combine exercise and proper nutrition for effective results.
I understand that every day we’re bombarded with thousands of “healthy” products from companies with clever, and perhaps deceiving, marketing tactics. As a result, we’re left overwhelmed and confused instead of educated. We see infomercials that promise weight loss with magic pills and crazy workouts, and advertisements for plastic surgeons who claim they can simply suck the fat out of us. All entice us with a “quick fix” that will almost never be beneficial in the long-term.
We try. Health and fitness has become a multibillion dollar industry in America, yet the United States is the most obese country in the world. So where’s the disconnect? What are we doing wrong?
The problem can be summed up in one word: inconsistency. Consistency can be achieved by integrating fitness into your life every chance you get. Think of fitness in the same way you would invest in your retirement account. Every time you exercise or enjoy a healthy meal, you’re making another deposit. So be sure to make those deposits consistently so your body will serve you well and last for all your years!
Renowned Performance Trainer in the field of Business and Self-Development, Nikkos (Nikk) Zorbas passionately helps people dream big and release their potential from within. Nikk is the Best-Selling author of “Discovering Your Personal Power,” he has recently released his latest book “Discover Your Business Power” now available on Amazon.com. His monthly columns appears the first Monday of every month on www.MesquiteLocalNews.com. To learn more visit www.DiscoverYourBusinessPower.com/