Having a toned and trim physique is important but it is also a good idea to exercise the mind at the same time. Being in good mental health is just as essential as being physically fit, and in many cases even more so. A strong mind and soul will vamp up your mental acuity making you more focused and therefore more productive in all aspects of your life. Here’s how you can work all aspects of your body for a better you!
1) Find Your Passion
The number one reason exercise regimes fail is because typically they aren’t fun and in fact, we dread doing them. Research shows that if we engage in physical activities that don’t feel like working out, we are more likely to stick with them and the programs are more successful.
- Zumba-This Latin styled dance/exercise program is usually 45-60 minutes long and incorporates sassy and sexy ‘dance’ moves. Grab a friend and join a class. The classes are not judgmental, you will have tons of laughs, they are great for any level and you will burn an average of 600 calories per session!
- Kickboxing-These martial arts inspired classes also burn hundreds of calories and are fun-based. Plus they teach concentration, strength training and focus so you’re working your mind at the same time.
2) Get Centered
Any fitness guru will tell you that to be fit and healthy having good balanced and a strong core is a good starting point. Some exercise programs are specifically designed for emotional enlightenment and body sculpting.
- Yoga-This has been around for centuries and began in India. The entire program is based on physical, spiritual and mental disciplines, thereby tuning into every aspect of your body. Through a series of poses health exercises as well as meditation and proper breathing, you will not only shed pounds, but it has been proven to decrease anxiety, and help combat mental illnesses like ADD, osteoporosis and high blood pressure.
- Pilates-Using a series of exercises which focus on flexibility, strength and balance, Pilates is utilized by children, athletes, dancers and pregnant women. Pilates has six principals: centering, flow, breath, control, precision, and concentration. It can be done on Pilate’s machines or in group settings which uses simple mats. Don’t let the slow movements fool you-a woman who weighs 150 pounds doing beginning moves for 60 minutes will burn approximately 250 calories.
- Tai Chi-Similar to these other programs, Tai Chi uses slow and controlled movements along with a series of breathing exercises to increase stability, balance and sculpting; but it is also said to increase the body’s natural ‘chi’ level which brings about fulfillment and happiness.
One of the best ways to be healthier without it feeling like work it to engage in a hobby you already have or start one that seems appealing and then do it more frequently. To reach your fitness goals you should be doing a program at least 3 times per week for about 45 minutes. Hobbies that burn ton calories and tone the body include:
- Dancing of any kind
- Tennis or Racquetball
- Skiing or Snowboarding
4) Goal Setting
As you begin your fitness regime put some thought into what your goals are and write them down. Writing things down makes them a reality. Start with some smaller goals and as you hit each one, add another. Some examples of attainable goals are:
- I will lose 10 pounds this year
- I will commit to working out at least 3 times per week
- I will fit into a size (insert realistic number here) dress for my October wedding
5) Making the Time
We are all busy and one of the biggest excuses for not getting fit is lack of time. But to truly commit to an exercise and wellness program you have to stop making excuses and resign to finding the time. This will involve being honest; those 20 minutes you spend in front of the television can be used more productively to attain one of your above goals.
Instead of watching your usual soap opera or reality show, throw in a dance DVD or engage in one of the hundreds of exercise programs available on NetFlix. Even 20 minutes a few times a week will give you staggering results and once you start losing a few pounds or inches, which will motivate you more.
Here are some other ways to carve out some ‘you’ time:
- Set your alarm 15 or 20 minutes earlier and do an exercise video or take a brisk walk
- Use your lunch hour to walk around your workplace building or climb the stairs for a few sets
- Invest in a treadmill and while you are watching television walk on it for one entire program
6) Get a Partner
Studies reveal those who work out with a partner are more apt to stick with it than those who exercise alone. Start a neighborhood walking group or join a gym with your friend. Not only will the two of you encourage each other, it is a great way to catch up on gossip or vent frustrations while burning calories.
7) Reward Yourself
Every time you reach one of your goals, reward yourself. But stay away from treats and instead make it a reward that pertains to your fitness goals such as a new C.D. that you can walk to or a new outfit to show off your trim figure. If we feel like we are rewarded for our hard work, we are more apt to stay with it.
8) Switch It Up
Staying with one regime for too long will inevitably bring boredom and you will stop it. Find one or two (or more!) things that involve physical movements and switch them around. One week do some Zumba and the next incorporate walking. Keeping things new and fresh will combat boredom.
9) Go Easy on Yourself
The point of fitness is to get into shape and create an overall state of wellness. If you place too many restrictions on yourself too soon, or are too rigid with your program, it is likely that it will fail. Balance and moderation are pivotal to your success and therefore, allow yourself at least one day of rest where you don’t indulge in a fitness regime. Also afford yourself one ‘cheat day’ where you are allowed a small treat without feeling any guilt whatsoever.
10) Just Do It
Stop talking about your goals and desires and commit to making them a reality. You will probably find that the first few days are tough, but once you get into a routine and start seeing results, it will get easier and soon enough, will be a lifestyle instead of a challenge that you dread.