Health is a broad subject that has many definitions. It also may look different from person-to-person. We all have unique body types and genetics, so optimum health for one is not optimum health for all.
What everyone can agree on, however, is that physical activity is important. It can provide you with more energy for the day, help you sleep better, and promote longevity. Consistent exercise is an important habit to develop if you want to live a long and relatively comfortable life, though there is never a perfect guarantee against diseases or aging.
Maybe you are thinking about exercising more going forward. It can be difficult to build up a new habit, especially amid an already busy schedule. Here are a few ideas to help you pursue exercise and support overall wellness.
Wake Up Earlier for a Morning Workout
A crammed schedule for the day makes it very difficult to exercise. Often, by the time the day is done, you have no energy left for a workout. Motivation will be seriously lacking when you just want to chill for a bit before going to bed and doing it all again tomorrow.
Here is an idea to try.
Go to bed twenty minutes earlier than normal. Then, wake up twenty minutes sooner in the morning. With this extra time, you could go for a short jog or a brisk walk before starting the day’s activities. Too much effort? You could just do some Yoga, pilates, or calisthenics for a short time in the morning. Getting into the habit of exercising in the morning will ensure you make time for it throughout the week.
Balance Cardio with Strength Training
Focusing on one type of workout is fine, but it will not benefit all the areas of your body that need attention. For example, if you only ever go on jogs, then many muscle groups will not be strengthened very much. This is why you should balance cardio and strength training.
Many people use exercise to battle against stress, so finding diverse activities that you enjoy and working out different parts of the body is important physically and mentally. Cardio exercises include running, jogging, speed walking, biking, swimming, jumping jacks, and many sports. Strength training workouts can involve weightlifting, squats, planks, lunges, plyometrics, and balancing exercises.
Optimizing Workouts With Nutrition
When you do work out, there are right ways and wrong ways to approach it. For example, not stretching before or after exercising is a recipe for injuries or strains.
One way to work out well is to employ nutritional strategies. A balanced diet is important, but you can also take in nutrients immediately before or after a workout to optimize its effectiveness.
A fizzy energy drink ahead of time can give you naturally-sourced caffeine for a little more mental and physical energy for a better workout. A protein shake or bar after the fact can assist with muscle development as those cells tear and rebuild. Calories from carbs before a workout can also be useful as your body consumes energy.
The Dangers of Pushing It
If you are seeking fast, observable results from your new exercise routine, then you might be putting yourself in danger. Some who want to lose weight will practice very intense activities to maximize sweating or burning calories. However, overdoing it can easily cause more harm than good.
You may be putting your heart, muscles, joints, and other systems under too much pressure if you push things too far, causing long-term damage or injuries. This is also a risk for aging adults who may not be ready to regulate their workouts to accommodate a weakening body. Know your limits and understand the dangers of pushing yourself too far with your exercises.
Set Specific Goals
Goal-setting is a big part of fitness. Often, the people who succeed in becoming more physically fit had specific objectives that they wanted to accomplish. Specific goals that are realistic and have a timeline can make it easier to track your progress and celebrate milestones.
You could have a weight loss goal of a specific number of pounds to lose. Maybe there is an athletic race that you want to be able to finish in a certain time. When you set out on your fitness journey, make sure there are specific objectives to give you targets to aim at.
Forgive Yourself When You Fall Short
One of the most important mindsets to have with your physical fitness journey is to be forgiving. Life is unpredictable, and just because you make a plan to work out five times this week does not mean it will happen. Some days, you might just be too tired to exercise.
Other times, unplanned events will interrupt your schedule and make you miss a workout, throwing you off your rhythm or your timeframe for a goal. When you fall short, forgive yourself quickly and move on. Beating yourself up for failing won’t do you any favors. Forgive yourself, forget about the misstep, and try to do better next time.