Warning: Exercise Has Been Known to Cause Health and Happiness
I’m sure you wellness aficionados already know the importance of physical fitness, but maybe you’re searching for motivation or that extra oomph to get the ball rolling.
When you read increase your fitness level, do you think about burning maximum calories, forcing yourself to participate in painful activities or spending exhausting hours in the gym each day? It doesn’t have to feel laborious. In fact, adding a little physical activity to your weekly routine can have a profound effect on your health and well-being, allowing you to improve your fitness and maintain progress toward your goals.
To help, I’ve put together a list of six everyday actions that will create a healthier you over time:
1. Become a Goal-Getter
Whether you’re a relatively active person or an acclaimed couch potato, setting goals in this quest to increase your fitness level will help you reach your desired finish line. Perhaps you want to improve your mood, boost your energy or lose a few pounds—whatever your aim may be, only you have the power to create your own success. Set realistic, reasonable and achievable goals that cohere with your schedule and lifestyle, rather than following targets of a competitive athlete or bodybuilder. Consider establishing the following goals for yourself:
- I will be active for at least 15 minutes a day
- I will complete a short endurance race within four months
- I will meet with a personal trainer once a week
After you set your goals, it’s important to start at a slow pace, gradually increasing your level of physical activity. That way, you’re being positioned for success, not burnout or injury.
2. Maintain a Healthy Diet
This may seem like a given, but I’m going to say it anyway: Maintaining a healthy diet will give you a significant amount of energy to pursue fitness goals. By eating a serving of fruit or vegetables, you will easily feel healthier and more refreshed. For instance, when you eat junk food or drink sugar-sweetened beverages, you probably notice the quick and unfortunate effects on your waistline and body in general. Now, imagine switching from greasy, high-calorie food to fresh, nutrient-rich food. The effects would only be positive, allowing you to keep your energy level high and eating habits strong. Try these beneficial treats to get the best out of your regular workouts:
- Banana slices
- Whole-grain bread
- Greek yogurt
- Oatmeal with fresh fruit
- Apple wedges
- Fruit smoothies
3. Take Advantage of Chores
If you have a busy schedule, you might find it challenging to make time for exercising or participating in any energy-boosting activity. The good news is that it’s easier than you think. For example, the daily tasks you may find burdensome, like regular housework, actually involves enough movement to maintain good health and well-being. The following activities are effective, too:
- Walking instead of driving
- Stretching while watching television
- Planting a garden
- Taking your dog for a walk
- Washing the car
- Shoveling snow
- Raking leaves
Chores just got a little better, right?
4. Give Workday Workouts a Whirl
People who sit at a desk all day know the frustration of feeling pain and tightness in the neck, shoulder and back region. What if I told you there are ways to remain active within your workspace? Whenever you have the chance, stand up instead of sitting down, as it uses more energy and helps with posture. Instead of emailing or calling a co-worker, walk to their desk. Instead of taking the elevator, take the stairs. Instead of sitting on a chair, use an exercise ball. You should also try these great “deskercise” workouts for your workday:
Start each day with the mindset to move because every bit of movement adds up.
5. Participate in Group Exercise Classes
If you’re the type of person who requires support and the company of others, then joining an exercise group may help you increase your fitness level in many ways. Collaborating with workout partners will give you the motivation to respond to that 5:30 a.m. wake-up call or participate in energizing activities. With a friendly fitness instructor there to guide you, what else do you need? Try these effective fitness classes that will not only give you get the immediate benefits of exercise, but also the opportunity to spend time with friends:
- Aerobic dance
6. Create Consistent Results from Consistent Action
This is what brings it all together. To ultimately increase your fitness level and see the results you desire, you must follow each step consistently. Set achievable goals, maintain a healthy diet, get the most out of daily chores, take part in workday exercises and join a group for motivation. Try to exercise at the same time every day, or whenever you can, because you will develop a schedule that makes your workouts habitual. After some time, you will be so used to your routine that taking a few days off will leave you feeling sluggish and unambitious.
Whatever your goals are, eating right and incorporating exercise into your daily routine will help increase your fitness level and create noticeable improvements in your life. Not only will you look better, but you will feel and think better, too.