Once upon a time, fitness plans conjured up images of sterile gyms, expensive workout clothes, and pretty much, just sheer torture. Gyms are expensive and it can be intimidating workout with other men or women who look so much healthier and slimmer than you do. It can, in fact, be downright demoralizing. But we all know that sticking to a workout plan and getting in a good sweat session regularly is incredibly good for us and something that we should be doing. So why do we keeping putting it off, claiming that we don’t have time and are too busy, or that we’re tired and we’ll try again another day? We have plenty of time to scroll social media or watch TV. Perhaps the core of it is that many people don’t believe exercising can be fun. But it can be! Good exercise can now be both fun and private and something you can personalize to your body, time, and fitness level. Piyo pilates, for example, yoga, HITT training, and Zumba are all forms of exercise that are quite good for you, but that can be done alone or with a group and don’t require a lot of expensive equipment.
So Let’s Talk About Our Need for Exercise
Sadly, under a quarter of adults meet the Centers for Disease Control’s Physical Activity Guidelines in terms of aerobic physical and muscle-strengthening activity. The same percentage can successfully lose weight and keep it off and under five percent of adults do half an hour of physical activity every day. Furthermore, the CDC reports that three-quarters of healthcare costs are spent on treating chronic diseases that are preventable — mostly through healthy eating and regular exercise.
Evidence shows that getting the amount of physical activity you need regularly can lower your risk to get cardiovascular illnesses, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome, as well as many other illnesses. You’re sure to see your blood pressure and cholesterol go down as well.
Ugh! But I Really Am Busy! How Do I Fit It In?
You want to balance your activity with moderate-intensity activity and vigorous-intensity activity. Vigorous-intensity activity happens if your heart rate increases by a good deal and you’re breathing hard enough that you couldn’t talk regularly with another person. An example of moderate-level activity is briskly walking on level ground (at a rate of about three to four miles an hour).
More and more workouts are trending towards fitting in around people’s schedules. Piyo pilates is a fun blend of pilates and yoga and many of the workouts can be broken down into manageable chunks to fit in around the rest of your busy day. Like piyo pilates, many yoga classes or other online fitness courses have workouts that take less time, to make it more manageable. But don’t be fooled — the shorter the time, the more intense the workouts! So if you can’t commit to one longer block of time, try and do short activities throughout your day. Take three ten-minute walks, or take the stairs instead of the elevator.
I Hate Running and I Don’t Like the Gym. What Now?
We’ve got an answer for that too! There are so many other options for people who want to workout now, who don’t play a sport or want to go to the gym. Things like piyo pilates, kickboxing, Zumba classes, yoga, and crossfit are all really taking off. Many of these things can even be done in the privacy of your own home, where no one else has to see you sweat or struggle. If you’re more motivated to exercise with others, take classes that are offered. Many yoga centers are separate from gyms (although some gyms do offer yoga classes) and there are even some Zumba studios or dance studios you can practice in.
Stop making excuses and get out there! There are so many great options these days for everyone’s body type, schedule, and budget — why wouldn’t you want to take advantage? You can get fit, have fun, and you’ll be pleased by the results of all your hard work! What’s not to love?