Excellent Exercise Energizers: Motivation for Movement
by Dr. Don Rose, Writer, Life Alert
One thing is certain in todayís uncertain times: exercise sells. An avalanche of advice appears in many magazines and other media about what types of exercise are best, specific routines, sport garments and style, and so on. This article takes a more general view, with tips to help you get moving and stick with it -- motivation for movement thatís aimed mainly toward exercise newcomers or those wanting to return to a regular regimen.
The older we get, the more important it is to get regular exercise, since most peopleís metabolism will slow down with advancing years. This means the pounds (especially belly fat) will tend to build up, as will artery plaque and other bodily dangers.
Fortunately, sticking to a regular fitness plan can help make your heart stronger, reduce your blood pressure, increase your energy levels, reduce overall appetite (so you are less likely to overeat), and will make you look and feel better. In short, exercise energizes while improving you inside and out. While this can be motivation enough for some, others need more specific ideas for maintaining or increasing the drive to exercise. Hence, this article provides some concrete encouragement to elevate exercise enthusiasm.
Here now, some ideas to help spur you to get more active and keep at it day after day.
Suit Up Smart
Wear comfortable clothes and sneakers (or flat shoes) during exercise. If you donít want to bring a change of footwear for after-work workouts, many top brands sell sneakers that look like shoes, so opt for one of those styles during your weekday work/workout days.
Find the Best Time
You might notice that certain times of the day feel better for exercise, either because your mind is more focused or you are less tired or you feel less rushed. Strive to identify such peak times and arrange your schedule so you have that time available to work out. Also, use common sense, like exercising indoors if extreme weather is present or expected.
Even if you havenít identified a peak time, try to exercise at the same time each day to get your body and mind into a routine, making it easier to stick with an exercise plan.
Start Slowly, Increase Incrementally
Donít try to do too much too fast, a common mistake made by newcomers to exercise. This can lead to excessive soreness and even injury. (A little soreness after a workout is okay, but pain is not.) Start with basic exercises and build up to longer and more intense workouts. The goal: get to 30 minutes or more of activity per day, at least 6 days a week.
Wield Water, Want Water
Always carry water with you if possible so you can drink the lifegiving liquid before, during and after activity. Always stay hydrated! We are mostly water, after all.
Track your activity and plan makeup sessions if you miss days. Make up, donít give up.
Experiment with exercises of different types, to keep your mind and body stimulated. Walk, run, swim, bike ride, play tennis, shoot hoops, lift weights -- youíll enjoy exercise more with increased variety. Itís like eating; no one likes eating the same thing each day, it gets boring! Donít let exercise get boring, either. Keep it fun by trying novel workouts.
Work on working in workouts wherever you can. Itís one fun way to increase exercise variety! Example: park a few blocks from a destination and run there. Walk to get food rather than drive. Walk the mall, doing laps on each floor. Use stairs instead of elevators. In general, choose active over easy, to increase your minutes of movement each day.
You can even try mini-workouts at work, or during ďwaitingĒ time (such as at the airport, etc.) -- especially useful if for some reason you canít get to a gym that day. It involves creativity, finding ways to use your body or items around you as resistance. For example, use your work chair as a resistance device. As I sit here proofreading this, Iím doing a tricep-and-chest exercise; gripping the arms of my chair, I slowly lift and lower my entire body using only my arms, repeating till they hit exhaustion. Second, I work my shoulders by stretching arms out to full length and slowly rotating them in small circles. You can even do bicep exercises anywhere; clasp hands together and slowly raise one hand as the other pushes down on it for resistance, then reverse roles to give each arm a workout. Next, put your clasped hands in front of your chest and repeatedly push them against each other as hard as you can; voila, a chest exercise! The only limits are your creativity.
Forgive and Forge Ahead
If you slack off one day, give up the guilt; just jump back on track. After all, youíre in this for the long haul. As one book title famously said, Donít Sweat the Small Stuff!
Bring a Buddy
Ask a friend or family member to join you for workouts. Not only can exercise with other people keep you motivated, you can motivate them as well for a win-win workout. You are also less likely to skip a workout if you know you are meeting someone at the gym.
Exercise can even be an excellent time to meet new people. Run with someone for fun. Foster friendships that may have faltered. A workout date? Why not! (Too shy? Join an exercise group; meeting like-minded people can help keep you motivated, and the odds of meeting someone special for friendship or courtship goes up in a group.)
Exercise is a great way to look better, but that is just the outside; it also helps us feel better and improves the state of our insides, which is even more important. Working out can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol, strengthen the heart, combat obesity, and lower stress (a big factor in todayís society that tends to promote weight gain, plus makes us irritable and can lead to improper decisions and non-optimal actions).
However, even the fittest folks are not immune to accidents or other emergencies that may strike without warning. This is especially true when we get older; for example, seniors are more likely than younger adults to suffer a fall. In order to provide protection in the event of home emergencies, a medical alert system
like Life Alert can be extremely helpful, even a life saver, especially for people living alone. All you have to do is press Life Alertís medical alert pendant
if you (or someone with you) is in danger, and Life Alert can summon immediate help at any hour of the day or night, 24/7, 365 days a year.
ďHeart HealthĒ. Rite Aid Pharmacy guide.
The information provided above is, to the best of our knowledge, reliable and accurate. However, while Life Alert always strives to provide true, precise and consistent information, we cannot guarantee 100 percent accuracy; in addition, statements contained within our articles should not be taken as medical advice. Readers are encouraged to research any statements made, use any resource links provided, and/or consult with professionals in the health and medical fields (or other areas) in order to gather more information before drawing conclusions and making decisions.
Dr. Don Rose writes books, papers and articles on computers, the Internet, AI, science and technology, and issues related to seniors.
For more information about the Life Alert medical alert system
and its many benefits for the elderly as well as younger adults, please visit the following websites: