I Want to Be Fit, But How?

Be Fit

Do you want to be fit? Are you ever with friends or family, involved in a fun activity – bicycle riding, playing tag, running bases in a game of kickball, water skiing, walking the mall or whatever -  and think, “Man, I wish I was in better shape”?  Regardless of where you are on the health and fitness scale (whatever that is), you are capable of wonderful potentials. The journey to reach your health and fitness potentials begins with desire – you have to want to be fit more then you want to sit on the couch. After that, you must have the courage to begin. Be brave and try something new. You may wonder, “Where do I start” or “What is most important”?

2 Things to Remember

First, and most important, you need to understand that lasting health is a lifetime pursuit. It is a life style. There is no shortcut or easy way. Having said that, fitness doesn’t have to be tedious or boring or painful. It can and should be FUN!!! Find something that you enjoy, something that pushes you outside that comfort zone and makes you feel good about being you.

Second, our bodies are beautifully and individually created. One is not like the other. What works and is enjoyable for one may not be for another. Play with different forms of exercise and activity to see what you respond to best. Below are descriptions of 2 traditional types of exercise; cardiovascular and strength training.

Cardiovascular Training

This simply means that you're involved in an activity that raises your heart rate to 60% to 80% of your resting heart rate (about 130 to 150 beats/min) and is maintained for 30 minutes or more. The first 15 to 20 minutes of exercise you burn sugars and carbohydrates. After about 20 minutes, you begin to burn fat – so stay with it! The healthier you are, the faster you kick into that fat burning zone. Here's why cardio is so important:

  • It's one way to burn calories and help you lose weight
  • It makes your heart strong so that it doesn't have to work as hard to pump blood
  • It increases your lung capacity
  • It helps reduce risk of heart attack, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes
  • It makes you feel good
  • It helps you sleep better
  • It helps reduce stress
  • You make healthier choices, etc., etc., etc.

Cardio for Beginners

Examples of cardiovascular exercise are:  walking, jogging, running, roller blading, bicycle riding, running stairs, rock climbing, hiking, kayaking, and rowing. The list is endless. Cardiovascular exercise can also be a combination of simple movements like the workout given below:

1 minute Jumping Jacks

1 minute Mountain Climbers

1 minute Power Lunges

2 minutes Run in Place

1 minute  Burpees

1 minute  Squat Jumps

1 minute  Star Jumps

2 minutes  Run in Place

REPEAT 3x (Full 30 minutes of Cardio)

Strength Training

This is a type of physical exercise specializing in the use of resistance such as with your own body weight, dumbbells, barbells, machines or resistance bands. The resistance is to induce muscular contraction which build the strength, anaerobic endurance and size of skeletal muscles. Strength training is primarily an anaerobic activity, although it can be adapted to provide the benefits of aerobic exercise through circuit training. When properly performed, strength training can provide significant functional benefits and improvement in overall health and well-being. Here are some benefits:

  • Increased bone, muscle, tendon and ligament strength and toughness
  • Improved joint function and range of motion
  • Reduced potential for injury
  • Increased bone density (One of the best ways to fight osteoporosis)
  • Increased metabolism (Storing muscle in your body requires energy and calories burned. Storing fat in your body requires next to nothing. So building and having more muscle means you burn more calories while sitting.)
  • Elevated HDL ("good") cholesterol. This cholesterol takes plague out of your blood and helps keep things healthy.

Strength Training for Beginners

Strength training can seem daunting. Here are some simple exercises to help be fit and strengthen your whole body:

10 Burpees

10 Push-ups

25 Sit-ups

50 Jumping Jacks

40 Squats (without the jump)

30 Lunges (15 per leg)

60 second Wall-sit 

REPEAT 3x

Be Fit

Exercise, health and fitness can be very rewarding.  Don’t be scared to try something new and always remember to be fit:

The task ahead of you

is never greater

than the strength within you.