|Many of you already know that regular exercise is good for you. The questions many
have about fitness are "how much is enough", "how can you find time in your busy schedule
for fitting fitness in" and "how can I get started"?
Experts recommend that you accumulate 30 minutes of activity a day most days of the
week in order to achieve health benefits. Health benefits can include reduced risk
of cardiovascular disease, heart attack and stroke.
Exercise can also offer other benefits such as strengthened muscles, increased flexibility.
Regular activity can also promote, stress relief, reduced anxiety, better sleeping
habits, and help you to sleep better and increase your energy!
The 30 minutes can be broken up into separate sessions, such as a 15-minute walk to
and from the VTA station or around campus. Of course, you can increase the health
benefits by working out for a longer time, at a higher intensity, or both.
Time wise, studies have shown that the average American spends an estimated four hours
watching television every day. Substitute just 30 minutes of walking for TV watching
four times a week, and you will see positive benefits! Good habits and healthy life
style changes take time and effort to form, but by following the steps below and getting
started today, you will be on your way to an active, healthier and fitter lifestyle
in no time!
STEP 1— Plan Exercise Into Your Day
Plan fitness into your day and make it a priority. Make an appointment with yourself
and keep it just as you would any other important appointment. Plan ahead and pack
what you need the night before. Put it in your car, write yourself a note, set a
reminder in your phone or e-mail, whatever it takes to help you stick with it!
STEP 2—Establish a Support Network
You'll be much more likely to stick with exercise if you have support from two different
groups: people who will work out with you, and people who will support you even though
they don't exercise with you. Those who exercise regularly will probably be happy
to help you get started and can help you to stay motivated. Those who don't can help
you through roadblocks and barriers you might find. Friends, family members, significant
others, co-workers are all great resources for your support system!
STEP 3—Set Your Goals
Are you trying to lose weight? Get stronger? Improve your quality of life? Write down
specific, measurable and realistic goals. This will help you to identify which direction
to go in and chart your progress. Create both short-term and long-term goals, and
make sure they are realistic. Do not expect to lose 30 pounds in 30 days!