Is exercise a struggle for you? Do you have trouble with motivation? Or finding the time? Or do you push yourself to the point of exhaustion? Exercise can literally be a lifesaver, or if done incorrectly can do you more harm than good. Follow these simple tips to get the most out of your exercise regime.
Fun and enjoyment You'll find it a lot easier to maintain regular exercise if you can find things that are enjoyable to you, things that you can look forward to rather than dread - so don't jog if you hate jogging.
Buddy up Find a friend to exercise with and not only will it be more enjoyable, you can push and motivate each other when one of you is feeling slack.
Combination For a full body workout ensure you engage in a variety of exercises of the weight-bearing and non weight-bearing kind. For example walking and swimming, or dancing and bike riding.
Break it up Exercise doesn't have to be an hour of intense activity - any activity that raises the heart rate is exercise and it can be done in five or ten minute increments throughout the day.
Family fun Work physical activity into family outings. Get the kids off the couch and computers, and go for a family bike ride, a hike, a day at the beach or a game of cricket.
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Increase incidental exercise Fit in exercise whenever you can; burn calories doing housework, take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk or ride a bike instead of driving, get up from your desk regularly and take a short walk, consider a standing desk, and do weights or squats while you're watching television.
Hydrate Ensure you are well hydrated before you start exercising - your muscles will work more efficiently and you won't become dehydrated once you start sweating it out.
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Push yourself gently Know your limits and extend them by gradually increasing the frequency, duration and intensity of your exercise. A little pain or soreness the next day is good, it shows your muscles are toning and strengthening, but don't push yourself to the point of extreme pain, exhaustion or dehydration.
Stretching To prevent injury or strain do not stretch before exercise - just do a simple warm up like a short walk. Always gently stretch after exercise when your body and muscles are warm, thereby increasing muscle tone and flexibility, decreasing the risk of future injury and helping your body assimilate what you've just done.
Do you have any helpful exercise tips? Please share them with our readers by leaving a messages in the Comments box.
And remember, be kind to your body and it will be kind to you.