With the start of the New Year, come new resolutions to improve ourselves. Many people are often interested in starting an exercise program. Here are a few tips and ideas to get you moving more in 2017.
Exercise is an excellent way to manage stress, sleep better, lower blood pressure, improve sugars and help with some weight loss (although the most important thing for weight loss is diet). The goal should be 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise 5 times per week. This means that you are doing something that moves your body, increases your heart rate and makes you sweat. It doesn’t have to be intense; it just has to be enough. Weight lifting and strength training are also a good idea to help keep you strong and prevent injury. More intense exercise requires less time (e.g., walking should be 30 minutes, running can be 20 minutes, and sprinting all out can be 5 minutes).
Tip 1: Make it FUN.
There are many things you can do. It can be as simple as getting out with your family for a walk for 30 minutes. Start out at a comfortable pace and increase it as you are able. If you can’t do 30 minutes in a row, start with just 10 minutes and then increase it by 2 minutes every couple of weeks. Other options include swimming, cycling, running, dancing, Zumba, and yoga. Swimming is a great cardiovascular exercise that doesn’t put pressure on bad knees or bad backs. If you can’t swim, walking/running in the water is also an excellent option. The Goshen Aquatic Center offers lap swimming, open swim, water aerobics. The YMCA in Middletown also has a brand new pool and is a great option.
Tip 2: Schedule time to exercise
I realize many people feel their schedules are full and that they don’t have time to exercise. Staying active and fit doesn’t require a lot of time. If you don’t have 30 minutes in a row, you can break it up into 10 minutes 3 times per day, or 15 minutes 2 times per day. The activities mentioned above are great, but even if you are strapped for time, get out and walk at a quick pace a few times per day. The Seven Minute Workout (you can download the free app on your phone) is a great way to get a full body workout in only 7 minutes. During the day, park farther away, take the stairs, take frequent breaks at work and walk around. You can make your exercise regimen work for you.
Tip 3: Include your family or friends
Exercising is always more fun when you have a partner. Get a family member or a friend to participate with you. It is often hard getting yourself motivated when you are alone, but when you have someone depending on you to meet at the gym, or show up to the Zumba class, you are more likely to follow through. Talking with friends and family while walking/running will also make the time go by faster.
Tip 4: It doesn’t have to cost money
Joining a gym and taking classes can be a lot of fun, but not being able to afford these things is not a reason not to get active. You can find lots of things on the internet such as yoga and dance classes that are free. Walking is free and an excellent way to get fit. Afraid of the cold? Put on lots of layers, a hat, scarf and gloves. You may be cold the first few minutes, but as you walk more, you will get warm fast.
List of local businesses to help you get active.
Faith in Motion Dance Studio - Middletown, NY
Goshen Aquatic Center - Goshen, NY
YMCA - Middletown, NY
Cornerstone Wellness - Goshen, NY
Happy Buddha Yoga - Goshen, NY
Straub Fitness - Goshen, NY
We will be starting a walking club in the near future as well.