Advertisements bombard us showing beautiful people in fantastic shape. The advertisements show before and after photos of these people. They make us believe that whatever they are selling can help us look like those beautiful people. It’s also one of the biggest reasons people fail to continue an exercise program. The pressure to be like the people on those ads is too great.
Exercise is important. But going extreme is not necessarily the answer and may even do you more harm than good. Incremental changes are always better than immediate results. When you take things slowly, you give both your body and mind time to react to these changes. It becomes more a part of your daily routine than trying to cram all the changes at once.
Contrary to the barrage of advertisements, it’s not necessary to join a gym to get a proper amount of exercise. While a gym may have the latest and greatest equipment (often they don’t), you can use common items within your house as replacements. You may even have a set of weights that are collecting dust somewhere in your house.
Weights are not the only form of exercise. One of the best exercises we have available is walking. Instead of using an elevator when you are at work, try using the stairs. If someone you need to talk to is within walking distance, speak with them in person, rather than on the phone. This has two benefits: it gets you up from your desk (reduces sitting syndrome) and it gets you walking.
Try getting up a bit earlier every day. Use the extra time to walk up and down your block. Even doing this for fifteen minutes consistently can make a huge impact on your health.
People hold the belief that you have to run to get the full benefits of exercise. There are studies pointing to the opposite. First, frequent running may lead to problems later in life. Second, it’s much easier for people to give up on running than it is to give up on walking. Walking is a natural part of our lives. The key is to increase the amount that you do.
Whatever physical activity you decide to incorporate into your life, do it in small, incremental steps. Being consistent is one of the best ways to progress in leading a healthier lifestyle. Just don’t give up on it.