Being active and eating well at an early age helps one maintain good health throughout their adult years. But, if you haven't always been active, you will benefit from starting today. And there is never a time like the present, so the moment you hear that little voice inside you, say "I will start fresh on Monday," don't pay attention. Start today, regardless of the day of the week. Putting it off almost always ensures that you will never get started.
A friend of mine, recently, reminded me that staying fit can simply be understood as "input, output." Whatever you eat, you must burn. It isn't enough to eat healthy. You have to be physically active. Even if you were born with a fast metabolism, and can eat anything you want without gaining weight, you still benefit from exercising daily. Exercising is for your overall wellbeing, mental, physical, and emotional.
If you were born with a moderate to slow metabolism, then exercise is the only way to kick up your metabolism and stay fit. And once you see results, it's hard not to want to push a little harder each time and that's a good thing!
If you're one of those people who feels comfortable being overweight, that is besides the point. No one is saying you're not beautiful no matter what size dress or pants you wear. Excess weight simply affects your joints and organs, and makes way for all sorts of challenging health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and more. Being overweight also affects your breathing, and being able to breathe deeply is essential to one's health.
If you need another incentive, exercising regularly will not only increase your metabolism and energize you, but will improve your sex life.
Moving right along... it is important to set goals, small ones, because they are fairly easy to attain. You won't feel overwhelmed or discouraged as you might with setting big goals you can't reach easily.
Here are some of the questions or comments I've received over the years and my answers:
1) What if I don't like exercising? Forget about the word "exercising" for a minute. Start thinking about the things you love that make you move. A leisurely walk in the park? Dancing? Riding a bike? Hiking in the woods? Splashing around in the pool? Going fly-fishing? There must be something that you like that makes you move physically. Whatever it is, explore the way it makes your body move and you feel, then figure out a way to repeat that activity in a way that will make you sweat a lot.
2) I get up too early and go too bed to late. How do I make the time? If you look at the way you spend your day, 10 out of 10 times there is a window of opportunity to exercise, and even 15 minutes a day is better than nothing. If watching television to relax is one of your favorite past times, either reconsider it or call your local gym and ask if they have monitors. Whatever it takes to make you move.
3) It's out of control. I've gained so much weight that I can't seem to get it off. I've tried exercising and it doesn't work. Sometimes you feel out of control, but you have to take charge. No one can do this for you. If you don't like what you see, all the more reason to get up and do something about it. Exercise is a daily activity, a way of life. There is no end to it. Trying it for 2 weeks is not enough time to see a difference, though it happens internally before you see results externally. Give it time. You have time.
4) I've always been thin. I don't exercise. I don't need to. Nothing could be further from the truth. Exercising is not to stay skinny, though that may very well happen. Even skinny people need to breathe, and I've met plenty who are short of breath just climbing stairs! Lungs need to be exercised too. Exercising is also an outlet for dealing with all sorts of emotions. It's a way to "clear" and focus the mind and kick up your energy level.
5) I have an injury and I can't exercise. Seek advice from your doctor and get clearance for physical therapy. A physical therapist will give you a list of exercises to perform that is specific to your injury. Where there is a will there is a way.
Here is a guideline for getting started on your daily routine:
5 to 10 minute meditation (sit still and get centered)
10 minute stretching and breathing warm-up
30 minutes focused cardio workout
10 minute stretching and breathing cool down
Just do it and go about your day feeling great ;)