I have been a fitness fanatic for many years. Throughout my journey, I have witnessed many pitfalls of staying fit. Lack of time, school, or caring for others seems to be the common excuse. The factors mentioned leads to depression, low self-esteem, and lack of energy.
The key to staying healthy is to put yourself first. By allowing yourself a decent amount of time gives you a piece of mind. Most of you know my crazy schedule of attending school, have a family to attend, household chores to accomplish, and working full-time. However, that does not stop me from taking care of my body. With this reason in mind, I would like to share with you my key to fitness success:
1. Focus on you. You are in control of your life and own destiny. Put yourself on top of that pedestal and conquer the world.
2. Exercise. I can't emphasize this enough. There are 24 hours in a day, 7 days a week. Most fitness centers are open early in the morning to the wee hours of the night. Wake up an extra hour early before your spouse goes to work and the kids get ready for school so that you can make it to the gym. If that doesn't work, allow fitness to be a weekly family affair. Studies show children are raised in a healthy and fit environment, it will add years to their lifespan.
Most fitness centers offer classes that are suitable for everyone to enjoy such as Zumba, Spin (a personal favorite), water aerobics, pilates, yoga, cardio boot camp, and rock climbing. If you prefer to save money, do an outdoor workout such as walking, biking (another favorite activity), running, swimming (see pictures of me below), and hiking.
3. Create a "me" time. Again there are 24 hours in one day, 7 days in one week. Find a time when you don't have any distractions. This could be an hour at the gym (as in most cases with me) or a weekly bubble bath at home. During that time frame, think about you. Trust me, your spirit will be rejuvenated once you complete your "me" task.
4. Know your health and family history. If you are currently taking pills for health related reasons, that should serve as an alarm clock that you should be taking care of your own body. Educate yourself for a condition that you or your family has endured. Talk to your doctor or other health care professionals about a certain disease. Take a diabetes course at your local hospital. Read books and periodicals about the cardiovascular system.
5. Find an activity that you truly enjoy. If there's an exercise activity that you enjoy, stick to it. For me it's doing endurance events. As for others, such as my father and sister, it could be playing the game of tennis or basketball. It's whatever works for you!
6. Find a support group that will help you go the extra mile. There times when a person is frustrated because they are not training hard enough for an event or have plateaued because of their weight loss. Local and online support groups provide professional coaching and guidance for any event that you train. If there is a sports club in your area, join them. Besides your friends and family, they will be cheerleaders at your side.
7. Nutrition. A great boost of energy cannot last without proper nutrition. Eat right and stay healthy. Stay away from fast food and processed materials. Prepare your snacks and lunch beforehand rather than making an entrance to McDonald's, Subway, or the vending machine at work. I'm sure your body and pocketbook will be thankful.
Before I end this article, I wanted to show you pictures of my weekly exercise and training regiment, bike excluded:
Remember we have one shot at life. Take care of your body and enjoy it.