Find an exercise you like and stick to it
Do you get a runner’s high? Does the idea of working a lot of muscle groups in a dance class while listening to 80s hits appeal to you? Do you look forward to that first full-body stretch of the morning?
No matter the level of intensity, it is important to spend at least 30 minutes a day improving your body. You’ve heard that a million times. We really mean it.
You don’t have to be a ballet baby or whip out your jazz hands to get the benefit of a dance class. There are a ton of different types of dance classes being offered at many gyms these days and coordination is not required.
Zumba has taken over, pole dancing isn’t necessarily scandalous (and is growing popularity with men), and some places are even encouraging people to come in club clothes to create a fun experience that keeps them moving with the help of a trained instructor.
You can even bust a move in your own living room with the help of Just Dance for Wii or Dance Central for Kinect. These games are really fun, they challenge you to do better, and you can compete against a friend or family member for additional drive.
Find out if your local Running Room has a training program you could join, challenge a friend with Nike+ on your iPod, or just go outside and run until you can’t run anymore. Who cares how long you can go for, walk for the rest of the minutes. You’ll be able to go a little longer the next day. You won’t feel so bad for keeping the poor old dog inside for so long. You’ll feel better about yourself in the long run.
If running isn’t for you, try taking the stairs, parking further away than usual, and walking faster than you usually do. Ride a bike. Play a game or two of bocce ball. Any effort at getting out and moving makes you healthier than you were yesterday.
We’ve told you about yoga and tai chi before, but we can’t underestimate the power of stretching and it’s worth mentioning again. One of my favourite parts of my workouts was lying on the floor and stretching my toes and fingertips away from each other as far as they would go. Try it and you’ll be hooked. Touch your toes; grasp your hands behind your back and pull out; lie on your belly, grab your feet behind your back, and pull up. Try different stretches until you find what’s good for you and don’t get discouraged if you can’t reach. That just means you need this exercise.
So get up and move, no matter how you do it.
MD Anderson – Dance into the exercise groove
MD Anderson – Race your way into fitness
MD Anderson – Stretch out your workout