Keep this saying on your refrigerator or on your home page on your computer:
THERE IS NEVER AN EXCUSE NOT TO WORK OUT. It only takes 30 minutes – 1 hour of your entire day.
(of course, if you are sick, take the day off)
I like to get outside as much as possible for a workout. I enjoy the fresh air, the scenery, and the variety of terrain. It almost feels like I’m not working out because of all the distractions (the sights, sounds, etc.).
It’s important to “mix it up” when you work out. The variety makes it more interesting and keeps you motivated.
I recommend going to the gym at least 3 days per week and getting a workout OUTSIDE at least 2 days per week.
In my opinion, the best outside work out for someone just starting out is WALKING.
Walking is easy and is also a stress-reliever. Make sure you have good walking shoes (find a running shoe store and ask a staff person to help you find the best walking shoe for you). Wear comfortable clothing. Remember, cotton will get wet and stay wet. Find polyester blend shirts that “wick” away moisture when you sweat.
Find a visually pleasing route. I prefer dirt trails or paved bike paths. You can also walk your neighborhood streets or inside a grocery store or an indoor mall.
Walk with a friend. It’s nice to walk with someone – make it a regular activity once a week.
Make a goal to walk for 30 minutes. If you don’t know a good “loop” route, walk for 15 minutes then turn around and walk back the same way.
Other good outside work outs include running or jogging, cross-country skiing, skate skiing, bicycle riding, tennis, golf (sorry, no golf cart!), swimming, kayaking, canoeing, stand-up paddle boarding, ice skating, roller skating, and snowshoeing. In addition, they are fun to do!
Obviously, some of these activities are not going to be available where you live…they are just ideas.
IMPORTANT – if you have never tried any of the above activities, start out slow and sign up for a class to get proper instruction on how to do that activity. Sign up for classes at your local Park and Recreation Department or find local classes on-line by searching for a particular activity.
The best resource for starting out with some of these activities is to go where the necessary equipment is sold (bikes, kayaks, running shoes, etc). If you have your own equipment, just ask a salesperson or store manager where you can do these activities (if you don’t already know). You can also find good used equipment at garage sales, Craigslist, or second-hand sporting goods stores. It’s not necessary to spend a fortune on these items, especially if you don’t end up liking the activity.
Another good resource is your local park and recreation department or YMCA. They usually offer classes and group outings for a variety of outdoor activities. Find them on-line or pick up their catalog of programs.
Whatever outside activity or activities you choose, make it a part of your weekly work out. VARIETY AND CONSISTENCY are keys to workout success. You need to have variety in your workouts to eliminate boredom. You also need to be consistent with your workout schedule.
Make working out a priority in your life. Start your day by deciding what time you will work out and what activity you will do. Work your day around that activity. If you work full-time, work out on your lunch hour. Go for a walk or a run or go to a gym. Eat your lunch after your work out (I eat at my desk). If you work part time or work from home, set a time to do your work out, and stick to it.
We all lead busy lives, but THERE IS NEVER AN EXCUSE NOT TO WORK OUT. It only takes 30 minutes – 1 hour of your entire day. Give yourself this time and you will feel better, sleep better, and have more energy!