Getting Fit And Slim – Some â€˜Softâ€ Ways For The Over 40s
As an â€œover 40â€caught up in the maelstrom of â€œmodernâ€ living (?), one of the first things that you have to do to become fit and slim, is to set aside time for “exercise activities”. These can be entirely “new” ones, or (usually unknown to you!) can be activities which already form part of your daily routine. Many common routine physical activities, such as grocery shopping, for example, are in fact “exercises” and, if you perceive them as such, they can help you to become fit and slim! It is just us with our brainwashing and mindset that make it seem otherwise– that “getting exercise” means getting into some kind of “heavy” – almost mechanical– routines!
More often than not, many of the things we now do as our “daily routine”, we started to do in an “emergency” situationâ€”and which we subsequently classified or allowed to become “necessary” daily routines! – and continue doing them as though the “emergency” still existed! It is very often the case that it is we who need to do the things we do, rather than the things needing us to do them!
Look critically therefore at the management of your time. Find the time (emergency?) to begin your new “routine”. Equally you will find that once you start the routine, it seems equally important and necessary – like those other times! – that you should keep doing it! Always find time for “exercise” no matter what the physical conditions are nor how many time constraints you have!
In thinking of exercising, the immediate temptation of course for many, is to relate this to going to a gym. If you can do this, fine! – all well and good! You can not get to a gym? You don’t have to! Just be creative without one! If you can not go to a gym, this is no excuse as you do not have to immediately give up on “exercise”!
What is going to a gym really about? It is really about physical activity conducted under â€œcontrolled conditionsâ€! Well, find other ways of getting some physical activity! While â€œexerciseâ€ is normally a controlled physical activity, it does not have to be performed under restrictive â€œcontrolled conditionsâ€. If you can not make it to the controlled conditions of a gym “workout” for your fit and slim aspirations, there are other ways to be found to stay “physically” active.
Movement – getting your body MOVING is the important thing. You will be well on your way to getting fit and slim and without the need to make daily visits to the gym, if you really â€œmoveâ€ your body every day. This could
mean such “exercise” activities like walking on your breaks, playing with your children, a family bike ride, jaunts at the skating rinks and push ups before bed.. When you can not afford to devote substantially long periods to “exercising”, you can mostly compensate for this with consistency, intensity and frequency! Try not to let a day go by without getting some â€œphysicalâ€ activity in!
Proper “warm-ups” are essential before any form of exercise but are going to be especially so for you who have not indulged in any form of exercise for a long while. Such “stretching” exercises are necessary to prepare your muscles and joints for the “workouts” to follow, as this ensures that proper blood flow and muscle elasticity are attained. The so-called “calisthenics” groom your muscles for the “stress” that you are about to impose on them during your exercise routines, by increasing blood flow and muscle temperature. You must therefore start your “comeback” periods with them.
A great way to get in shape is by running. A good run is one of the best exercises around and there are standard suggested methods of going about this, commonly referred to as “best practices”. Regardless of how you view such matters (regimen?), you should use these to help control the development of both the pace and “intensity” of your run. This is critical to not picking up early in the game, many of the very common running injuries that plague this form of exercise and which put your running longevity at risk.
The dictum here is care! Begin slowly and make 10 % increases in your running routines. To get the most from your run and ensure the best and safest results, you should pace yourself in the beginning and increase speed as you go along, ending with the fastest pace you can maintain without overdoing it. You end your workout with a full speed run.
Running uphill is suggested as a very good form of exercise. There are many recognized benefits to hill running which are discussed elsewhere on this site and if this opportunity is available, it is well worth your while to take advantage of this. A good substitute under limited conditions however, is to make use of staircases. Many of you work or live in “high rise” buildings where there are staircases. If it is safe to do so, forego the use of the elevators and walk rapidly– or run!– up the steps instead. You will be surprised at how quickly this begins to improve your fitness level and enhance your chances of getting fit and slim!
Swimming is also an excellent way to get a full-body workout and is one which, if it is at all possible, you should include in your activities to become slim and fit once more. With this form of exercise, you can burn a lot of calories, build up, strengthen and tone your muscles and increase your endurance level, without having to worry about overdoing it and putting too much stress on your running muscles and joints.
A very useful and easily doable (it can be great fun with your children as well!) form of “exercise” that you can undertake, is skipping or â€œjump ropeâ€. It is a great exercise for building bones, increasing the flexibility of your muscles and improving co-ordination â€“ physical conditions which severely deteriorate as you grow older! Skipping can be done almost anywhere, e.g. in parks, recreational or play grounds, etc., and at any time! For those of you who want to lose weight and become fit and slim, it is an excellent way to trim and burn calories off those bulging pounds around your hips, thighs and behinds!
Where do you spend most of your daylight hours? At your workplace of course! Well, turn the occasion into something additionally useful! Make your “work” also one of real “exercise” activity. It is not being suggested that you turn your office into a gym, but that you make your workplace also work for you (you work for your boss of course– just add something for yourself to the experience!).
Make it a launching zone for increased physical activity. Convert your “idle” time into fitness gain time! For example, use a few minutes each day for some “stretching” exercises instead of just sitting all the time. Get the most movement out of your muscles and body parts in your essential or obligatory daily routines.
These tips show that getting back in shape does not have to be arduous. For the most part, you can accommodate these activities within the routines of your daily life. Get it done– become fit and slim again!