Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Part 2 Whip Yourself Into Self Reliant Shape!

Part 2 of this two part series focuses on how the average American can exercise on a daily basis without having to become a gym rat.

We all like to make New Year resolutions.  One of those resolutions usually involves a gym.  Unfortunately, that resolution generally goes out the window around February for the average American.  The reason for that is simple: Most folks try to do too much at once and then get burned out.  With that in mind, Part 2 is not going to focus on gym related exercises.  Instead, it will focus on small incremental steps that you can take starting today to get your fitness kick started.  This will then make a transition into a strength and fitness program much more achievable and likely to succeed.

Let us assume that you are sedentary and non-athletic.  In other words, you work at a desk and you are not into playing any type of sports.  However, you want to lose extra weight and be able to perform at a moderate ability when it comes to physical activity i.e. picking up your children and playing with them.  How do you go about getting there?

The best way to start adjusting to a more active lifestyle is to be more conscience of how much you move throughout the day.  For example, if you normally try and find the parking spot closest to the entrance of the office or super market, then instead park further away and walk the extra distance.  The same idea applies to using the stairs versus the elevator.  Sit all day at your desk?  Get up and take a walk around your building if you are able.  Or walk around your office floor if you cannot get outside.  Do this every hour and a half or so.

Walking is an underrated form of exercise especially for those just starting out on their fitness journey.  Go out for a walk instead of hunkering down in front of the tube after dinner.  You will be burning off some of the calories you just ate.

I also highly recommend doing a few body weight exercises.  I suggest doing a push , pull and lower body exercise and just do as many as you can throughout the day.  For example, I do push ups (push), pull ups (pull) and body weight squats (lower body).

Set a total number that you would like to do for the day.  Do as many as repetitions as possible for a given set without killing yourself.  Count each repetition toward the total amount.  Do not worry how many sets it takes to get there or about dividing the repetitions evenly between the sets.  This will quickly condition your body and begin to build strength.  Here is an example of what I just described:

Total Daily Pushup Goal: 100 push ups

8 am - 30 push ups
10 am - 25 push ups
2 pm - 25 push ups
4 pm - 20 push ups - Total met.  No more for this day.

You should stretch often throughout the day as well to keep yourself somewhat flexible.  I suggest doing this immediately following your body weight exercises.

So, putting it all together:

  • Make the conscience decision to be in motion as often as possible.
  • Walk as much as possible.  Specifically take a walk for exercise everyday.
  • Throughout the day sneak in body weight exercises when possible.
  • Stretch as often as you do your body weight exercises to stay loose and avoid injury.

This is a very simple plan.  It should be doable by most folks and you should be able to then parlay it into a more traditional fitness program that you see in fitness magazines.  Keep in mind that your chances of success to get fit and lose any extra weight you are carrying are much, much higher if you also follow the diet guidelines laid out in Part 1 of this series.

Do you have any secrets or tips of your own to share?  Comment below and let us know.  I will touch on fitness and nutrition in other posts in the future and build on what has been laid out in Parts 1 and 2.  I hope this gives you a good starting point to begin your steps to a more physically fit well being.

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