Greetings! My name is Roy, and I am what you might call an exercise junkie. Starting this website to share the things I’ve learned over the years about health, fitness and exercising is very exciting to me. Before I tell you a little bit about my fitness journey, if you are someone who likes to just get right to it without a lot of fanfare, then just skip on down the page to the end of this article for a handy list of links that will get you started learning about fitness, health and exercise very quickly!
One of the hardest things to do is start an exercise program and keep to it. I am now a senior citizen, or I should say I can now get the senior citizens discount at most restaurants. I have been exercising most of my life. Let me tell you my story.
I started when I was still in high school. I received a set of weights for christmas in my junior year and a good friend and I started working out three days a week after school. When I got out of high school my main goal was just to stay fit. At that time I did not know about or consider all of the benefits of a regular workout routine.
After high school, I decided to incorporate some form of aerobic exercising with my weight lifting routines. I tried running, bike riding, tennis and swimming. All worked but it was in 1978 when I read “The Aerobics Way” by Kenneth H. Cooper that I found my niche.
I found that skipping rope exercises took the least amount of time for the greatest aerobic value. So, I bought a rope and started. Having never jumped rope before, it took me several months before I could do 100 jumps without getting the rope tangled up in my feet.
After that, it took me almost a year to reach a goal of 30 minutes of continues skipping rope exercises at a rate of 120 jumps per minute. It is a fantastic workout that I continue to this day.
With that being said, I was in no hurry. You should begin exercising gradually, perhaps with just brisk walking. The secret is to start out slow and work up to the level that you want to achieve. It may take months or years, and that is ok.
How to Make your Home Workout Routines a Habit
This is probably the hardest part. You must make exercising a habit. There are some steps that I have found that help me.
- Exercise at the same time every day. It doesn’t matter if you prefer morning or evening, before or after work or even in the middle of the day, do what works for you. Then schedule your daily activities around your exercise program.
- Create a workout routine. Decide what your goal is and actually draw up workout plans. Mix aerobic exercises with weight or strength training. Know exactly what your exercises will be for each workout session.
- Find some exercise that you will enjoy doing. Maybe you would enjoy walking outside instead of on a treadmill. Maybe you would enjoy swimming instead of jogging. Find something you will enjoy and stay with.
- Keep some kind of a daily log or exercise log sheet. Set up a workout routine and record such things as your exercises, your number of repetitions, time and speed, etc. It helps me to track my progress.
- Change up your exercise routine regularly to keep it interesting and fresh. There are many forms of exercising. Walking, jogging, climbing stairs, dancing, bicycling, swimming, rowing, skipping rope, skiing, sports and weight training just to mention a few.
- Consider using a health club. Some people do better in that kind of an environment. The cost may also give you incentive to exercise regularly. This doesn’t work for me but it might for you.
Most importantly, try to make if fun, fresh and interesting. I watch TV while I am exercising. Watching DVD’s, TV programs or whatever keeps my mind somewhat off of my workout. You would be surprised how fast the time goes by when you get caught up in a good science fiction movie. Believe it or not, I actually look forward to my workouts.
The Benefits of Regular Exercising
There are many benefits of regular exercising. I will go into more detail in related articles, however, this is a summary of benefits to consider:
- With regular exercise, you can reduce your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, diabetes and osteoporosis.
- Exercise will increase strength and flexibility. It will be easier for you to do your daily activities as well as to maintain balance as you grow older.
- You can relieve anxiety and stress.
- Exercise will reduce some of the effects of aging.
- Exercise will keep joints, ligaments and tendons flexible which will make it easier for you to get around and be active.
- Exercising will help your mental well-being and will also help with depression.
- Exercise will help you get a better night’s sleep.
- Exercising will increase your energy and endurance.
- Regular exercising will increase your metabolism and thus help in burning calories and overall weight control.
How Much Exercise Is Right?
If you are just starting an exercise routine, consult your doctor first to see how much exercise is right for you. Any exercise at all is better than none. Start slow and if you are going to start weight lifting routines, start light.
A good workout goal to strive for should be 4 to 5 times per week at 30 to 60 minutes per workout. Remember, however to start slow and light. Don’t expect to “get into shape” overnight.
You can begin by just sneaking some exercise into your daily life. Start doing some yard work like raking leaves or using a push mower to cut grass. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Go for a walk at lunch. Park in the lower forty at stores.
The thing is, if you have been inactive for years, don’t try to run a marathon in just several weeks. You can start with light workouts for 10 minute intervals or short brisk walks. You must start somewhere and then build on it. Remember, baby steps.
What is the Best Exercise Routine?
Whatever works for you. You must choose an exercise routine that you will continue to do on a regular basis. Decide what your goal is. Do you want to lose weight? Do you want to increase strength or build your muscles? Do you just want to keep physically fit?
My goal is to stay fit. I prefer to work at home. Over the years I have set up a home gym in my basement. I have a Bowflex, treadmill, upright exercise bike, elliptical exercise machine, stair climbing machine, barbell set, dumbbells and a jump rope.
You don’t have to start out with equipment like this. It took me many years to accumulate all of this exercise equipment. There are many exercise routines you can do that required little or no equipment. You also have the option of joining an exercise club or gym.
How to Prevent Injuries During Your Fitness Routines
The best way is to warm-up before every workout session and to cool-down after. Spend 5 to 10 minutes doing stretching exercises, calisthenics or maybe brisk walking. Do the same before and after. This will make your muscles and joints more flexible and ready for exercise. After the workout, it will let your heart rate return to normal.
If you get really out of breath, feel faint, dizzy, and nauseous or have pain, stop exercising. If this happens regularly consult your doctor. You will get sore if you have been inactive. This is normal and should go away after some time if you continue. You will be working muscles that you haven’t used for a long time.
Now That You are Ready to Start Exercising
In other articles I will go into much more detail on the above topics but this should summarize the reasons why you should make exercising a habit in your life. The health benefits are great but most of all, exercising just makes you feel better and stay healthier. It works for me and it will work for you.
Now those handy links:
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