Exercise is important. Studies show that regular exercise strengthens our muscles and bones, improves immune system function, lowers overall rates for cancer and heart disease, and extends life expectancy by 7 years on average.
Moreover, exercise can help reduce anxiety, stress and depression, improve memory and mental performance, promote restful sleep, boost self-esteem and help us enjoy more satisfying sex.
In short, we can’t create health and happiness without at least some amount of exercise on a regular basis – unless your work involves physical labor.
Despite all of the wonderful benefits of regular exercise, it can be challenging to create an exercise routine, especially if you’ve had a sedentary lifestyle for a long time – or simply dislike exercising.
From my personal experience, through trials and errors, successes and failures, I’ve learned a few things when it comes to exercising.
- I always feel better after exercising, even if I didn’t want to exercise to start with.
- The more I exercise the more I’m inclined to exercise, and vice versa.
- It’s better to do something small every day than to do something big every once a while. It’s better to exercise for 30 minutes every day than to do an intense workout once a week.
- I’m more likely to engage in activities that I enjoy, and with people whose company I enjoy.
- It’s important to balance aerobic exercise with strength-building and stretching exercises.
- It helps to create a schedule for exercising. For me, it’s usually between 6:30pm and 7:30pm.
- If I miss my routine, I tell myself “No shame. No blame.” I just pick it up and continue the next day.
So far my exercise routine involves a mix of yoga, Qigong, walking, hiking and dancing. It became a bit sporadic recently, because I was time-crunched from work and study. But I’m through the worst of that…
So in July I want to focus on exercising better. Specifically, I want to create a habit of walking for 10-30 minutes daily, and also incorporate some weight training in my routine – important for building lean body mass, which I’ve never really focused on in the past.
Flowing water never decays. Let’s get moving, shall we?
Image source: istockpoto.