Starting A Lifelong Fitness Habit
Enter a new generation of phys ed, with programs that stress lifelong fitness activities, such as walking, biking, in-line skating, and tennis; educate students about healthful diets; and teach students how to monitor their heart rates and pulses.
To accommodate those new programs, some school districts have renovated their gymnasiums to look like fitness centers and revamped their curriculums to emphasize fitness over competition. Several national organizations also are promoting changes to phys-ed curriculums and working with school systems that want to offer new activities.
Adopt a physical activity you love.
If you can’t think of something you love, take classes until you find it; there are healthy physical activities for people of every age and fitness level. Activities that combine a range of physical movement with enjoyable social interactions and learning opportunities are the easiest to stick with, and make the greatest impact on your overall health. Start teaching your children as young as possible and soon enough it will be a habit.
Some Good Examples Are
Dancing: whether it’s ballroom, hip-hop, or line dancing, dancing to music you love with people you like is enjoyable and doesn’t feel like a workout.
Games: not just team sports like a casual game of basketball, but a game of tennis or pickleball, golf or disc golf, are all great ways to build friendships while getting fit. Furthermore, games provide an extra mental challenge that gives the brain a boost.
Explore: getting outdoors, whether it’s for a walk around the block, a hike, a bike ride, or skiing are all great activities, and better for you in real life than when done on treadmills or stationary bikes in a gym. Get curious about your surroundings and get to know them.
Think of a positive memory involving exercise or an activity: a fun hike with your family, swimming at the beach on a beautiful day with friends, racquetball with your neighbor. Now, when you need that little push to get up and out, use that memory like a jolt of electricity. People who invoke positive memories exercise more frequently than those who don’t, a University of New Hampshire study found.
Once you’ve been at it for a month or more and you’re beginning to see results, kick your workout up a notch. Add a minute of jogging for every 10 minutes of walking, do some step-ups in between sets of weight lifting, or do whatever is a little harder in 30-second bursts.
Short bursts of intensity while exercising can improve heart health, raise metabolism and lower blood sugar; they can also enhance motivation, recent research published in the Journal of Physiology shows.
Making fitness part of your everyday routine not only promotes life-long health, but it breaks the mentally damaging cycle between Resolution and Disappointment. Time to take better care of your whole body, mind, and spirit.