Staying fit isn’t always easy for some people on a good day. Perhaps it’s too hard because they’re not in shape, it’s discouraging to not see any results, or it just seems like one more thing to fit into your busy schedule. Others love fitness and it comes easy to them. They enjoy working out and it’s a top priority for them. That being said, why is staying fit so important? How do you get into shape or stay in shape for that matter?
There are many different options when it comes to exercise and staying fit. Not everyone enjoys going to the gym. Walking or running is great but not everyone enjoys that. Some other options would be swimming, hiking, biking, or dancing.
Benefits of Staying Fit
Exercise and staying fit have many benefits and affects your mind and body. Here are some reasons to consider. Exercise can:
- Make you feel happier
- Help with weight loss
- Benefits your muscles and bones
- Increase your energy levels
- Reduce the risk of chronic disease
- Help your brain health and memory
- Help you relax and get good sleep
- Reduces pain
Make you feel happier
It’s proven that exercise can help your mood. It can help decrease feelings of anxiety, depression, and stress. It doesn’t matter how intense your workout is, any exercise and physical activity is beneficial.
Help with weight loss
Studies have shown that inactivity is a major factor in weight gain. While dieting and eating fewer calories can help with weight loss, exercising burns calories and is also helpful for weight loss. Besides weight loss, exercise will also help you maintain muscle mass.
It’s good for your muscles and bones
Exercise can help you to build and maintain strong muscles and bones. Weightlifting can stimulate muscle building when paired with adequate protein intake. As people age, they can lose muscle mass and function which puts them at a higher risk of injury. Exercise can also build bone density and help with osteoporosis later in life.
Increase your energy levels
Exercise can help and increase your energy levels. Aerobic exercise can improve heart and lung health which can help your energy levels. Exercise can also increase energy levels in people with other underlying health issues.
Reduce the risk of chronic disease
Lack of physical activity is a primary cause of chronic disease. Exercise can reduce or prevent health issues such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, and hypertension.
Help your brain health and memory
Exercise can improve brain function and protect memory and thinking skills. Regular exercise improves blood flow to the brain and memory. This can be helpful to older adults and protect their brain function.
Help you relax and get good sleep
Regular exercise can help with sleep. Any physical activity can help you sleep and feel more energized during the day.
Exercise can reduce pain
Chronic pain can be debilitating, and regular exercise can help reduce it. Physical activity can also increase your pain tolerance.
Staying Fit During COVID-19 Pandemic
The pandemic has permanently changed how we do life in many areas such as work, shopping habits, and the list goes on. This includes exercise. How can you stay fit during the pandemic?
Working with a personal trainer online or in-person may be a good option. If you’re stuck at home or quarantining, taking a virtual fitness class may be for you. Do your research and find what works best for you.
Here are some other tips to stay active during the pandemic.
- Exercise outdoors
- Exercise by yourself, with a friend, or in a small group of less than 10
- Engage in non-contact activities that allow physical distancing
- Rethink recess
- Exercise using your body weight
- Stay in touch with your fitness community online
- Make sure to eat enough fiber in your diet
Because of the pandemic, businesses and gyms were forced to close. Physical distancing is important so working out outside or engaging in other outdoor activities such as hiking or kayaking are ways to stay physically fit.
Exercise by yourself, with a friend, or in a small group of less than 10
Being with others is important for our mental and physical health. Physical distancing has made that difficult. However, working out together at safe distances or outdoors is a great way to spend time with others. Some ways to exercise with friends would be biking, hiking, tennis, playing basketball at the park, walking or running together. Be creative in your exercising with others and have fun!
Exercise is essential for all ages. With kids also having to do school remotely, make sure they have some physical activities or outside time every day. This will help their focus and concentration.
Exercise using your body weight
An easy way to exercise is to do activities that use your body weight. These workouts incorporate a variety of movements that don’t require equipment. Examples include squats, lunges, push-ups, and yoga.
Stay in touch with your fitness community online
Like with most things, having accountability and encouragement from others can make a huge difference when it comes to exercise. You should take advantage of staying in touch with your team or friends online.
Staying in Shape
Staying in shape isn’t just about having good exercise habits. There are many other components to keeping your mind and body in shape.
- Focus on your sleep
- Don’t fear carbs
- Drink lots of water
- Track your workouts
- Set attainable goals
- Find a fitness buddy
- Mix up workouts
Focus on your sleep
We’ve already addressed the importance of good sleep, but why not address it one more time. People underestimate the impact of lack of sleep. Besides exercise, other things that may help you get better sleep are to turn off your mobile devices 30 minutes before bed, skip the bedroom TV, and listen to music instead.
Don’t fear carbs
Eating carbs isn’t all bad but eating too many carbs can cause problems. After a workout or exercise session, eat carbs to refuel and then cut down on them the rest of the week.
Drink lots of water
Drinking lots of water and staying hydrated is very important. Start your day by drinking a big glass of water.
Track your workouts
There are many ways to track your workouts. Find what works. Tracking your workouts can help you see if you’re reaching your goals or how you need to improve your exercise plan so you have better success.
Set attainable goals
Without attainable goals, it’s difficult to stay in shape. You will always be disappointed or frustrated when you don’t meet your goals. Take it slow, be patient with yourself as you meet each goal, one at a time.
Mix up workouts
Some days you’ll have more energy than others. Doing the same workout over and over can get mundane, boring and easy to quit. You should switch it up so that your body has time to recover from your higher energy workouts.
Exercise should be fun and not a daunting task on your to-do list. Exercise and staying fit will help you live a more full and happy life.