Now is the time to invest in your greatest asset, which is you! You cannot afford to keep giving to others while neglecting yourself and this includes your health and wellness. You need to eat better and incorporate physical movement into your daily schedule so that you can go the distance, and continue caring for those within your circle of influence. The same diligence applied to maintaining appointments and obligations could also be applied to making adequate time for exercise.
All it takes is some creativity, organization, and planning ahead; decide whether the AM or PM hours are the best time to exercise, and then mark your calendar. A schedule is only effective if you stick to it, and your workouts should be just as important as all of the other appointments on your calendar.
Cardio exercise: should occur at least three times a week for about 45 minutes each time. Experiment with the cardio machines if you belong to a gym, dividing time between three machines in 15-minute increments (treadmill, stationary bike, elliptical machine, stair master). Mixing things up will also prevent your body from adapting to your workouts, in which calorie burning could plateau.
Strength training: should occur two to three times a week for about 30 minutes each time. Choose exercises that balance working the large muscle groups (legs, glutes) and the smaller muscle groups (arms, shoulders). Try to do three sets of 15 reps for each exercise. If you are a beginner, opt for the weight machines because they have built in safety mechanisms.
Try one of the workout DVD’s on the market, or use the fitness channels offered through cable On Demand. You can do cardio and weights on the same day, but be sure to space at least 24-hours in between weightlifting to allow for adequate muscle rest. The rest period between weightlifting is when your muscles grow (hypertrophy), and they get slightly stronger than before. If women use light weights with a high number of reps, muscle toning will occur without building too much bulk.
If you could devote just three days out of the week to working out, your health and wellness will be significantly improved over time. The key to establishing an exercise routine is to avoid doing too much too soon, so eventually work your way up to five days a week if you can. Weight loss, however small the reduction in pounds or inches, calls for recognition and reward. Clearly define your fitness goals and create incentives to help keep you focused on achieving them.
It is time to schedule and appointment with yourself because you are worth it!