Are you still trying to figure out what to do with the home gym you got last holiday season but still have yet to use? If you're struggling to find a fitness regiment that you can actually stick to without spending an enormous amount of money on equipment that takes up half of your living room, perhaps you want to consider some of these options for getting in shape and staying that way!
- Ditch the home systems: While these can look amazing on television, chances are you won't use them as frequently or effectively as you should. Most will lose their value almost immediately as well, decreasing any resale value.
- Get a trainer: For about the same price as some of those fancy elliptical machines or treadmills, you can invest in a personal trainer to work with either at a gym or at home. They'll help you identify target areas (inner thighs, stomach, etc) that could most benefit from regular exercise and help you craft a workout for those areas. Perhaps you only use the trainer for a few weeks or months, or even just a consultation visit, but nonetheless, it can help you to identify where you should be focusing your attention.
- Try new things: Nia, Spinning, Karate…they're all different exercise programs that work muscle groups in different ways. One of the biggest challenges in sticking to a fitness program is staying engaged. When we get bored or know what comes next, we can easily lose interest and drift, causing our bodies to do the same. Add a dance class one week, try a new yoga teacher, keep it fresh and interesting!
- Walk: We might not think of walking as the way to a super strong and healthy body, but walking is the only exercise that works every muscle in the body. Every muscle! A number of health experts recommend we walk approximately 10,000 steps per day—that's close to 5 miles. Most of us walk far fewer than that in a week! Park furthest away from the grocery store entrance, take the stairs, commit to walking anywhere in your neighborhood that's under 2 miles. Take leisure walks and hikes around town or in nature where the fresh air will recharge you.
- Buddy up: When we're by ourselves, it's easy to cheat and skip a rep. But when we work out with a friend or exercise buddy, we can keep each other motivated and supported. We also tend to push ourselves just a little bit further (never to pain though!) when we're working with someone else. Games are a great way to exercise and spend time with a friend or loved one. Tennis, racquet ball, basketball—you don't even have to be good to get the benefits of the workout.
- Boost your protein: A healthy diet is part of a fitness routine and is critical in helping to flush out toxins in the body, and foods high in protein help us to build new muscles, blood cells and tissue.
Image credit: By lululemon athletica
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