Make exercise work for you

What if there was a pill you could take every day that promised to relieve your stress, alleviate depression, improve your mood, ward off disease, clear your mind, strengthen your body and increase your lifespan?

Chances are you would buy a lifetime supply. While there is no magic pill on the market, there is a natural one. It's called exercise, and it's ready to be taken and put into action every single day.

The bad news is that no matter how you look at it, in order to get fit you will have to instill a certain amount of discipline into your life. In order to build and strengthen your body, you need to give it attention.

The good news is that once you start paying attention to your body, it feels good. When you begin incorporating exercise into your daily routine, you will find that instead of dreading it, you will look forward to it. In fact, your body will start to crave it.

It's not easy to get from point A to point B. In the beginning it takes a large amount of self-discipline and determination. But the paybacks come back tenfold.

Top 10 ways to make exercise a part of your life

  1. Plan ahead; write it down as a must-do in your daily planner.
  2. Use the buddy system. Find a friend or family member that already incorporates activity into his/her life or one who is ready to really go for it. Ask for support and help motivate each other.
  3. Take up group classes like boxing, martial arts or TRX.
  4. Set weekly and daily fitness goals.
  5. Join the gym. Ask a fitness instructor to go through all the machines and recommend a fitness plan, personalised to you.
  6. Make it a family affair. Everyone young and old can benefit from exercise.
  7. Incorporate it into your housework or at the office. Walk to lunch or meetings, use the stairs instead of the elevator, work on your garden, park at the furthest parking spot and rake leaves. Exercise is even possible when you are sitting down. Exercising for weight loss is the one time fidgeting is acceptable.
  8. Instead of just meeting for dinner or lunch, plan activities with your friends like tag rugby or a round of cricket.
  9. Set yourself a goal. What is realistic for you? Run for 30 minutes within 2 months.
  10. Join a league or sign up for walkathons months ahead, and work on achieving a certain time.

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