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Exercise Routines: Choosing a Workout Plan You’ll Enjoy 
by Tamiya King August 10, 2005

We all know that regular exercise significantly improves health, reduces fatigue, and keeps you looking and feeling great. But, who feels like working out all the time? Perhaps the reason we slack off on the exercise programs that we’re so devoted to for at least two weeks of the new year or the beginning of summer is because we’re simply not interested in the workout. Based on the areas of your body you want to work on and the amount of time you have to spend in the gym every day, you can find a workout that you won’t dread when you think about it.

Make the most of your workout time.

Don’t feel guilty that you don’t have an hour or two each day to work out. Just make the most of the time you do have to work out, and plan your day wisely. For instance, if you can walk to work in warm weather, take advantage of this daily opportunity. Of course, you can always take the stairs instead of the elevator while at the office. Taking a little walk after dinner is also a great way to keep off extra pounds, and it could even help you sleep sounder. If you don’t have time to go to the gym or don’t own weights and want to do some toning, you can use your own body weight to shape up your thighs, abs, and arms. Twenty to fifty push-ups a day can help to tone the arms and back, leg lunges can help to firm the thighs, and about fifty sit-ups a day can keep the stomach and lower back in shape. You’ll want to increase the number of sets for these exercises as you become more comfortable with them, and you could see results much sooner than you think if you’re willing to be consistent.

Work out in the right environment.

Another reason why workout time seems to fizzle out of our schedule has a lot to do with the places we choose to work out in. If the gym doesn’t exactly motivate you, don’t worry; you may just need to change your setting. Most people don’t feel especially motivated to work out in their homes either, because it’s much too tempting to relax on the couch or slip back into bed. For a change of scenery, try working out outdoors. Nature walks are a great way to work out amongst trees and flowers, and running outside early in the morning can be very refreshing. You can also work out at a friend’s home or at a neighborhood park or fitness center. Pay attention to how you feel when you’re working out at each place, and stick with the environment you feel most comfortable in. You’ll be more likely to work out more often, and for longer periods of time.

Try non-traditional exercises.

It’s perfectly all right to base your exercise routine on things you actually like to do. For instance, if you love dancing, enroll in a local ballroom dancing or salsa class, and count the classes as part of your workout. If you love swimming, visit the pool as often as you can. If you’re a fan of the outdoors, plan to go bike riding or hiking whenever you get a chance. Even though these aren’t your traditional ways of exercising, you’ll still receive the cardiovascular and muscle-toning benefits. The trick is to make sure that you’re participating in these activities as often as you would be going to the gym in order to have really worked out for the week. You may still want to add a couple of weight training sessions or a mile run one day a week to these activities, but you’ll be much more motivated to do so when you can spend other days doing the things you like to do. This way, you won’t have to make another New Year’s resolution to work out every day; you can just resolve to plan your days better and do more of the things you love to do.


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