Aiming for a Healthy Body: Incorporating Exercise into Your Life - dummies

Aiming for a Healthy Body: Incorporating Exercise into Your Life

By Gillian Burn

Part of Healthy Mind and Body All-in-One For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Exercising makes you feel good and look good. But fitting exercise into your busy schedule can be a challenge. The following easy everyday tips can help keep your body fit, strong and balanced:    

  • Set specific, realistic goals. Instead of vowing to ‘get in shape’, commit to walking three times a week.

  • Keep a daily exercise diary. Record the details of your exercising, such as how far you walked, how hard you pushed and how you felt.

  • Pace yourself. Build up your exercise slowly adding a few extra minutes each day.

  • Exercise with a friend or join a club. You’ll gain more motivation – and fitness – than if you exercise alone.

  • Choose a few gentle Pilates or Yoga exercises. Do these every day as a morning stretch routine. Try the Basic Cat Stretch or The Sun Salutation.

  • Remember to breathe deeply. Take a moment each day to breathe deeply and slowly. Doing so is relaxing and good for your health. Breathing wide into the ribs helps to release muscle tension.

  • Keep your shoulders relaxed and pulling down your back. Relax your shoulders, and keep pulling the shoulder blades down and away from your ears. Think of using the muscles underneath the shoulder blades to keep the shoulders in the proper position. This also works wonders for your neck.

  • Keep your belly scoop whenever you can. Pulling your navel toward your spine protects your back from potential injury. Using your deep abdominal muscles, especially when bending over and lifting, takes some of the strain off your back.

  • Think of a golden string pulling you up from the back of the top of your head. Holding an image in your head can help you change your body dramatically as you think of proper alignment for your body. Stand up with the back of your head pulled up towards the sky helping to lengthen your spine.