When Returning to Exercise, Think like Goldilocks

So the year is almost at its end – most people are already contemplating New Year’s resolutions. The more popular resolution during this time is “FITNESS”. I really don’t think that you have to wait for the New Year to set a FITNESS goal. I mean, why wait? You are just going to set yourself up for a bigger problem if you wait. If you truly want to get healthier and want to focus on adding more fitness into your life – just do it! If you are worried about how to get started, let me talk you through it.

Are you familiar with the story of Goldilocks?

You probably do. In case you don’t recall, it is the story of a little girl who goes wandering in the forest. She finds a house, and since the door is unlocked, she goes right in. She finds 3 bowls of porridge, 3 chairs, and 3 beds.

In each of these items, she kept trying – until she found the bowl of porridge, chair, and a bed that was “just right”. This is what you want to do when you begin to exercise after being sedentary and inactive for a period of time.

Work on a schedule that has you challenging your body, but not overstressing it. Newbies to exercise often work too hard too early, and sustain an injury. The injury keeps them from exercising for a while, and in some cases, they develop the mindset that working out is dangerous.

You should also find an exercise program that is “just right” for you.

If right now, your life involves a lot of sitting, little physical activity, and absolutely no exercise, begin with something easy – like walking. There is no shame in incorporating 3 walking sessions of 10 to 15 minutes each and every week when you are just beginning to workout. While you may not think of walking as exercise, it is an excellent all-over workout. If you enjoy dancing, you may want to try a Zumba class or a similar dance cardio class. When starting, don’t be intimidated by the moves. Don’t worry about the other people – just go at your own pace and try your best. You do not have to finish the class – try a few songs and gradually increase your time as you continue to attend classes.

The idea here is to not overdo it. You don’t want to “underdo” it either. Push yourself enough but not too much, and only work out every other day of the week when you start out. Remember to warm up before your exercise and stretch after.

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