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Simply Fit, by Cindy Haskin-Popp, will help you make physical activity a part of everyday life. The health benefits of regular exercise and overall daily physical activity will be discussed. Fun, practical and easy-to-follow tips on an exercise program will be shared, as will the most current research. Fitness tips for families and seniors, on fitness centers and on buying proper and affordable equipment will be regularly given. 

Monday, March 16, 2009

Exercise "Buffet" Style

     I love to eat.  I especially love to eat at restaurants that offer meals buffet style.  I enjoy the freedom to sample all of the different possibilities available and the opportunity to go back for more of what I like.
     A few weeks ago I asked you to vote for your biggest barrier to exercise.  Twenty percent of you said that you were not motivated to exercise and that you felt it was boring.  Another 4% of you stated that lack of athletic ability prevented you from exercising.  My solution, try exercise "buffet" style.  In other words, find a physical activity that you enjoy by "sampling" a variety of activities.  
     You are more likely to be motivated and make exercise a habit if you choose a mode that is both enjoyable and manageable.  Attempt a variety of activities.  Don't limit yourself to traditional forms of exercise.  Furthermore, don't assume you need athletic skills to be physically active.  A great mode for the novice exerciser is walking.  Become a "tourist" in your own city.  Walk into an adjoining neighborhood to yours or down streets you haven't ventured before to break the monotony. 
     Make and keep a list of activities that you like.  Alternating modes of exercise will help keep motivation up and the boredom factor down.  Refer to the list when boredom ensues.  Below is a list of some suggestions to start your "sampling".
1.  Stability ball exercises to develop balance, stability and strength
2.  Functional fitness exercises that prepare your body for activities of 
      daily life (such as lifting boxes in a stock room)
3.  Core training to strengthen abdomen and back muscles to 
      stabilize the spine
4.  Hiking
5.  Backpacking
6.  Ballroom or square dancing
     In addition to choosing a mode of exercise that is enjoyable, how you exercise can impact motivation and boredom.  Try breaking the monotony by listening to music or watching the television while you exercise.  Or, make it a social event by meeting a friend and/or enrolling in a group exercise class.  Change your exercise environment such as going outdoors if you typically engage in activity indoors.  The possibilities are endless.  Be creative and you will be able to find a form of exercise that motivates you to get and stay active. 

Note:  Before beginning an exercise program or increasing the intensity level of a current routine, a physician's approval should be obtained, especially for older adults and those at risk for or who currently have chronic health conditions.


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Blogger DaisySmiles said...

Hi Cindy,
I enjoyed reading your article that suggested "buffet" style forms of exercise. I think it's time to get that exercise ball out of the basement and work on balance. It's easily accomplished while watching television. I also rediscovered the peacefulness of walking the dog at our local dog park...We both benefit from the terrain; it's also great time to reflect. I'm looking forward to reading more!

March 18, 2009 at 10:04 PM 

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