5 Ways to Fall into Fitness
Cooler weather brings more opportunities to walk, jog, bike or do just about anything you enjoy outside in the fresh air. It’s a great time to begin or recommit to a fitness program so you’re in shape for the holidays and the coming winter months, before the shorter days and cold temperatures provide easy excuses for staying indoors.
“Exercise helps you look and feel better, and it provides long-term health benefits that help prevent type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity and strokes," sa Dr. Amy Phillips
, one of our OB/GYN
doctors at UAMS
. “Women often use work and family commitments as an excuse for getting out of shape.It’s important to know that just 30 minutes of exercise a day can significantly improve your health.”
No Excuse Workout
This 30-minute workout
includes 10 minutes of aerobic exercise and 10 minutes of strengthening and can be done anywhere. It’s a great way to get started on a new fall workout routine. The workout targets your heart, stomach, upper body and thighs, all in just a few minutes.
Weight training is an important part of a fitness program. Lifting weights helps women develop stronger bones and a sculpted, toned feminine body. Weight training can also increase your metabolism, making you feel great – and look great.
If you haven’t lifted weights in a gym before, ask a trainer for help. A trainer can show you the right amount of weight to start with and proper techniques to prevent injury. Before you start, read more about weight training for women
Dance Dance Dance
Play your favorite songs around the house, as you walk or while you do chores -- you might just find yourself dancing your way to better health. For even more benefit, sign up for a dance class or an exercise class that incorporates dance.
In addition to heart health and weight loss, dancing can help with balance, stress and overall health and wellness. Start with these tips for adding dance
into your fitness routine.
The More the Merrier
Exercising alone can get boring. Have your family join in
to make fitness a group effort. Exposing your children to exercise at an early age can help instill lifelong healthy habits that will help them stay fit in their adult years. Find activities you all enjoy doing together, and don't be afraid to add new activities to your routine. A walk can be good exercise for everyone, including your elderly parents and your young children. Add a few obstacles and stretching stations to increase the challenge for youth and younger adults. Make it a competition, and you'll probably see a lot more enthusiasm about exercise.
To help keep your family on track for a long-term fitness plan, find a 5K race
several months in advance and create a training schedule to lead up to this event. Start out with an easy workout and gradually work your way up to the big event, increasing the difficulty of the workouts and making them more frequent. On the day of the race, divide up into teams and award a prize to the boys or the girls, the adults or the kids, or whoever wins the competition.
Older and Wiser
Age is no excuse for lack of fitness. Many exercise classes are designed especially for senior citizens with low-impact moves that are easy on the joints and don't require a lot of balance.
As at any age, exercise doesn't have to be a big production. A walk around the neighborhood, parking as far away as you can at the grocery store or working in the garden keeps your muscles moving and your heart pumping. Be sure you are wearing comfortable, nonslip shoes to help prevent falls, sprains and broken bones.
Exercise is more important as you age. Increased activity can help your heart, blood pressure, diabetes and outlook on life. Before you begin a fitness program, check out these tips for older women
"Exercise at every age has many benefits," says Dr. Phillips. "Exercise often includes a social element, and the friendships that develop through fitness help with mental and physical wellness too."