Today I am sharing my personal take on fitness do’s and dont’s, mistakes I’ve had in the past alongside significant learnings. I am not a fitness expert but a lot of these tips are pretty basic but oftentimes neglected (read fitness tips for women over 40). I can’t emphasize enough the importance of healthy diet and active lifestyle to help prevent and reverse chronic conditions such as hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes mellitus 2, among others. Of course there are factors you can’t control but at least you’ve done something to give yourself the best quality of life as possible. And I am here to tell you, even if you are stricken with debilitating disease right now, nourishing your body with whole food plant based diet and complimenting it with exercise (even at a slow pace) can help you gain your life back. There is hope my friend.
(1) Don’t procrastinate. The more you push your goal further, the farther you are in making the first move towards good health. If your goal is to lose weight, make every day counts. Start evaluating your own eating pattern and your current fitness level. Then make the first move today.
Do set goals. Goals should be SMART. Specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time-bounded. Let’s use my personal fitness goal as an example.
S= define and tone my upper arms M=before/after circumference (or photos) A= I am only working one body area at a time R= very realistic T= by year-end 2018
(2) Don’t start without warming up to prevent injuries. I remember some years back that I had severe muscle cramps while dancing. I collapsed, was yelling for help and had to crawl helplessly, good thing my husband just got home and found me on the floor.
Do basic stretches to slowly build up your stamina and “wake up” your muscles.
(3) Don’t engage in a routine or exercise that you don’t enjoy. It kills your motivation and commitment. I remember in my mid-20s, in my attempt to lose weight, I enrolled in simultaneous classes only to drop out after because they weren’t my thing (boxing, aerobics, swimming).
Do something that you love, like, or beginning to like. It’s a process of elimination. Once you picked your choice, stick to that routine, master it and expand to other routines because monotony can also kill motivation and commitment. For example, while I do love to dance hiphop, I try my best to also use the treadmill (sometimes dance while on the treadmill), introduce yoga and more recently, kettlebell which I am slowly introducing to help me tone my upper arms.
(4) Don’t go crazy with protein bars and energy drinks thinking you will need these fancy food to boost your energy. These are often packed with sugars and empty calories. Remember 4 grams of sugar is equivalent to 1 teaspoon of sugar. Read the label intelligently.
Do drink water. Plain water is your energy drink and if you need to snack on after a workout, fruits like bananas, watermelon, apples are high in nutritional value.
(5) Don’t overdo it. You are not competing with anyone but yourself.
Do allow your body to adjust and slowly build up by increasing your time or level of intensity.
(6) Don’t wear frumpy clothes while working out. Trust me, they affect your confidence and ability to give it all.
Do wear the right workout clothes. There are plenty of cute fitness clothes that are affordable and give ample support.
(7) Don’t exercise in a gloomy area if you are doing it at home.
Do turn on the lights, play some music to amp up the vibe. I alternate between airpods and bluetooth speaker, play hiphop music or Pitbull, all in the comfort of our patio. If I need to take up space, I go out in the yard and use it as my fitness area.
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