Ideally, your fitness routine should include physical activity four to five days a week, but sometimes that just isn't possible. If you add work or school to the daily activities of life, sticking to a fitness plan can be a real chore. But don't despair. There are ways you can keep your fitness plan very simple. Here are five ways to make fitness an easy and effective part of your life:
1. Plan for Convenience
If you want to work out at a gym, then choose one that is on the way to or from work or school. This makes it easy to stop by and work out either in the morning or evening. Don't make yourself drive a long way. Make working out a convenient stop. If you don't want to join a gym, you can still stick to your fitness routine by parking your car far enough away from school or work that you get a regular brisk walk twice daily.
2. Fuel Your Body Right
If your body feels sore or tired for any reason (usually from stress) then naturally you will feel reluctant to exercise. To help you stick to your fitness program, be sure you fuel your body with the right nutrition. Add vitamin and mineral-dense foods to your diet. Drink plenty of water, especially during the winter. Antioxidants will also keep your body limber and flexible. Foods rich in antioxidants include berries, garlic, carrots, soy, and whole grains. If you can't get antioxidants on a regular basis in your diet, you can take pill-based supplements such vitamins E, C, and A (in the form of beta-carotene). Blue-green algae and spirulina also offer strong natural sources of antioxidant nutrition.
3. Plan Ahead
You can ensure that you stick to your fitness routine if you actually schedule it into your weekly calendar. Instead of getting up in the morning hoping that your day goes well and that you will "feel like" dropping by the gym on the way home from work, make a plan. You might even schedule your workouts with a buddy so you will have a definite incentive to exercise as planned.
4. Distract Yourself
Not that you don't want to concentrate during your workouts but if "feeling the burn" tends to discourage you from your fitness regimen, then by all means distract yourself. Try listening to an mp3 player while you workout. If you plan to exercise by walking from a distant parking spot to and from work, try calling up a buddy on your cell phone as you walk. If you workout at a gym, tune into the TV set to keep your mind off your exertion.
5. Reward Yourself
Be sure that your fitness plan isn't all about "no pain, no gain"! Plan some ways to reward yourself when you have stuck to your fitness plan. Whether you go in for a relaxing pedicure or simply stop by the local yogurt store for some guilt-free non-fat frozen yogurt, make sure that you get a reward for your fitness efforts!
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