Let's face it. When you are out in almost any public environment and you take notice of the people you are surrounded by, unless you are at a physique event, you will notice that most people are not exactly what you would call fit. This isn't anything new considering in the United States alone, there are over 60 million Americans that are considered obese. This is no vain criticism or prejudice, this a statistical fact that is concerning because obesity can lead to many health complications such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, blood vessel disease, arthritis, and certain types of cancer.
What Is Obesity?
Obesity is a medical condition which excess body fat has accumulated to the extent that it may have an adverse effect on health, leading to reduced life expectancy and/or increased health problems. Body mass index is a measurement which compares weight and height.
- Underweight = < 18.5
- Normal weight = 18.5-24.9
- Overweight = 25-29.9
- Obesity = BMI of 30 or greater
Why are so many people obese? The 2 biggest reasons are very obvious. Poor eating habits and a lack of exercise. Taking in more calories in a day then what we burn makes us fat. The reason so many people fall into this trap is because they don't like to exercise! Most people think of exercise as a boring and uncomfortable, pain in the ass chore, or some form of barbaric torture that they are reluctant to make time for. It would be so much easier to incorporate exercise into your lifestyle if you could find a way to make it seem more like fun and less like getting kicked in the face.
Here are 8 different ways that you make exercise more of a fun and positive experience so that you will be more inclined to stay on a consistent exercise regimen.
1. Find An Exercise Partner
Having a workout or exercise partner can be a great motivator to stay on task with your exercise plan. When you are accountable only to yourself, it can be easy to let yourself down, especially on days you might feel tired or under the weather. If you have partner that your working out with so that you are accountable to someone other than yourself, then it will be much more likely that you will show up for your workout because you don't want to let your partner down. When you have a partner you can push each other a little harder to make for a more productive workout, and also a little friendly competition among friends can be fun and motivating!
2. Get Involved In Sport You Like
Most people love sports, both watching them and participating in them. I know in my hometown there are a number of gyms that offer basketball, racquetball, tennis, softball, baseball, volleyball leagues, soccer, rugby, football, and even boxing. If any of these spark your interest, try giving one a shot. Should you sign up for one of these leagues through a bar or tavern just be sure that after your games you don't head to the bar and guzzle back all the calories you just burned up!
3. Get Fido Out For A Walk
You know what it usually means when you see an overweight dog that doesn't get enough exercise? Yep, that's right. An overweight owner that doesn't get enough exercise either. Not only will getting your dog out walking make your dog much happier and both of you much healthier; it's a good way get out and about so that you and your dog can meet some new friends, or at the very least you can get out and do some people watching. There's always interesting people around on the streets that can provide some level of entertainment.
4. Combine Exercise With Your Favorite TV Program
This used to be my favorite way to get my cardio exercise done. That is, until I broke my home Stairstepper that I used to set up in the front of the television while I would knock out 20 minutes of high intensity, interval, cardio training. It didn't even feel like exercise. I would get zoned in on some show that would catch my interest, and next thing I knew I was done with my cardio, quick and pain free. Everyone I know makes some daily time for TV so why not get some exercise in during that time? A number of manufactures make portable Stairsteppers, and even treadmills that are reasonably priced. If you're a home body then this may be your best option.
5. Sign Up For A Class At Your Gym
I've spoken with lots of people that love the various exercise classes that their gyms offer. For those who love to dance then see if your gym offers any Hip-Hop dance classes or Zumba classes are very popular now. If dancing isn't your thing, which in my case it definitely isn't, then you may want see what other types of classes your gym might offer. Many gyms will offer other fun classes such as, Spinning, Cardio Kick-Boxing, Turbo Kick-Boxing, Cardio mix, Step Aerobics, or Body Pump classes. These types of exercise classes maybe a fun change over if your current regimen is getting boring for you.
6. Set Small Goals For Yourself
It's both exciting and motivating when you can get a goal and reach it. Challenge yourself with small goals when you work out so you can experience little victories to keep you going. For example, if you can squat 100 lbs for 5 repetitions, don't set a goal of being able to squat 300 lbs in a month because that isn't a realistic goal and experiencing failure will discourage you and make you lose steam! Instead set a smaller goal of being able to squat 100 lbs for 8 repetitions in 1 month, now that is a realistic goal. Remember that every major goal is made of many smaller goals!
7. Make Your Climate Work For You
In cold winter states like Wisconsin where I live, there are many activities that are out of the question during the winter months, as sometimes temperatures will drop as low as -50 degrees below zero. If you live in a cold winter state you may want to bundle up during the winter and get outside and do some cross country skiing, downhill skiing, or even my favorite outdoor winter activity, sledding! Believe me, you will smoke off a lot of calories running up some of those steep hills over and over. If you absolutely hate being outside during the winter months then refer back to options 4 and 5.
8. Play Video Games
And no, I'm not talking about the kind of video games where you plop your butt down on the couch and twiddle your thumbs. I'm talking about the new and improved interactive video games in which you must move your body to play. I'm talking about the Nintendo Wii fit video games. These games are available in anything to interactive, action/adventure type games to all varieties of interactive sport games. If playing these games is your exclusive exercise regimen, it won't produce the kind of results that will put you on the cover of a fitness magazine, however, they will put your health in a much better place than doing nothing at all!