Get Into a Routine

Photo By: demontesino

Get Into a Routine

By Jessica Watts

Today the word 'exercise' creates anxiety and fear amongst most, but what is this truly based upon? This is based on the thought that it is unenjoyable, time consuming and extremely hard work. Contrary to these beliefs, however, there is much to be enjoyed and to be gained from putting a little physical activity into your life.

First you just need to look at your daily routine and see where it fits in. Its nice to put it into your routine to make it less time consuming and to make it part of your day. I personally like to make time in the morning; it helps to wake me up, its good to start your metabolism before breakfast, and the rest of the afternoon is free for myself and errands I may need to take care of.

Next you need to find an activity that you enjoy, such as, a sport (tennis, basketball, etc), group activity (walk-a-thons), or just something you enjoy (walking, weights, bicycling). Group activities can help to motivate you by being around peers and others who are enthusiastic and can make exercise fun. Also, if you find a sport you enjoy, such as tennis, you can play with a family member or friend. For parents this is also a great way to connect with a child while supporting and integrating a healthy lifestyle for your children.

Some types of exercise that don't take long, but can help boost your metabolism and energy level are:
  • Pilates/Yoga - there are videos and DVDs out there that only take about 30 minutes, but they will stretch you out, get your blood pumping and help increase your energy level.
  • Speed Walking - this helps increase your blood circulation and with hand movements it gets your whole body into it for a full workout.
  • Jogging/Running - although this is the hardest to get up to it is a great way to work out the whole body and lose weight. This helps work the legs, arms, and core of the body as you propel yourself. For a maximum workout you should run on a track, but there is also the treadmill and eliptical machines (eliptical only works out the legs). If you do decide to run on the track, however, make sure you have some of the best shoes and run on an actual track, the road is not meant to cushion your joints and can have bad effects on your knees.
  • Light Weight Lifting - just some 5 to 10 pound weights to work out the arms, abdomen, and legs. You can incorporate them into squats, lunges, situps, thrusts, bicep curls, tricep dips, and so many more types of exercise to help get your heart rate up and get in shape.
These types of exercise only take up approximately 30 minutes of your day and can be incorporated during any part of the day. If you desire better results you can increase the duration, intensity or number of times you exercise per day. If you have any serious health issues please ask your doctor before trying any types of strenuous activity.

Combining exercise into your daily routine will be not only physically, but also emotionally rewarding. This is one of the best things you can do if you want to start a healthy lifestyle and tune up your life.

Let's Take a Walk

Photo by: Garrett Bartley.

Let's Take a Walk
by Jessica Watts

With increases in the obesity rate in the world and the increase in dependency on anti-depressants, there is definitely a cry in the world for help in the realm of personal living habits. Although this can not fix everything it is still a step in the right direction.

Walking is a great habit and a hobby for some! Just taking a walk can help to clear your mind and soothe your soul from a long day, a fight with a family member or spouse, or even soothe it just to make yourself feel enlightened. Here are some tips I recommend for everyone:

#1. Pick a good place - A crucial part of making walking a habit is to pick a good place to walk. One that you feel free of distractions and can feel calm. Some places are a good neighborhood, park, a beach, or even a wooded path. Some place that is quiet, calm and you can be at peace with yourself and everything around you. If this part isn't right then the whole effect won't work.

#2. Feel the release - Another big part of walking to soothe is that you walk in a pace that does not tire you too much or make you pant, but you don't want to feel sluggish either. Picking a good pace is vital in feeling the release of your cares and worries. Everyone's body has a certain rhythm and you need to find that rhythm to ensure that your body feels the full effects.

#3. Walk together - If you are stressed about a fight or can feel yourself 'loosing it' suggest a walk before you discuss anything further. Your partner will thank you for this and you will be glad you did it. My boyfriend has done this to me a few times when I began to rant about a topic he brought up. He would simply ask, "Would you like to go for a walk?" At first I was confused, but after a few times I realized our arguments turned into productive discussions of important topics. Also, even if you are not disagreeing, walking is still a way for you and someone else to feel a close connection by experiencing the same feelings through your 'spiritual' walk.

#4. Find Your happy place - Along a walk I like to find a place where I feel the most relaxed to take a break. This is usually the destination, end point of my journey, such as a park bench, a small restaurant, store, or ice cream parlor (good food is good for the soul). Once you arrive at this place it is always nice to sit and admire your surroundings and help get a new perspective on everything. We never know what we take for granted until we really look at it.

#5. Breathe In, Breathe Out - Last, but not least is breathing! This is just as important as all the other steps listed here. It is always good to control and maintain a good breathing rate. As I mentioned before, if you are panting, then you are going too fast. If your heart rate is too increased from normal then it is hard to focus on your breathing and makes it hard to feel relaxed, until you stop. Make sure when you focus on your pace, you also focus on your breathing. This goes along with the rhythm of your step and helps to create an almost mechanical movement that allows you to experience full relaxation.

Not only is this good exercise for you and whoever you choose to walk with, but it is also good for the soul. I recommend this during anytime of the day, but recommend caution after dark. It is great for cool downs after intense exercise or just in the morning to start your day right. Whenever you feel that you need to feel better about yourself, TAKE A WALK!

You should always feel good about yourself and feel good about your feelings. Everyone around you will notice and be influenced by your calm and relaxed nature and YOU will feel good about being you.