Meet Aly Teich, a health & wellness guru from The Sweat Life. You might have noticed her in our Summer catalog. Today on the blog, she shares 5 rules to live by for keeping your fitness routine simple.
Today there are more choices than ever for ways to get fit and stay fit. The barrage of information on what’s the “best” way can often be daunting — especially if you’re starting a workout routine for the first time, or getting back into a routine after a long hiatus.
However, I don’t believe there is any “best” way to get in shape — there is only what is best for you.
How do you know it’s best for you? It should be something you feel a physical change from (getting stronger, gaining endurance, weight loss — if that is your goal, and a mass amount of energy!). Your routine should also be something you enjoy enough to actually stick to, because if you don’t stick to it — well, what’s the point in doing it in the first place?! If you still feel lost, here are 5 simple fitness rules I try to live by:
1. Move every day
This doesn’t mean you have to run a marathon, or even run at all. Moving your body comes in many forms. Whether it’s just 5 minutes of stretching in the morning, doing a set of 10-20 pushups, squats, or some ab work, going for a walk around the block in the middle of the day, playing with your kids, or skipping the elevator to take the stairs. Just move your body and get your blood flowing! Every. Single. Day.
2. Challenge yourself 3-4 days a week
While stretching for 5 minutes every day will offer more positive results than you may expect, it still isn’t enough to really get you fit in a way that will help strengthen your heart, your lungs, your immune system, and your body. Which means at least 3-4 days a week, your daily movement should challenge you for a period of 20-40 minutes. What does that mean? That means your heart rate should be elevated, you should be slightly uncomfortably out of breath, and you should be breaking a sweat.
3. Find something you love so that you’ll stick to it
As previously mentioned, if you don’t find a challenging workout that you actually enjoy, you are just not going to stick to it. For some, the enjoyment comes from how you feel afterwards, even if it feels like ‘torture’ while you are doing it. However, for many, if your workout is something you really don’t look forward to, you are going to end up finding a way to avoid it — and I don’t blame you! But with so many different ways to break a heart-pumping sweat, I promise you can find something you like if you take the time to look for it. From spin class to dance class, to recreational sports, to outdoor activities, and even personal trainers that show up on your smart devices — just pick your poison, break a sweat, and have fun!
4. Let go of the guilt – don’t be scared to get back on the wagon
I have spoken to so many people about (and also experienced myself) the difficulty of getting back onto the fitness wagon when you have fallen out of shape. Unfortunately, guilt is not on our list of easy tricks for getting healthy. So just let it go. If you fell off the wagon, don’t be scared to get back on. If you fall off again, well just keep trying! Life happens, we are human, it’s all okay — just keep trying at it!
5. Make the Time
One of the other common excuses I hear from people as to why they don’t workout is that they don’t have time. Sorry guys, I’m not buying that one. There is always time, you just have to carve it out. I don’t care how crazy your job is, I don’t care how many kids you have, I don’t care if you barely have time to wash your hair (again, raising my hand). This is your life, and despite what others around you may tell you, your time is yours to do with as you please. Please don’t mistake this as me somehow encouraging you to leave said job or neglect said children, but carving out 20-60 minutes in the day is completely possible (perhaps minutes you may otherwise spend sleeping or watching TV) — the time is there, and it’s up to you how you are going to spend it. I promise you the time you spend working out is time you will actually get back in your day. Even if it’s an hour of sleep lost, the energy you will gain from working out will give you more health benefits and energy than an extra 40 minutes of sleep. It will also offer mental clarity and stress relief, which will make you perform better at work and be more present with your kids. If I can’t convince you any other way, then I will say — if you sacrifice your health, you are at risk of sacrificing everything else you seem to be able to make time for. So put it in your calendar, set your alarm, and just make the time to invest in your health!