A Recipe for the Most Successful Exercise Program
With this year coming to an end, you might be wondering what happen to that New Year’s Resolution to exercise regularly that you made 11 months ago. If you started to exercise regularly, life might have gotten in the way and caused you to fall off the “treadmill”, so to speak. If so, maybe you did not have the right exercise program. Only one recipe for a successful exercise program actually works because it is the one that you are going to stick with for years to come; no matter if you are old or young, fat or skinny, smart or… well you get the picture. The recipe is as follows:
A Handful of Stretches
2 cups of Motivation
_ ½ cup of Convenience_
1 TBSP of Variety
A dash of Fun
1 cup of Water
Patience (to taste)
Preheat your body with stretches. Add one at a time slowly and mix until smooth and supple.
In a large room, mix dry ingredients: motivation, convenience, variety, and fun. Stir thoroughly. Then, add water slowly.
Whip a buddy into shape until hard muscles start to form. Gently, fold buddy into the mixture. Season with patience, to taste.
Roll into bite-sized pieces and evenly space out across your schedule. Bake with love until firm. Enjoy.
Seriously now, this recipe is no laughing matter. A successful exercise program does take a perfect blend of the right ingredients; otherwise, you will not stick with it. Once you are motivated to change your fitness level, you need to find a way to exercise that will conveniently fit into your lifestyle. Time and place are the biggest hurdles to overcome. For example, if the gym is all the way across town, you will find many excuses not to go all the way to the gym. Finding the right time in the perfect place will help you maintain an exercise program for years to come.
Exercising day after day can get repetitious and boring which is why you need variety and fun in your recipe. Find a handful of activities that you enjoy doing and put a smile on your face. An activity could include a group class, a sport, a game, or a challenge. Break up your routines with these activities in order to keep this recipe for a successful exercise program spicy and interesting. A boring, bland recipe will just end up in the trash.
You are also less likely to trash your exercise program if you have a buddy. A buddy is a companion who keeps you company and offers extra motivation. My buddies are my dogs. Your buddy might be a friend, a spouse, or a child. Your work-outs will be more meaningful with a buddy.
Work-outs are also easier help your body by staying hydrated with water and do a warm-up of stretches prior to the activity. Hydration and warm-ups are just two ways to exercise safely and avoid injury, cramping, and pain. Find a few favorite stretches to begin each session. Keep the water nearby and just do it.
Do not forget to season your routine with patience. Everyone seems to want instant results from an exercise program. If results are not obtained in a short period of time, you might be tempted to throw out this recipe. But wait Think about how long it has taken you to get out of shape. Months? Years? As long as it has taken you to become de-conditioned, it will take just as long to be re-conditioned. Just find the right baseline to start your exercise routine, one that will not cause too much physical distress. Even if that baseline is just a five minute walk, you can keep building from that starting point. With “bite-sized” chunks of exercise at a sustainable pace throughout your life, success will come with time and patience.
Bake with love. If you love yourself, then taking care of yourself will be something that you can stick with for the rest of your life.
Christina Lasich, M.D., wrote about chronic pain and osteoarthritis for HealthCentral. She is physiatrist in Grass Valley, California. She specializes in pain management and spine rehabilitation.