It’s no surprise that Americans don’t get enough exercise. According to the Centers for Disease Control, less than one in four Americans are getting enough “aerobic and strength training exercise” on a weekly basis. The average adult should get 75 minutes of “vigorous” activity or 150 minutes of “moderate” activity per week, as well as at least two days of muscle training. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case for most.
While residents of Colorado and Idaho are among the fittest in the nation, people in the Southern states are least likely to exercise. It’s understandable that many adults don’t give exercising the time nor effort it needs. After all, working out just seems like yet another tedious chore. But the fact of the matter is that it doesn’t have to be tedious and it doesn’t have to be a chore. Here are three ways to enhance your workout routine to make it more enjoyable.
Running on a treadmill can be an effective way to rack up those necessary steps for your step counter, but the workout is not exactly thrilling. Dancing, on the other hand, is much more exciting. Start with the basics and give yourself the time to work your way up to more strenuous dances, as research indicates, we give up on exercise more quickly when we push ourselves to do too much too fast. You should exercise to feel better, not to punish yourself for all those months and years you didn’t.
To achieve that perfect balance, look for a dance center that offers classes for all skill levels. If you want to learn how to dance salsa, there’s no reason to be paired with advanced dancers who have been practicing salsa for years. Give your body the time it needs to get comfortable, flexible, and to acquire the dance skill. Always aim to feel tired yet invigorated rather than completely exhausted. Most importantly, don’t apologize or feel discouraged for listening to your body.
Unlike running or jogging, swimming is a way to burn fat without putting much pressure on your joints. Researchers at Indiana University compared people who swam with those who didn’t and found that people who jumped in the pool regularly “had more lean muscle and trimmer waists and hips.”
Unfortunately, it’s a lot more convenient for people to slip on their sneakers and pound the pavement than it is for them to go swimming. If there’s no pool near you, you can’t exactly conjure one up out of thin air every time you get the urge to practice your backstroke.
This doesn’t mean all hope is lost. For starters, you can join your local YMCA or find another gym that offers pool access for its members. Make swimming a habit and see how your body responds to it. Most people are delighted by the sport and start to look forward to their pool time every day. If you get hooked, you can start analyzing your finances and decide if you can afford to hire a swimming pool contractor in New Jersey to build your very own dream pool. A backyard pool is a worthy investment as long as you and your family members will use it regularly.
Set Concrete Goals
Humans are creatures of habit, but we also tend to get bored fast. To combat this, work on developing concrete fitness goals. These goals could be something as simple as swimming ten laps without a break or spending thirty minutes dancing to your favorite songs. It’s so common to start a fitness routine by saying something like “I want to get in shape,” then never really defining what “in shape” means. You could ask 100 different people how to define what it means to be in shape and get 100 different answers.
Experts say your exercise goals should meet three criteria: they should be measurable, achievable, and timed. What does that look like in real life? It means if you want to run a 5k within three months, then that’s probably doable, but deciding you want to make the Olympic gymnastics team in six months is probably a long shot.
Typical workouts can be a chore, but they don’t have to be. Don’t be afraid to steer away from the traditional norm of getting your exercise done in a gym. Think outside the box and sign up for dance classes or take up swimming. Whatever you decide, make sure to set achievable goals to keep you motivated and on track to exceed your fitness goals.