GYM VLOG #13
Author: Julia Dulgerova
Exercise is extremely important for people of all ages, but starting to regularly exercise when young and creating habits will make aging significantly easier on your body. Regular exercise can improve your brain health, decrease the risk of disease, help with weight management, make bones and muscles stronger, and also improve your ability to do everyday tasks.
Life in 2023 often consists of lots of sedentary days. Whether that’s because of screens, work, school, etc. we are often sitting, laying, or any version of those 2.
You may notice that after you exercise you feel so glad that you did, and we often workout just for that post-workout high. Well, this is because exercising has a great impact on the brain. Immediately after exercise, there is the improved ability to think clearly and better cognition as well as reduced feelings of anxiety and stress. Physical activity can help you think clearer, stay focused and able to learn, and have good judgment skills as you age. And along with this, it decreases your risk of depression and anxiety significantly and also it helps you sleep better.
Physical activity and eating patterns play a huge role in health. And truthfully, if you don’t exercise you should at least eat well, because nutrition is crucial. But combining good exercise with a good diet is the key. Gaining weight often occurs when you are eating and drinking more calories than the amount of calories you burn. Exercising doesn’t have to mean going to the gym or running on the treadmill. It could mean doing yardwork, using the stairs instead of the elevator, walking to places instead of driving. All of these things will get your blood pumping and calories burning allowing you to manage your weight easily. The best rule of thumb is to work your way up to 150 minutes a week of moderate physical activity. So that could mean 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.
Unfortunately, the two leading causes of death in the United States are heart disease and stroke. Getting at least 150 minutes of exercise a week can put you at a significantly lower risk of these diseases especially when combined with good nutrition.
Our bones, joints, and muscles support our body and help us move. When you are young, your body moves around easily. But as we age it becomes harder and harder. This means that if you are consistently exercising when you’re young and still able to move freely, your bones, joints, and muscles will be stronger and as you age it won’t be a dramatic change. Exercises that strengthen muscles can help increase or maintain your muscle mass and strength which is super important for older adults who experience reduced muscle mass and strength because of aging. As you slowly increase the amount of weight and number of repetitions your muscles will grow stronger and give you even more benefits, no matter your age.
Daily activities include going up and down the stairs, grocery shopping, or playing sports, etc. can seem easy but if you are out of shape they can be tough. That’s why you don’t need to exercise in order to change your body, reach a certain weight, or lift a certain amount, exercising for you can mean you want to get better at doing daily tasks easier. Even learning to lift weight properly and having good form can help you avoid hurting your back when you’re doing something like lifting boxes or other heavy things. For example, I work at a farm and often when we are harvesting we spend hours bending over a row of crops. Exercising has taught me that instead of bending my back forward and hinging at my hips, it’s better to stand at a wider stance and bend at my knees using my legs to hold me up instead of my back.
An estimated 110,000 deaths per year could be prevented if US adults ages 40 and older increased their moderate-to-vigorous physical activity by even just 10 minutes more a day.
Building a routine that involves exercise could be helpful, or being spontaneous with it could be what is right for you. For example, I like to have a schedule where I go to the gym at the same time. This is what works best for me and keeps me organized. But, it might work best for you to simply integrate exercise wherever you can and like I mentioned earlier, using the stairs or walking to places. If you find a physical activity you enjoy, you will look forward to doing it and stay consistent.
It may be hard for you to stay consistent with exercise so here are a few tips!
Finding your motivation is the first and most important step. Are you trying to lose or gain weight, build muscle, strengthen your muscles to do daily tasks easier, run faster, etc. but it’s also important to dig deeper into why you want to exercise. Take some time to really think about why you want to exercise and write it down! You can hang it in your room or somewhere in your house so that it reminds you constantly. Making sure that it’s specific will help you to be motivated. Instead of writing “I want to exercise because it makes me feel good afterwards”, write something like “When I take the time to exercise, I feel more productive and focused, and less stressed. I also feel inspired to eat healthier”.
Often social media and beauty standards cause us to put lots of pressure on ourselves to perform our best right away. Of Course it’s great to challenge yourself, but you can feel overwhelmed to start your exercise journey because you want to be a pro and see results right away. Some people may feel they aren’t capable of doing a workout perfectly so they just won’t do it. But in reality, we aren’t good at the things we don’t do regularly and that’s normal! Having an open mind is crucial, and starting small and working your way up one day at a time is best.
It’s much easier to stay consistent when you actually enjoy your form of exercise, and it will keep you excited to workout. You can try an exercise class like crossfit or yoga. You can switch it up everyday if you choose! Try something that will make you interested and intrigued and keeps you motivated to come back. Then, you could do some outdoor exercising like riding a bike, hiking, going for a walk, or swimming. This will help you decompress and it’s wonderful for decreasing and preventing anxiety. You could also join a group or team if that’s what works for you. Most of us were in teams or groups as kids and did things like soccer or ballet but as we grow older you either stuck with them or didn’t. Thankfully, there are groups and teams for people of all levels of athleticism and ages. And there are groups for things other than sports! You can join a running group, hiking group, etc. you can even do lessons with friends or get a trainer. This will help you stay consistent, and you can even make new friends in the process.
Working out with a friend can keep you accountable. And even telling your friends or family that you are exercising can make them ask for updates and ask questions which will keep you accountable.
The best way to be motivated is to see the progress you have made so writing down your accomplishments every month or few weeks on all the great things you have done or the weights you have lifted will keep you coming back to exercise. Something that seems small can be a big difference in the long run so for example you can write “I made it through a 5-mile run”, “I found a workout I enjoy”, or “I can go up the stairs without feeling like I’m going to die”.
Finding a way to integrate exercise in your life daily will lead to many benefits, long term and short term. But, the most important step is to START to workout and find a motivating factor that keeps you coming back!
Here Are Some Resources That Could Help You Learn More About the Benefits of Exercise etc.!
Fitness Journey Journal
At Home Equipment
Amazon.com : High Tactical Perfect Push Up Bars, Heavy Duty Pushup Handles with Sponge Grip, Non-Slip Floor Exercise Push Up Bar for Men Women, Home Gym Workout Equipment for Calisthenics and Upper Body Exercises : Sports & Outdoors
Amazon.com: MAYZOLOP Yoga Mat Holder Wall Mount Yoga Mat Storage Rack Home Gym Accessories with 3 Sectional and 7 Hooks for Hanging Foam Roller and Resistance Bands at Fitness Class or Home Gym : Sports & Outdoors
Amazon.com: KANGFITER Fabric Resistance Bands for Working Out, 3 Level Non-Slip Booty Bands for Women and Men, Loop Exercise Bands Set for Leg and Glutes, Hip Elastic Bands for Home and Gym Fitness, Yoga, Pilates : Everything Else