There are no more excuses not to incorporate fitness in our daily lives, since fitness knowledge abounds. Studies have proven that we can start to get fit and healthy regardless of age, fitness level, and current condition, with proper guidance and support from professionals. Do not wait for Jan. 1. You can start now.
Here are the most encouraging fitness facts of our time, and how they compare to the fitness mindsets of the past.
Resistance training is for everyone.
Then: Resistance training has been associated with strong, muscular men who can devote more than an hour to exercise in the gym. Most women would just go to the gym to join step aerobics or to use cardio machines like bicycles since they were afraid of getting bulky. People who were trying to lose weight believed they had to do cardio first to lose more weight before they can do weight training.
Now: Exercisers of all ages are looking forward to the latest resistance training tools and exercises at least twice a week to build their muscle, lose body fat, increase their metabolism, and get a leaner body.
An equipment-free workout is the answer to all our exercise excuses.
Then: It was a common belief that you could only get fitness results like improved strength and more muscle mass by using a piece of fitness equipment like leg extension, leg curl, and hip abductor and adductor machines.
Now: You can work out your whole body, train your desired movement pattern and improve your functional performance by using your own body weight. In fact, a bodyweight exercise such as a squat or a lunge (also by changing repetitions, varying exercise pace, using modifications to adjust intensity, and using some body leverage tools) can already work your whole body and help you burn more calories.
You can exercise almost anytime and anywhere.
Then: Fitness centers were regarded as the only place to visit to get fitness results; otherwise, exercising at home will not be as effective. However, time, money and effort to go to the gym were the major excuses of people hesitant to start their fitness regimen.
Now: You can get the best results wherever it is most convenient for you to exercise, based on your schedule and exercise preference. This means you can work out even at home or while on vacation. Exercising for 30-45 minutes three times a week either at home, in the office, or when you are out of town, even just by walking, jogging, and doing a 10-minute bodyweight workout, is more effective than no workout at all just because you depend on doing all your exercises in the gym.
This is why there are more people doing exercise videos at home, walking or running outdoors. Get your heart rate monitor and even compare your heart rate and calorie burn as you exercise at home and in the gym.
As you get older, you need more forms of exercises.
Then: Most older people were sedentary, and others would just limit their activities to light walking and housework since they were made to believe that they shouldn’t do more because of their age and fitness level.
Now: More and more people are becoming active and getting stronger because of the benefits of exercise, like improved health, healthier weight, better endurance, balance, coordination, flexibility, mobility and strength. People in their 50s (and above) are now training their core to improve their balance and prevent falls, so they do Pilates, yoga and tai-chi. They also do at least twice a week of resistance training to prevent further loss of muscle and bone mass, and do cardio exercises like brisk walking to lose body fat and improve their overall stamina.
They are healthier and stronger now, and even look younger compared to generation before them at that age. Moreover, injury prevention and rehabilitation programs are now available in the fitness setting, and health professionals are collaborating with fitness experts to offer the most suitable programs for special populations like seniors and for those with existing medical conditions.
Exercise will adjust to your needs, preference and condition.
Then: There were only a few exercises to choose from. People got bored and easily discouraged, so exercise adherence and compliance were not that strong. Exercisers needed to adjust to the available exercises.
Now: You can choose from various forms of fitness classes (martial arts-based classes, dance-based, resistance training, indoor cycling, mind-body, traditional aerobics, etc.) that can suit you personality and exercise preference. Today, exercisers need not sacrifice too much anymore to suit the available exercises.
Because there are more educated fitness professionals, with the developing exercise trends, there will always be a perfect type of exercise for each individual, based on his age, existing health condition, needs, goals, and preferences to ensure long-term exercise compliance.
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