Invest in Your Fitness Without Breaking The Bank by Mirabai Holland, MFA 2012

Often the first thing to go in tough times is money spent on fitness.

Here are a few ways to keep your exercise resolution without having to ask for a government bailout.

The outdoors belong to everyone. So, getting your daily dose of aerobic exercise in the form of a ½ hour plus brisk walk is a solid zero dollars option. Walking to your favorite music ads Rocky-like inspiration.

  • Walking to work
  • Walking up the stairs instead of taking the elevator
  • Walking your dog
  • Walking in place while you watch your favorite television show

These all count too. You don’t have to do a ½ hour all at once.

Every exercise minute counts.

Get a pedometer, (you can get one for under 10 bucks) and count your steps throughout the day. It’s a great incentive to keep walking, and those steps really add up.

On the days when the weather doesn’t cooperate, there are exercise DVDs. Not free, but affordable, I suggest you get at least one DVD for each of the major components of fitness, aerobic/cardio, strength training, and stretching/flexibility. There are literally thousands to choose from and you can buy conveniently online.

Make sure your instructor is certified by a nationally recognized certifying body like ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine), ACE (American Council on Exercise), or AFAA, (Aerobics and Fitness Association of America)

Try to find an instructor that shares your approach to fitness.

Many websites offer free clips so you can get an idea of what you’re getting before you buy.

Often the best deals are 3 or 4 packs. So shop around.

Local health clubs and community centers are offering great specials these days. Check out monthly, seasonal and yearly memberships.

Or, you might want to sign up for a class or two a week.

If nothing else, exercise will lift your spirits in between looking at your finances.

Besides, your body is a good investment. It will pay you back in quality of life.

 

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CAN YOU BE FIT AND FAT? by Mirabai Holland © 2011

You don’t have to be thin to be fit. A number of the people I work with in my practice are both fat and fit. They work out and don’t always lose weight but they are reaping the health benefits that regular moderate exercise can bring to everyone.

According to Dr. Steven Blair in a study from University of South Carolina report published in the Journal of the American Medicine Association. (2007)

“There is a great benefit to being fit” Blair noted, “even if you are, in fact obese…across every category of body composition, unfit individuals have a much higher death rate than those who are fit…Our follow-up has shown that the death rate for women and men who are thin but unfit is at least twice as high as their obese counterparts who are fit…Fitness appears to provide protection against early mortality no matter how much you weigh”

So if you’ve got a few extra pounds on that you are finding impossible to shed, don’t obsess and don’t use it as an excuse not to exercise. Get yourself on a pleasurable and sustainable fitness program. You’ll feel and be healthier and you may eventually end up thinner too.

Here are some safety guidelines for exercising while carrying some extra weight:

Do low impact cardio activities like walking, biking, swimming or low impact aerobics. High impact exercise like jumping or running while carrying extra weight can over-stress your joints.

Stay in your target heart zone. If you’re a normal, healthy person, here’s the formula for finding yours:

220

Your Age

Your Max Heart Rate in Beats Per Minute

Your should exercise at between 55 – 85% of your Max heart rate.

A good rule of thumb is you should be just barely able to carry on a conversation while exercising.

Here are a few tips for making your exercise program Pleasurable and Sustainable.

Find something you like or at least don’t hate!

It helps to exercise with a friend or loved one.

Use your favorite music to help motivate you.

Find a regular time in the day and make it a habit.

Try to do at least something 5 days a week.

Don’t over do it. Stay in your comfort zone.

Enjoy! And remember, fat or thin Fitness = Longevity!

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