Given the choice of going out for a jog in the park or sitting in my lounge pants with a DVD and a pizza, I’d more often than not opt for the latter. Starting out a healthy lifestyle can be difficult, and despite the rewards that fitness brings it’s tough to take that initial step. Overdoing your fitness regime on your first try will only demotivate you, so it pays off to start off slowly and ease yourself into it. Here are a couple of things to get you started.
Couch to 5k
Running is hard work, especially if you’re not used to it. Don’t expect you can just slip on a pair of running shoes and instantly be able to tackle a marathon. The Couch to 5K system eases you through the process over a period of nine weeks with the ultimate goal of you being able to run 5km, or for 30 minutes straight. It comes as a set of free downloadable podcasts with a trainer telling you when to run and walk, with alternating music allowing you to move with the beat. A combination of short bursts of running with periods of walking allows you to slowly build up your endurance and run for longer.
If you’re looking to build up your strength rather than your stamina and endurance, the 100 pushups challenge might be for you. This program has you do an initial test to see how many consecutive pushups you can do, then puts you into a certain banding based on your performance. What follows is a six week program that lets you work out at your own pace and gradually builds you up so that by the end of the program you should be able to do 100 consecutive pushups. The regime allows for plenty of time in between workouts for you to rest, so there’s little risk of you overdoing it.
Be your own rival
The main reason why these programs tend to work is that they give you regular benchmarks and regular goals to improve on and beat your own records. This doesn’t have to be limited to a laid out and pre-prepared plan, though. You can use this method in your day-to-day activities to ease you into getting fit. Say it takes you fifteen minutes to walk to the office every day. Tomorrow, get there in fourteen and a half minutes. The next day, get there in fourteen minutes. By pushing yourself just that little bit further each time, you’ll increase your fitness without much extra effort.
It’s more than just your health that will benefit from this. If you have a life insurance policy, living a healthier and more active lifestyle means that your life expectancy is likely to increase, meaning that your life insurance premiums should go down. So if you want to take the first step on the road to fitness but don’t know where to start, try one of the challenges or beat your own records and you’ll be in for a good head start.
This guest post was written free of charge by Jamie Gibbs of Confused.com, provider of whole life insurance