New Life Ministries
1. Am I enjoying myself? It’s not a good sign if you are counting the minutes until the exercise session is over! Sure the start of any fitness plan can be work, however when you begin to experience benefits (good health, weight loss, stress reduction) you will be encouraged to continue. Good examples of fun fitness include dancing, biking, swimming, gardening, and walking with a friend in the park. Exercise greatly improves mood, decreases muscle stiffness, and increases energy!
2. Am I exercising safely? When you begin a fitness plan, it’s very important to know and understand the correct form, function, and design of any particular exercise. Learn about the proper use of weights, resistance bands, balance balls, etc. either by an instructor, or the instructions that accompany the equipment. Magazines, and website articles, (LIFL) are also good sources of information.
3. Am I exercising at the proper level of intensity? No matter where your fitness level is, the intensity should be safe yet productive. Knowing your level of strength and endurance will help determine how much or little you can do. Listen to your body, if you experience dizziness, sudden shortness of breath, nausea, or pain, stop and reassess your fitness plan. It should include a warm up, stretching strength training, and cardio or aerobic training.
4. Am I consistent? Fitness is not a once a week deal! Keep a diary of your workouts, or activities. Write down when, where, and what was involved. Then assess where you are experiencing barriers to the consistency. Ultimately there should be activity everyday for at least 30 minutes; however, you can develop a plan where you alternate days with weight bearing exercises and cardio, with walking, or another routine. Check with fitness resources, such as LIFL, magazines, or consult with a personal trainer.
5. Am I experiencing success? How you determine success is personal and individual. For some, a fitness routine is about improving their health, others it’s about losing weight, and yet others still may want to improve strength. Whatever your goal, the only way to know if you are succeeding is to have objectives and meet those objectives. Goals should be measurable and attainable. An example would be to lose 5 pounds in one month, by walking each day and not eating sugar. Goals that are lofty are defeating. To say ‘I want to lose 10 pounds in a week,’ could discourage you when it doesn’t happen.
6. Am I feeling better, in all areas of my life? One of the great effects of fitness on your life is how it impacts all of your life. The idea of spot reduction doesn’t apply here! When you feel better physically, your body also emits chemicals to the brain, endorphins that help you emotionally, mentally and spiritually. If you are still experiencing depressive feelings, anger, stress, even when you have consistently worked your fitness plan, you may need to consult a counselor to work on the issues that are in your life.
7. Am I focused? Any fitness plan can be effective if put into use! Many of us quit before we have started! You will hear people, maybe even yourself, say ‘I have tried everything and I just can’t seem to have success.’ The reality is we may have tried a little of this plan, and a little of that, but nothing long term and disciplined. Choose one thing and do it consistently over a period of time and measure the results. It’s not how someone else succeeded that counts; it’s how will you succeed.