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Achieving Your Health and Fitness Goals Starts Today

When is the best time to start working towards your fitness goals? Today is the best time! When it comes to our health and fitness goals it’s too easy to put if off. We often say ah, I’ll start tomorrow, next week, next month, or in the new year. Regardless of the time of year, there will always be temptations! You can’t keep putting it off or waiting for the right time.

What are your goals? Do you want to do your first 5-K? Get through an entire group fitness class? Maybe you just want to be able to do a pull-up? Whatever it is, be specific and make it about you and what you want to achieve.

Did You Know That Exercise:

• Reduces the risk of chronic disease – Moderate workouts temporarily rev-up the immune system by increasing the aggressiveness or capacity of immune cells.

• Prevents heart attacks – Not only does exercise raise “good” HDL cholesterol and lower blood pressure, new research shows it reduces arterial inflammation, another risk factor for heart attacks and strokes.

• Controls blood sugar – Exercise helps maintain a healthy blood-sugar level by

increasing the cells’ sensitivity to insulin and by controlling weight.

• Protects against cancer – Staying active can help you lower your risk of many types of cancer including breast, colorectal and uterine cancers.

• Combats stress – Exercise and other physical activity produce endorphins – chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers and also improve the ability to sleep, which in turn reduces stress.

• Prolongs life – Studies have consistently shown that being active cuts the risk of

premature death by about 50% for both men and women. According to the researchers’ calculations, you gain seven extra minutes of life for every minute of exercise.

• Protects bone health – Vital at every age for healthy bones, exercise is important for treating and preventing osteoporosis. Not only can exercise improve your

bone health, it can also increase muscle strength, coordination, and balance, which leads to better overall health.

• Supports the lymphatic system – Our lymphatic system is a network, consisting of lymphatic vessels and nodes that remove waste from the body. Lymph fluid (a form of blood plasma) collects this waste from cells and transports it. Moving in general stimulates the flow of lymph fluid, giving a tremendous boost to the immune system.

• Improves our mood – Upon exercising, neurotransmitters like serotonin or norepinephrine help teach your body how to better respond to stressors. So, higher levels of those chemicals during exercise naturally make you feel good. For many people, exercise helps relieve depression as effectively as antidepressant medication.

• Stimulates brain cell growth – Exercise stimulates the brain plasticity by stimulating growth of new connections between cells in a wide array of important cortical areas of the brain. Recent research from UCLA demonstrated that exercise increased growth factors in the brain – making it easier for the brain to grow new neuronal connections.

Overcoming Roadblocks to Achieve Health and Fitness Goals

You might have good intentions when it comes to starting an exercise program, but for one reason or another, you just feel stuck. Maybe you’re having a hard time getting motivated. Perhaps you feel like you don’t have time. Maybe you just don’t know where to start. Take a step back and think about what you really want. Think about how you truly want to look and feel. What is most important to you? Do you want to feel fit, healthy, confident, empowered, unstoppable, strong, and comfortable in your own skin? Maybe you would like to get off some of the medications you are on?

Everyone is Busy, Busy, Busy!

Yes, we are all busy! The good news is you don’t have to spend hours at the gym. There are plenty of ways to fit various forms of exercise into your routine, without taking time away from your family or commitments.

Set aside a block of time each day to be active. You can get a good full-body workout in 30 minutes. So, decide on the best time to set aside 30 minutes to exercise. If your day is really busy, think about trying smaller chunks of time; 10 minutes three times a day or 15 minutes twice a day.

Did you know that many of us sit for more than 10 hours each day? Replace less active blocks of time with active ones. Here are a few ideas:

If you sit at a desk at work, take more breaks to get up and move around.

On your lunch break grab a coworker and go for a walk.

Take the stairs instead of the elevator.

Bike or walk to places that are within distance.

Park away from the store or the office and walk to the entrance.

Walk for half an hour instead of watching an extra half hour of TV, surfing the net, or hanging out on social media.

Instead of sitting down to read a book, read or listen to a podcast while on an exercise bike.

Lack of Motivation

We all have excuses that creep up on us. You have to make the time if you want to be healthy and fit. You have to make the decision to be committed if you want to reach your health and fitness goals.

Fitness tracking devices like a Fitbit, are great to help keep you motivated and on track. Finding a workout partner is great too. You can help keep each other accountable and on the right path.

In Conclusion:

Everyone is busy, but we all have the same 24 hours in a day. If someone else is accomplishing more than you, they’re sacrificing more than you. Some people have commitments like an 9-5 job they have to work around. Others have kids’ schedules, meal schedules, and meetings they have to work around.

It’s never too late to make a real change in your health and wellness. All it takes is a decision from you to start!

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” – Stephen R. Covey

Jennifer Nastasi Guzelak
I have been a personal trainer for over seventeen years and I absolutely love what I do. I honestly feel that I have one of the best jobs out there! The most rewarding part of my profession is helping one of my clients succeed at reaching their personal fitness goals. Making a difference in someone’s life makes it all worthwhile. I am currently certified by the National Sports Conditioning Association, Apex Fitness Group, and the International Sports Science Association.