A solid mix of Satisfaction and Routine
Jim Rollince explains how to actively stay in shape and enjoy the experience.
From past experience, I have noticed extremely better fitness results from learning to love what it is that you do. For some people, this could mean simple written/routine free-weight exercises, starting with chest and ending the week with arms. For others, it is about hopping on that bike and/or treadmill and running 5 miles a day.
Learning to love however, is different from naturally engaging in something that's enjoyable. Routines can be easy, and not very strenuous; but after all, they are just routines. So it's with my dear advice that as practitioners of exercise and fitness we teach ourselves new things, while also teaching our body the same. This is inherently true with things like dance. More specifically, Zumba is an excellent example of something different, fun, and unique. The ability to genuinely enhance cardiovascular function and endurance, while practicing muscle memory routines effectively exercises the whole body. And simply put, it is fun.
The most practical and enjoyable way to stay in shape undoubtedly is by playing sports. Joining a soccer league on Sundays or perhaps playing something as simple as intramural dodge ball or kickball can successfully burn thousands of calories in just one day. The sheer competitive nature of these athletic activities drives the body further and beyond, and although strenuous at times, people crave the struggle and willingness to become better. There comes a certain rush that comes with fast paced activities, which brings me to my next point.
Things like mountain climbing, biking, quad-racing, fishing, golfing, etc. These are all great ways to actively stay in shape, and they are quite enjoyable as well! A sudden increase in endorphins will surely make anybody's day brighter. Also, almost all of these activities take place outdoors, which captures much needed vitamins from the sun, further enhancing the overall experience. Keep in mind however, it is important to get your heart rate up every now and then, so switching on and off amongst these and cardiovascular exercises (i.e. - treadmills) will keep your body guessing while enhancing overall fitness.
Sports and Dance are both a leisurely and/or competitive practice, but can also be the most effective way to exercise. Treadmills and Ellipticals will shed weight and enhance muscle strength/endurance, but will never capture the soul and rhythm that dance makes so enjoyable. Meanwhile, the competitive nature and drive that comes with playing sports will always be an important part of everybody's lives. But again, it's important to diversify your fitness, and be able to incorporate pleasure and strain. Attempt to pull one's self away from everyday fitness equipment and home gyms; pick up a class of zumba and/or sign up for an intramural softball league and you'll be on your way to a healthier, more enjoyable lifestyle.
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