– Active Lifestyles - No Time Like The Present

Active Lifestyles – No Time Like The Present

active lifestyles

Maintaining an active lifestyle can be difficult. As the weather warms up and we fall into spring, we can be tempted to go outside in the sunshine, go for walks or jogs over lunch breaks, and breathe in the fresh air of a new season. But what about when those rainy days come, or when we get hit with a cold, wind chill, or when it’s TOO hot outside that we want to hide away in our air conditioned home or office?

These are the days when an indoor gym becomes your accountability partner. An active lifestyle should not be dependent on the weather. It should become habitual, no matter the circumstance. Not just with exercise, however, but with healthy eating as well. Filling your body with the proper nutrients is just as important as staying active. (If you’d like some tips on healthy alternatives to everyday foods, click HERE!)

I’m a workout novice. And let me tell you – staying active even on a weekly basis is hard. I understand the daily struggles and the mental battles:

  • “I didn’t sleep well last night, I don’t think I have the energy to work out”
  • “It’s way too cold outside, the walk/drive over to the gym would just be brutal”
  • “I did a great job on my makeup today, I don’t want to sweat it all off at the gym”
  • “I only have an hour lunch break – I don’t want to feel rushed to get my workout in, I just want to relax today.”

The excuses go on and on. I know – I’ve heard them all in my own head. But what I continue to remind myself when I pack my gym clothes in the morning and bring them to work with me is: this is your health we’re talking about. This isn’t a fad, a social norm, a way to boost your self-esteem – this could very well be the determining factor between you and a long and healthy life. It starts with taking care of your body, what you eat, and how you exercise.

In fact, according to an article on Women’s Health, a German study was recently published in the journal Psychology of Sport and Exercise, showing that “researchers tracked over 500 adults for over 18 years and found that people who were healthiest in their younger adult years were also healthiest over time.”

No matter your age, starting to live a healthier lifestyle will have a positive, long-term impact on your health and well-being. Being in my 20’s, I want to take advantage of the opportunity to live healthier as soon as possible, and there’s no sooner time than the present.

Starting slow is perfectly acceptable! Currently, I try to work out at the YMCA fitness center twice a week for 20-30 minutes over lunch. I know it’s not a lot right now, but being so out of shape as I am, it’s important for me not to push myself to the extent that I get hurt. Stretching, running, lifting, all of it must be in moderation. You will learn your limits, what’s too painful, and what’s just enough. You want to be able to push yourself to new limits as time goes on and you will find that over time, you can do far more physical exercise than when you started. However, it’s the baby steps at the beginning that require patience, perseverance, and mental strength.

Experts say it takes 21 days to form a habit. This timeline varies from person to person as well as habit to habit, so don’t expect that after 21 days you won’t have a desire to quit. When that desire does come, however, and it will come, press onward. Think of your future. Some of us are young adults and don’t see the point in exercising right now. Some of us are older and may think their chance to build an exercise routine is long gone. Both of these are lies.

No matter what your age or ability, you can start a healthy, active lifestyle today. Each person’s abilities will vary, and will need to be adjusted to fit their age over time, but the YMCA is a perfect place to start your journey to a healthier you.

If you need an accountability partner, personal trainers are available to meet with you. If you need a group of people to work out with, a variety of group exercise classes are available for various levels and abilities. If you wish to work out alone on your own time, our wellness centers are always fully-equipped with the machines you need to get a full-body workout.

I’ve been there and am still there now. The first steps are the hardest, so let the YMCA help! Click on the links below to find out more about our branches and what they can offer you on your journey to a healthy lifestyle.

Emily Sanville, Digital Communications Coordinator


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