SOUND MIND, SOUND BODY: Path to fitness begins with single step

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Implementing a fitness routine is challenging, and finding the motivation from within to adhere to a healthy lifestyle can be difficult for the young, busy and old.

Some people are naturally motivated, while others spend so much energy on work and family life that there is not much strength left to work out.

For sedentary or busy people, I recommend commencing with a 15-minute walk three times per week.

In hopes of finding a change in the pre- and post-walking emotions, I tell people to write three words as to how they feel -- one each for their emotional, mental and physical state before they walk. After the walk, I tell them to write three more words for each area. The next step is to increase the walking to 20- to 30-minute bouts.

Subsequent to walking and realizing the effects of exercise, it is now time to implement a fitness routine. Gym equipment may be intimidating, but realize that many people feel this way at first. However, most facilities have weight room attendants who can assist in educating you on the machines.

Prior to working out in a facility you should decide how much time you want to spend working out per week. Many people overkill their fitness routine by going from the couch to 10 hours per week, which may lead to burnout.

I advocate the novice to write the same pre- and post feelings while experimenting with various areas of fitness. For example, do you receive the same feelings or benefits from strength training as you did with cardiovascular exercise? If you find exercises that you work best for your mind and body you may be more likely to remain committed to physical activity. This makes exercise a fun and enjoyable activity rather than an "I have to do it" chore.

Other ways to get motivated include attending fitness classes or working out with a personal trainer. The nice aspect of classes and training programs is that someone else has designed the workout, and you receive various exercises that you may not normally incorporate solo.

Another motivating factor is to embrace your progress. Whether it is increasing the minutes you walk or getting into a new yoga posture watching your body develop to new capabilities is not only motivating but inspiring.

However, with all this said motivation comes from deep with-in motivation is hindered with a lack of self-esteem or from a streak of bad luck in life. However, if you can spin the negative into a positive motivational trait that just maybe your kick starts to a healthier life.

Rewarding yourself during this time not only eliminates deprivation, but treats your body to an incentive from all your hard work! Almost everyone nowadays has a hectic lifestyle, but squeezing in just 15 minutes of walking to initiate maybe the perfect kick-start your mind and body requires.

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