By Roxanne Khan
We all know that exercise is good for the mind and soul, but some of us rarely have time, or the passion or the drive for this. Whether it’s a daily routine at your local gym, or just a casual walk with friends, it should be fun and enjoyed. Remember that you do not have to slog at an exercise routine and try to bear it. If you are not happy, move on and find something that works for you.
I have often seen some people at the gym, grinding their teeth and breathing out loudly while they hold a 10kg dumbbell and try to make their body do things that it is not used to. This puts a lot of pressure on the body, especially the spine. I also found that some instructors are always in pain, either suffering from cramps or muscle fatigue. Listen to your body – if you cannot manage an exercise, do not do it. There are many options to the same exercise where you could still get the same benefits. Everything takes time and the slower and more controlled the exercise, the better the results. All you need is for your exercise regime to bring out your best qualities and fitness level so always understand your strengths and also know your body’s limitations. Never force your body to engage in an exercise that you cannot manage; this will just cause unnecessary cramps and muscle tension.
Before you start any fitness routine, apply for a professional fitness assessment. This will clearly make you aware of your capabilities and weaknesses. If you like the moves of zumba, but have two left feet, try other exercises that are not too strenuous, like yoga or nova. The aim is to make your body stronger and at the same time be happy with what you’re doing. Set small goals that will keep you motivated. Do not feel embarrassed if you cannot keep up with the aerobics class, or you just can’t twist you body into all sorts of shapes in a yoga class. Perseverance and patience is ideal in your exercise routine and with time you will be able to move a little further into the exercise. The idea is to build a stronger body and a healthy mind. No one gets perfectly toned abs overnight, it all comes with practice and discipline. Don’t get despondent; get inspired so that one day you too can reach your fitness level. By keeping a record of your progress, you can remind yourself of where you started and where you ultimately would want to be in your fitness routine.
We must admit that our bodies change with time and by living a healthy lifestyle and getting into some exercise routine, we can offset the effects of aging. Remember that your best results come from determination and discipline.
Over the next few weeks we will find out about many of the different gyms and workouts available so you can determine for yourself what best suits you.