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How to get in Shape and Stay in Shape – It’s Easier than you Think

seniors walkingIn America today, far too many people are out of shape and at risk of contracting a serious illness or disease, simply because they are not fit. It seems to be almost a national epidemic or, at the very least, an important health concern.

People who are unfit and choose to remain that way are much more prone to illnesses and ailments that require costly medical care and, frequently, hospitalization. Nearly fifty years ago, President John Kennedy recognized the fitness problem (it existed way back then) and used his “bully pulpit” to promote the concept of fitness and health, especially for young people.

It worked for a time, but as always happens, the push for fitness eventually died down and Americans returned to their old ways—poor eating habits and no physical exercise.

Stand on any street corner in the United States today and watch as people pass by. You will see an almost endless parade of overweight, obese and unhealthy Americans walk into view. You’ll see many that are fashionably slim and slender, as well, but, as you will note, there are far too many people who appear to be out of shape, lacking in physical fitness, and vulnerable to serious illness or even a dread disease.

So, how can the average American (it may be you) overcome this national problem? The solution is easier than you think. In fact, getting fit and healthy – and then staying that way – is not at all complicated. It’s actually easy if you can remain dedicated and motivated to a concept.

In truth, weight loss – and the physical fitness that you want to achieve – can occur if you do two things regularly—eat healthy foods and exercise. It’s that simple.

You don’t need to follow the lead of fitness gurus who want you to buy expensive, but unproven, exercise equipment; the kind you see advertised all of the time on television. You don’t need to spend your hard-earned money on diet pills that often don’t work, but that cost much more than they should—generally a lot more.

Getting fit and staying fit – and healthy – is really quite simple. It involves a lifestyle change and a commitment by you to that lifestyle change. The things that are necessary for greater fitness and better health involve daily exercise and much greater control of your diet. Of course, if you are extremely overweight, or morbidly obese, it’s important that you consult your personal physician before you begin an exercise program or even a change in your diet.

You will definitely lose weight, look better and feel much better if you establish a daily regimen of diet and exercise … and you stick to it. However, if you haven’t exercised in a long time, it may be a good idea to start slowly. Here’s what you should do …

Establish a schedule that includes a walk for personal exercise every morning, seven days a week. Although the real benefit comes from walking briskly and breathing deeply, you can start slowly until your body is acclimated and your legs get in better condition for walking.

Then … increase your pace.

Many physicians and exercise professionals agree that brisk walking is as good for diet and health as jogging or running. And there can be no doubt that it is less jarring to your feet and legs and easier on your joints. Walking works so include it in your exercise regimen. And then, when you also alter your diet, watch the excess weight just melt away and leave you slimmer, comfortably fit, better looking … and feeling great!

If possible (and as you add additional exercises) try to keep this walking regimen a part of your daily life. As you become healthier and your stamina increases (along with your strength), consider stepping up to a more rigorous and difficult exercise program.

walking dogHowever, before you step up, it’s important that you eliminate the “junk” from your diet. I think you know what that means. If you’ve been eating lots of sweets like cake, cookies and ice cream … fatty foods like hamburgers and fried foods from restaurants and fast food emporiums, greasy and oily potato chips, other salty snacks and meals heavy in bad carbohydrates – it’s time to “take the plunge” and make the change.

That change does not involve a short term diet. No, it requires a full-blown commitment to altering the way you live. Eliminate the “bad foods” mentioned a moment ago – as much as possible – and replace them with foods that will keep you slim, healthy and always energetic. What are these “magical” foods?

I believe you know even before I put them to print. And they are not magical, but are simply nature’s bounty, meant to be consumed by humans for good health and long life. Here’s what you need to make an integral part of your daily diet: grilled flat fish (not shellfish) … chicken … lean meats … fruits … lots and lots of green vegetables … and, of course, whole grain breads and cereals.

If you make those foods central to your diet, you will get healthier … leaner … and much more energetic – fast! Then, once your new diet is in place and you’re walking briskly as well, you can take the next step. Move up to a more physical daily workout, such as one that incorporates the use of martial arts. It requires extreme physicality … will help you lose weight … establish more muscle and body tone … even help you learn some of the fine points of self defense.

Of course, you may not like martial arts for your upgraded exercise regimen, and that’s not a problem.  There are countless other daily exercise programs available right now  that you can do and may enjoy. Importantly, you needn’t spend big bucks to join an exercise program that you have to travel to if you want to participate in it … then pay a monthly membership fee if you want to continue in the program.

There is an easier, less expensive way for you to increase the intensity of your daily exercise from walking to something more physical and demanding. All you really have to do is drive over to the local mall, enter the local video store, and buy a workout DVD that you can study, learn and follow religiously every day – right in your own home. Now that’s easy  and affordable.

In fact, after a few months pass and you tire of the same workout, you can return to the video store and buy a new workout DVD. There are so many available, you are sure to find one or more that you like.

As even more time passes, you may even opt for weight training, but that should not appear on your personal horizon until you’ve spent lots of time toning your body, eliminating unnecessary fat and getting yourself fit, energetic and healthy.

Fitness and good health do not need to be difficult to achieve. However, they can be unattainable unless you’re willing to make a permanent commitment to self-improvement.

If you’re currently overweight and unfit – and you know it – make plans to change your life. Alter your diet and start exercising for good health and long life. Take the first step today. In fact, do it right now.

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