Do you make a New Year's resolution? Many people do and I think the most popular one is to be healthier and workout more. Why wait till January 1st to do that- start today!!! Most of us probably had a little too much to eat over Christmas and we probably have a lot of junk in our house right now. I would challenge you to throw it all out- because if you don't you will just end up eating it or someone in your family will. I would encourage you to try to get your whole family to eat healthier and to exercise more. So, don't keep the junk food in the house and then no one will be able to eat it.
Start exercising slowly- don't go at it so hard that you end up disliking it. You need to find a form of exercise that you enjoy so that you will stick to it. But, you want to challenge yourself- push yourself to do more. I don't particularly like all the exercises I do- it's kind of a love/hate relationship- I hate it when I'm doing it but, I love the results and how I feel after! And, that's not the case all the time- I love lots of types of exercising but, there are a few that I really have to push myself to do. As far as pain goes, the rule of thumb is: if it hurts while you're exercising it's okay, unless it's severe joint pain or chest pain. Exercising is going to hurt somewhat if you haven't done it in awhile. To help alleviate some soreness you can take a hot shower and stretch really well right before you get into bed. The reason you wake up sore in the morning is because you have laid still all night long sleeping, so your muscle start to get sore from not having movement. Believe it or not, if you get up the next day and you're sore- go and workout again- it will loosen up your muscles and help them feel better. It's a hard thing to do if you're really sore!
You can do cardiovascular exercise every day such as: walking, running, cycling, elliptical, stair climbers, etc. You only want to do weight training about 3 days a week, and never two days in a row. Your muscles need to heal in between workouts. Remember: weight training is just as important as cardiovascular exercise because the more lean muscle mass you have the higher your metabolism will be. That means that you will start to burn more calories on an every day basis if you have more lean muscle mass. Do you watch the tv show the Biggest Loser? You always see the contestants doing weight training from day one, even though they are extremely overweight, because lean muscle mass is important for weight loss. You also want to remember the overload principal: you need to "overload" the muscle pass it's normal ability in order to see change. In other words, if you don't feel like the workout you are doing is a challenge or if you are doing bicep curls and each repetition is easy, then you are not overloading your body. If you are doing a set of 12 repetitions of bicep curls, you want the last couple reps to be difficult. If not, get heavier weights. Or if you only have lighter hand weights you could do a form of exercise called tabata. Do as many bicep curls as you can for 20 seconds and then rest 10 seconds. Do that 3 more times, 20 seconds of bicep curls, 10 seconds of rest. I guarantee your biceps will be burning at the end you will have overloaded your muscle. You can do that with just about any exercise.
Happy New Years to everyone!!!! Here's to a healthier 2012!!