Everyone is dying to know.  What’s the latest and greatest fitness fad? Hot yoga, cold yoga, or hip hop yoga? Is it rowing, running or rollerblading, boot camp or buff ballet bar? Pilates or Ply metrics? Gyrating or Gyrotonics? So many choices! And how lucky are we that fitness has grown to such an amazing assortment that there is just about anything for anybody-and that’s the best part! How is it that Americans have such a difficult time getting enough exercise when there literally are not enough hours in a day to try them all? I know I know. I have heard it plenty-“I don’t have the money ”. You don’t need money to get a great workout. There are many inexpensive to absolutely free ways to break a sweat AND make it enjoyable at the same time. When was the last time you found a local place to hike? Unless you are somewhere in the rolling plains, in the very least there are places to walk. If you live somewhere with weather that doesn’t allow you to get outside for exercise regularly, how about finding something on TV? These days there are so many options on our computer and TV that are again FREE and can give you a killer workout! Ever tried Tracy Anderson’s awesome five-minute arm workout on YouTube

“I don’t have the time!” This excuse, I get. We are all incredibly busy and most people really are limited in their workout time given they work full-time and have familial responsibilities, among many other things. However, I just gave an example of a killer workout for your arms that takes five minutes. I am proud to announce that I am co-founder of Qikfit a website soon to fully launch that will provide a multitude of easy to follow exercises, demonstrated in under a minute that can be linked together to create a customized workout. So, whether you have ten minutes or an hour you will be able to select the exercises that are best for your body and your schedule. The website will be free and professional trainers worldwide will supply you with effective, challenging and diverse exercises to improve your health YOUR WAY and keep it interesting.  Sign up and you will be among the first to view this awesome new world of exercising that is quick and fun. (Click here to sign up!) In the mean time, check out sites like Exercise TV.

So now you see, there really are no excuses. Whether you have tons of money or no money, lots of time or very little time, you have options these days no matter your budget and schedule. So for many of us, the tricky part is sticking with exercising on a consistent basis. What is the secret? I have been committed to working out on a regular basis since I was 14. I discovered the YMCA’s step classes in eighth grade and the rush I felt after class, that warm and fuzzy feeling I had from moving my body and elevating my heart rate, has helped keep me motivated. However, the real secret to consistent fitness dates is a couple of different things. The most important thing is changing it up-always keeping it interesting. I rarely will do two of the same workouts in a row in one week, and try to do at least three different types of workouts in a week. Here is a two-week example of what my workout schedule may look like:

WEEK 1

Monday-Pilates Mat Class at gym with 10-20 minutes on elliptical/stair climber

Tuesday-Hour Long Run around neighborhood

Wednesday-Pilates Session with teacher

Thursday-90 minute hip-hop yoga class

Friday-40 minute interval training on treadmill with 20 minutes of strength training

Saturday-Long morning walk or hike with husband/dog

Sunday-Day off

WEEK 2

Monday-Cardio class at the gym

Tuesday-Pilates workout

Wednesday-1 hour Yoga class

Thursday-Day off

Friday-Kickboxing class

Saturday-Day off

Sunday-Spinning class

This is just to give you an idea of what kind of schedule I am on for my workouts and you can see that every week is different and the amount of days I workout varies as well. This example does not mean that you need to follow my regimen or even that you must workout five to six days a week. If you can get three days of workouts in a week at least that would be ideal. So many studies have been done and nobody has the key to how often and for how long you should workout, but check out some great facts on the health benefits and the ideal amount you should get by clicking on any of the following sites to learn more about the many positives to exercising:  Dumb Little Man, Nutristrategy and Mayoclinic to name a few.

The other thing that keeps me going strong with my workouts is that I literally pencil them in to my calendar. I make an appointment and therefore, I keep it just as I would keep an appointment with a client or doctor, etc…my husband loves to make fun of my archaic way of scheduling my life. I LOVE my At-a-Glance . But laugh as he may, it hasn’t failed me yet. If it is in my calendar, with the appropriate time set aside (for example, “Run around neighborhood” from 7-8 am), it gets done. I just view it as part of my work day and many studies suggest that writing it down will significantly increase your chances of getting it done.

So, grab your Ical, your Blackberry planner or your plain old paper calendar like mine and start planning your week of workouts. Write them down ahead of time (I recommend getting them down before Monday and try to get mine written in Sunday night so I am clear with myself about what is coming the following week). Do your homework and find local fitness classes that interest you and get outside for a hike (Check out this fantastic site with hikes you can do all of Southern California: Hikesyoucando.com), walk or run! Surf the web and look for other ideas, invest in a couple of exercise DVDs, and have fun discovering what fitness fads are fabulous for you. And if you miss a day here and there, don’t give up-you are making a lifestyle change and a commitment to move so don’t beat yourself up and get right back on track. You will look better, feel better and before you know it, be so used to the dates on your calendar it will just become another part of your day and hopefully something that you look forward to for years to come!

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