Fitness in life is a non-negotiable priority. A fit body has good kinesthetic intelligence that helps perform daily functions smoothly and also protects it with good immunity. Sooner we understand this, better.
- But the million dollar question remains, “how to indulge in a fitness regime that is fun”?
Keeping fit becomes a daunting task if done out of compulsion.
Anything in life feels fulfilling when it adds fun and pleasure and done with free will. How, “homework” during school days always turned out to be a burden while one could read a lengthy novel for hours with pleasure. Same needs to be applied to fitness. All we need to do is explore what physical activities make us feel good and bring fitness as a byproduct.
I am an IT consultant and my official rendezvous with fitness started 8 years ago in 2011 after I discovered upsetting reality of my unfit body when I went for a mountain hike with friends. I somehow managed to climb the mountain but didn’t come down on my own feet. It was an embarrassing state at a young age which forced me to re-look at my lifestyle to find root causes. I had always led an active and athletic life during my school days. However, like a typical IT worker I didn’t realize when I slipped into a sedentary lifestyle and stayed there for around four years.
Upon observations I found out that my daily activity level dipped when I started working. I worked sitting and moved only to keep minimal and basic functions up. No matter what, this needed to be changed and thus began my journey to be fit.
How can you customize a fitness regime that is fun?
- Know thyself – first and foremost, you need to understand that you are in no competition with anyone. Fitness is a personal journey. More you personalize your fitness regime, more benefits you would reap. My mantra to figure out what I would have fun with was to re-start some of the childhood activities that I loved and which could easily be carried out anywhere.
- Start slow and steady – you must start with basics of what you like and build on that. A good foundation goes a long way. Simple stretches, yoga postures or exercises done at right pace and form set the tone for progressive regime that is consistent.
- Inclusion of simple activities in daily routine – many activities like climbing stairs, bike riding, simple and repetitive stretches can easily be plugged into daily routines that keep you moving and restore fitness. This makes exercises look effortless and part of daily life.
- Tracking progress through health apps and fitness widgets – some people like to track their progress which gives them a further boost to perform better. I have fitness app and a band that keeps me on track. It’s fun to see how you adapt. You may start with easy goals and move towards intermediate and advanced levels as you progress.
What made my fitness regime fun:
In my opinion, nothing could be a complete fitness package than Yoga. The beauty of Yoga lies in its holistic approach that includes physical, mental & spiritual benefits with minimal or no investment. You can practice it at a place of your choice per your convenience. I had childhood inclination towards Yoga hence I decided to explore and start my fitness journey with it. I am a detail-oriented person and love to learn everything with a solid foundation and what could be a better place to learn Yoga but “world capital of Yoga, Rishikesh, India”. I enrolled for a Yoga retreat with an Ashram called “Parmarth Niketan” and stayed there for a month to learn and practice “Hatha Yoga” which is a foundation course for beginners. I have attended two yoga retreats at the same Ashram within time span of 4 years.
This is another activity that I have loved whole heartedly all throughout my life hence it was a natural choice for me to pick cycling. It’s a great cardiovascular activity and easy on joints. I stay two miles away from my office hence commuting through bike adds an easy 20 minutes workout to my daily routine. This kills two birds with a stone. Besides, I go for morning rides twice a week which span from half an hour to 45 minutes.
I love water and water sports hence chose swimming for total body workout. Swimming strengthens muscles, builds endurance and tones overall body. It also keeps cardiovascular health up. This helps me beat the heat and refine my swimming skills.
Again, an inexpensive and easy to do exercise. All you need is a skip rope and you are all set to jump. It was easy for me to pick this one as I had had a lot of fun skipping it in childhood with my friends. This works on muscle mind connection that improves coordination. You improve your bone density through this fun activity. This also prepares you for plyometric training as you embark on your fitness journey.
Last but not the least on my list is picking a sport. A sport helps you elevate your fitness level. A well-planned fitness regime followed by a sport is a great way to achieve a healthy body with sound mind. There is plethora of sports to pick from and its better you pick what lies very close to your heart. I had played a range of sports during my school days but playing them all now isn’t possible hence I picked badminton based on the level of enjoyment and fun I had during my growing up days. I play it twice a week with my husband in a nearby club. I also play other sports like basketball and lawn tennis when my schedule allows.
Fitness activities and exercises are infectious. Once you make your own regime, your brain starts looking for new ways to improvise, explore and learn. This forms right foundation to build upon. You would eventually start exploring new sports and benchmarks. I later picked up weight/strength training along with Pilates when my basic regime fell in place. It has become very easy for me to build on what I already knew and had fun with. Fitness is a never ending journey and one should never stop exploring new avenues and milestones.