Let’s face it, women are more pressured to look good than men in today’s society. Those flawless bodies we see in magazines, on TV, or on the Internet have become the gold standard by which beauty is defined in our society today. While some progress has been made when it comes to educating women that “fit” is not the same as “thin,” there are still many who adhere by the code that “thin is in,” causing these women to go through the dangers of crash dieting, diet pills and poor nutrition and exercise habits.
The road to genuine physical fitness need not be such a dangerous one. For you girls out there who are serious about looking good the healthy way, here are some tips:
1. Do it for yourself.
This is the most crucial part. Most girls want to get that lean and sexy body because they want their husband’s or their boyfriends to desire them more. Others go on a dieting frenzy because they want to fit into that little black dress. Don’t. Love is blind and will close its eyes on those unsightly bumps. And why would you want to get all sweaty for a dress? If you must exercise or go on a diet, do it because you want to be healthy, because you want to feel good about your body, because you want to do it.
2. Go at your own pace.
You can’t lose those bumps in a matter of days. You’ll only land in the hospital if you even try. Think of physical fitness as a life-long commitment. There’s no rush. Do it regularly and stay focused on your program. Comparing yourself with others will only get you down and depressed.
3. Walk for health.
A 20-minute brisk walk around the park or your neighborhood can boost your metabolism. Aim for 10,000 a day- the recommended number of steps experts say can have lasting effects in terms of protecting you from cardiovascular and heart diseases as well as certain types of cancers. A pedometer is a cheap electronic device that you can clip on your waste to measure the number of steps you take each day. Studies have proven that pedometers keep you motivated to get moving. Get one.
4. Do bodyweight training.
Push ups, pull ups, crunches, squats, calisthenics and other bodyweight exercises provide a full body workout without the need to enroll in a gym.
5. Join fitness boot camps for support.
Fitness boot camps that are exclusive for women are springing up all over the country to provide the necessary support and camaraderie as they work out to lose weight and improve cardiovascular and muscular strength and endurance.
6. Mind your heart rate as you work out.
Experts recommend working out at 75%-85% of your maximum heart rate. Below this means you’re not doing enough, above it means you’re doing more than you should.
7. Eat healthy.
Any serious attempts at keeping fit cannot be achieved by exercise alone. It has to be accompanied by a sensible diet regimen that includes lots of fruit and veggies, sufficient amounts of protein from lean meat and enough water. While this can be difficult at first, you have to try to wean yourself away from processed foods.