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The Fitness Habit A Commitment To A Moderate Amount Of Exercise Is Something That Will Benefit You For A Lifetime

k Bloomsday, the run that is as much a part of Spokane as lilacs in spring, has always been considered more than a race. It is a celebration of life, of health and wellness.

The accolades of Bloomsday deservedly go to the participants who have, since 1977, run, walked, wheeled, strolled or limped over the finish line. Some of the projected 60,000 runners this year are serious competitors, but most will enter for the fun of it and are starting now to train for May 7 event.

As you are getting in shape for Bloomsday this year, consider developing some habits to stay in shape for life. Use Bloomsday as the impetus to incorporate moderate amounts of exercise into your daily life to extend the Bloomsday spirit into next week, next month and next year.

Lifestyle fitness can be attainable and enjoyable. It doesn’t need to produce guilt if you stray and doesn’t need to be endured miserably, simply because it is good for you.

Sue Linderman, fitness director for the Spokane Club and a certified personal trainer spends much of her working life helping people develop lifetime fitness habits. She identifies some key elements toward developing a lifestyle fitness plan.

Manage stress

Stress is both a motivator to exercise and the primary reason people quit exercising, says Linderman. The pressures of jobs and family life make it stressful at times to try and fit in a workout.

The key, she says is being able to override how you feel. “Don’t listen to your body in this way,” says Linderman, “and know that once you begin to exercise, you will feel better.”

Improve nutrition

According to Linderman, some beginners in an exercise program have difficulty separating eating from exercise, saying to themselves, “I’ve blown it in my diet today, so I guess I won’t exercise.”

“When you can accomplish this separation between eating and exercise in your mind, you have made one big step toward making exercise part of your lifestyle,” Linderman says.

To make healthy changes in eating habits, she suggests starting with small adjustments, one at a time. Change from butter to margarine to nothing on your food. Progress from half-and-half in your coffee to 2 percent milk to nonfat.

For those who need help learning about nutrition, Linderman suggests making a visit to a nutritionist or reading Covert Bailey’s book, “Fit or Fat.”

Stay motivated

Some like to exercise, some do not. “Exercise is something you have to find a peace with,” says Linderman. Here are some tips toward staying motivated in a lifestyle fitness plan:

Get to know yourself.If you are a morning person, exercise in the morning.

Find a place to exercise that doesn’t make you feel intimidated. For some, a gym surrounded by mirrors, lycra and bodybuilders can be de-motivating.

“If you think you are a slug by heart,” says Linderman, “find another slug to work out with and make a pact with yourselves to keep each other going.”

Deal with your setbacks. At some point you will need to take a break from exercise because of colds, vacations, sick kids, injuries or moving. “Just make sure you don’t let that time stretch into a six-month break,” says Linderman.

Don’t compare yourself with others. You don’t have to be a natural athlete to exercise.

If you choose activities you enjoy, it will be easier to make a habit of exercise.

Find the time

Most gyms are very lively at 5 a.m. Decide where that time slot will be in your life that exercise will have to live and then stick to it, says Linderman. “Make exercise an appointment in your day-timer,” she says, “and then be strict about that appointment. Don’t budge it or crowd it out.”

The President’s Council on Physical Fitness suggests inactive people begin exercising 5 to 10 minutes twice a week, slowly increasing to a target of 30 to 40 minutes three times a week. No matter for what length of time, all exercise is beneficial to health and wellness.

Keep a positive attitude

Have patience with yourself by focusing on your accomplishments toward a healthier lifestyle.

Do whatever it takes to make yourself enjoy exercise. Workout with a group for social interaction. Join a class or gym. Exercise to music. Purchase some new workout clothes.

When you are tempted to quit, remember the benefits. You will have more energy, less stress and less fatigue. Your heart and lungs will work more efficiently. You will burn calories and maintain (or lose) body weight. You will have increased stamina and muscle strength. You will feel better and look better.

Lifestyle fitness does not need to take a lot of time and can become a natural part of your day.

Jim Lynch, one of the founders of Bloomsday once called the race “a celebration of yourself.” If you’ve gotten in shape to run in the celebration, stay in shape to live the celebration.

MEMO: Bloomsday ‘95 Fitness Guide pull-out section

This sidebar ran with story: DAILY EXERCISE Here are some effective ways to incorporate moderate exercise into your day: Take the stairs rather than the elevator. Walk on errands rather than drive. Relax by moving rather than being sedentary. Take a brisk walk at lunch rather than dining out. Walk or ride a bike to work. Walk to your co-workers’ desks rather than phone. Park farthest away in the parking lot. Remember that ten minutes is better than none. Keep signing up for fun runs after Bloomsday.

Bloomsday ‘95 Fitness Guide pull-out section

This sidebar ran with story: DAILY EXERCISE Here are some effective ways to incorporate moderate exercise into your day: Take the stairs rather than the elevator. Walk on errands rather than drive. Relax by moving rather than being sedentary. Take a brisk walk at lunch rather than dining out. Walk or ride a bike to work. Walk to your co-workers’ desks rather than phone. Park farthest away in the parking lot. Remember that ten minutes is better than none. Keep signing up for fun runs after Bloomsday.



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