Fall is upon us; the warm weekend getaways have come to an end, the kids are back in school and it's time for you to get back into your regular routine! You know you have to do it, but you may be asking yourself, "Where do I start? What do I need?" Here are three simple steps you can take right now to rebuild yourself.
1. Recollect Yourself
Before you get started, take a quick snapshot of where you are. Chances are you've been away from the fitness center for the summer, a dangerous combination with the overindulgent summer of BBQs. You need to ease your body back to fitness before jumping into those high-intensity classes you enjoyed so much before your summer fun began. Engaging in activities ranging from running, calisthenics or a favorite type of class may be enjoyable. But first, it's time for a tune-up. Any activity that is highly repetitive has wear and tear consequences that will sooner or later override your body's ability to recover and repair itself.
2. Strengthen Yourself
Start with rebuilding your muscles. Strength training, better known as weight training, is one of the best ways to achieve a transformation. The strength that you gain from using weights will not only speed up your metabolism, but is key in developing the endurance necessary to carry you through your daily tasks. Whether you're a veteran or a beginner to strength training, feel free to consult any YMCA professional at your branch. He or she will assist you in designing the perfect program to get started.
3. Rejuvenate Yourself
Not only do you need to assess your exercise routine, you also need to take a look at your state of mind. Stress and fatigue easily drain your energy, leaving you too exhausted to complete the many daily tasks you have on your agenda. The stress of raising young children, attending to aging parents with declining health, lack of a support system and other obstacles all contribute to increasing fatigue and depression.
We can't avoid all causes of stress, but we can certainly cope with them. Being a part of a group and socializing with friends is an excellent way to re-energize your body and boost your mood. If you can't coordinate regular time with your friends, try one of the 600+ group exercise classes that the YMCA of Greater Boston offers. Some classes are more social than others, but we even recommend mind/body classes with minimal social interaction like Yoga.
Rebuilding both your mental state and restarting your exercise program is the perfect recipe for your seasonal rebuilding.
Author: Michelle Dengler, Health & Wellness Director, North Suburban YMCA