Body acceptance does not give you the excuse to eat unhealthily and exercise irregularly. You are still responsible for making reasonable choices to get your body in the ideal shape for your size and age. Exercise should be a form of self-care to get your body healthy and to feel positive and confident.

Performing a moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise gets your heart pumping oxygen to your heart, lungs, and brain.

3 Ways Aerobic Exercise Benefits Your Health

Cardiovascular 

Aerobic exercise increases your heart rate, strengthening your heart by continuously pumping oxygen toward your engaging muscles. Also, frequently exercising will lower your blood pressure, limiting the risks of obtaining heart disease or stroke.

Respiratory

Aerobic exercise can help strengthen your diaphragm as it develops healthier lungs as you breathe deeply. To prevent shortness of breath during workouts, you must breathe from the diaphragm. Diaphragmatic breathing is when you squeeze your belly towards your ribcage as you inhale oxygen and relax your abdominals as you exhale carbon dioxide out of your mouth. 

Neurological

Aerobic exercises make you happier and smarter. Doing aerobics increases blood flow to the brain and initiates neurogenesis, forming neurons in areas of your brain that control memory and thinking. Additionally, staying active will help you reduce stress and make you feel calmer.

Getting daily aerobic exercise can be feasible and inexpensive such as walking or jogging across your backyard or park. Alternatively, you can exercise at home by doing household chores, including vacuuming and gardening.

It is recommended to schedule 45 minutes of moderate aerobic exercises or 30 minutes of vigorous cardio workout, five days a week.  

To get started, have a S.M.A.R.T. fitness goal to stay accountable in your fitness journey.

Be S.M.A.R.T. About Your Fitness Routine

Being S.M.A.R.T. will help you create achievable exercise objectives to complete within a reasonable deadline. The acronym stands for: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.

Specific 

How many calories do you want to lose by the end of the week?

Be clear and detailed on what you want to accomplish besides “getting healthy” or “to get skinny.”

Measurable

How are you going to document your results?

Get a measuring tape or scale to figure out your current weight to determine how much weight you need to lose.

Use a fitness smartwatch to track the number of calories that you lost per day. Then, you may document your progress in your fitness journal.

Attainable

Do you have the time, resources, or money to reach your fitness goal?

Without going over budget, choose an at-home fitness program or outdoor workout that matches your fitness level.

Relevant

How does your fitness goal align with your personal life? 

Finding your motivation (besides weight loss) to exercise regularly will help you quickly obtain your fitness goal. Also, your exercise regimen will have a sense of purpose or meaning.

Time

How soon can you complete your goal?

Setting a goal completion deadline will urge you to improve your physique in a reasonable time. Also, a timeline will help you divide your exercise time into your fitness plan to help you stay accountable.

Example of a S.M.A.R.T. fitness goal: 

By the end of the week, I will lose 3,000 calories walking in the park.

If you do not reach your target weight loss goal for the week, do not get discouraged.

Taking care of your body should come from a place of compassion and determination, not hatred.

Exercise should have some meaning in your life, not just about merely losing pounds. Body acceptance does not equal laziness or the lack of drive to succeed. It is about loving your body as it is while making necessary adjustments to maintain your ideal weight.

If applicable, talk to your doctor to develop a fitness plan that is ideal for your age and health condition. 

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The Future of Connection for Women

Victoria Ards
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