We live in extreme and often confusing times. Doctors say that a large segment of the western world is severely overweight and thus in poor physical condition. At the same time, health clubs and gyms are sprouting up like mushrooms as people are eager to become slim and trim. Certainly this is an extreme dichotomy; while everyone would like to be in great physical shape, it's a lot easier said than done.
If for no other reason, exercise and weight control are important for your health; it's not possible to feel good if your body is carrying around a lot of extra weight. When your body is laden with more fat than it was meant to carry, the surplus has to settle around the body; often the fat will pick the most inconvenient places to settle, like your heart and respiratory system. The accompanying difficulties can result in a myriad of ailments such as heart disease, clogged arteries, pulmonary problems...the list is endless. So fitness is desirable not only for appearances, but for health, longevity, and a sense of well-being.
So why don't more people engage in fitness programs? Why are the living rooms of the western world thick with "couch potatoes?" It takes some dedication to get fit. It requires diligence and some tenacity, especially when starting out. Think of the amount of time and energy you spend in obtaining and feeding yourself snacks and treats during the course of an evening; it requires somewhat less time and energy to get into shape.
The easiest route to fitness is to sign up at a local health club, and let the professionals work out a suitable program and guide you through the regimen. If this is too expensive or inconvenient for you, initiate and design your own program. Choose activities that are not overly strenuous, but just taxing enough to burn some fat and build some muscle. Pick up a fitness magazine, or go to the library or the internet, and you'll find structured plans of all sorts to fit individuals in various states. For starters you should consider walking rather than driving places; walk while standing straight and taking regular deep breaths. This stance and attitude will serve you well during your entire journey into the world of fitness.
Next you need to make a little chart/schedule to follow. Walking every day is a great idea, but you don't need to do exercises every day; three days a week is adequate. So what sort of exercises will you do? I'll leave that to your discretion; again, a little research will let you pick movements for all your muscle groups: legs, arms, back, chest, and shoulders. You want to be well rounded and benefit from the physique that fitness can give you.
Now that you're ready to begin a fresh phase of your life, be aware of the usual pitfalls. Don't start eating more as a reward for exercising. The idea is to eat less junk food and more nutritious meals. Stop eating late in the day. If you must have a snack at midnight, make it fruit or vegetables. Which leaves the highest hurdle for newbies: keep it regular. You will not become fit overnight, but you will get healthy by exercising regularly and keeping to your schedule. As your plan becomes easier for you to accomplish, increase the intensity, take on more repetitions, or add another movement to your work out.
Exercising is not the most difficult thing you've ever done, but it may be the most important. Don't consider it a fad; it's a way to a smoother and longer life. You will feel better and although it sounds trite, much of your life will become easier.