How to Lead an Active Lifestyle

Our thoughts are manifested through our words and our words create our actions. You have started thinking about having an active lifestyle. The thought has made you ask the question, seek guidance by writing the question here in words. Hence, kudos to you for reaching the second step of the thought, words, action process. 

Many people may suggest you many things. But I can suggest what works for me. You can see if a similar solution works for you. 

After being lethargic for better part of the first 35 years of my life, I reaped the benefits of my sedentary lifestyle. I was diagnosed with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, high BMI and high uric acid. It was not on a spur of  the moment, but over a period of several months,  may be bit more than an year, the realization dawned on me that unless I change my lifestyle, I will not be around much more. 

Being an introvert and a book worm, I did what I liked most. I took solace in books. However, I did not just read any book, I started reading up on books on fitness, motivational books on how people fought against all odds and regained back their health. I discovered sites on the Internet that were dedicated to fitness and health. I read up all articles that were there on blood pressure, cholesterol control and each one of those suggested lifestyle changes. 

I started going for a walk. It was not regular. I would go for a day and stop for three. Then go for three days in a trot and stop for a week. This went on for a few months. But I realized I was neither losing weight, not getting much benefits of the exercise. Some of the well meaning folks suggested me to join a gym. But I deduced that it is not the problem of the right exercise, but the problem of right attitude. My problem was I was not regular. 

To tackle this, I sought help from family and friends. I asked my cousin to come with me daily for a walk. It was a good incentive for both of us to walk for an hour, have a chat while walking and unwind from the stress of the day. If on a particular day, I didn't feel like going, he would prod me and vice versa. Slowly, we planned to graduate to jogging. We continued this for about 3 months. But my lifestyle was still far from active. Other than those 30-60 minutes of walking or jogging, I was a complete sloth for the rest 23 hours in the day.

As luck would have it, I got transferred out from Bangalore to Hyderabad. After settling down in Hyderabad, I started jogging alone. Over a period of a month, I found other runners in the area and we started running together. Then someone told me about Hyderabad Runners, a running group. I went along with my running friend and participated in few of their local events. There I was exposed to the running lifestyle. 
There were folks who were running like crazy. There were folks who rode the bike for 300 kilometers! There were ultra marathoners, iron man finishers, mountaineers, rock climbers and folks who were doing many adventure sports. It was a revelation for me that such a lifestyle existed. I didn't have a inkling of this in my 9 to 7 lifestyle. I got into few such groups. I learnt the tricks of the trade. 

Today, I run 5 kilometers every day. It takes 30-35 minutes. I do some push ups and planks daily. Apart from this, I participate in the running events organized by Hyderabad Runners on weekends. I join adventures organized by GHAC, an adventure club if possible. I completed a half marathon, then did a full marathon, did cycling, rock climbing, trekking, kayaking and other activities. Recently, I tried boxing and I really liked it. I plan to learn boxing and swimming in the future. 

Over a period of time, my medical tests have yielded better results. My cholesterol, triglycerides and uric acid levels are now normal. I still have a high blood pressure. My weight is under control. I no longer consider myself sedentary. These changes in me inspired others to take up an active lifestyle. There is no bigger compliment than someone saying you are my inspiration!! 

Thus, if you want to cultivate a healthy lifestyle,

1. Explore various activities and discover the activities that you enjoy.
2. Find a supportive group and join them. They will help, guide and motivate you when you don't feel like. 
3. Join virtual running, cycling or adventure groups on Facebook .
4.  Keep reading motivational material on health and fitness. 
5.  Eat less, move more and enjoy life!!

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