Go Red, Get Fit

As Miss Teen International, I have learned so much about living a heart healthy lifestyle. The American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women Campaign is the national platform of the International Pageants and I am so thankful for the opportunity I have had to share their message and encourage others to live a healthier lifestyle as well.

Getting plenty of exercise is one of the best ways to live a heart healthy life. We all know that getting regular exercise is good for us. It gives us increased energy, reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke, and makes us feel better overall. According to the American Heart Association’s website, 80 percent of Americans don’t make exercise a regular part of their daily lives. As a cheerleader, I generally get lots of exercise, but I have gone through phases where I was really motivated to exercise and then I would get a little lazy and slack off. I could tell such a difference in my overall attitude when I didn’t make exercise a part of my daily life. No matter how much you enjoy an exercise routine, you may find that you eventually lose interest in it. That’s the time to shake things up and try something new.

Here are some tips to help you incorporate exercise into your life and even make it fun:

1. Make it a game – any activity based video game such as a Wii can be a fun way to exercise. There are so many “exergames” that simulate dancing, bowling, tennis, etc. One of my favorites is the Zumba Core Workout on my Wii. It is a great cardio workout and I love doing all of the different styles of dance. Believe me, it can definitely burn just as many calories as walking on a treadmill and is a lot more fun!

2. Make it social - exercise can be a fun time to socialize with friends and working out with others can help keep you motivated. For those who enjoy company, you can join a running club, water aerobics class, dance class, or join a sports team if you like a little healthy competition.

3. Think outside the gym - For many, simply getting outside makes all the difference. You may enjoy running outdoors, where you can enjoy alone time and nature, even if you hate treadmills. Being outdoors is by far my favorite way to get active and horseback riding, swimming, tubing, and snow skiing are just some of the activities I enjoy. You could try rollerblading, hiking, or kayaking, just to name a few.

4. Get the whole family involved - Family walks in the evening are one way to get active and it gives you a chance to catch up all what’s going on with everyone. It’s also lots of fun to ride bikes as a family. What’s more, kids learn by example, and if you exercise as a family you are setting a great example for the younger members of your family to live a heart healthy lifestyle as well.

The main thing is to find activities that will keep you moving. Some people may say that walking is good, and maybe jogging is better, and maybe running is best. But it should be our goal to make physical activity something we do consistently. Movement is key, so identify those activities you find enjoyable, and just make the choice to move.

“Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible.” – Audrey Hepburn

Jules Fletcher
Miss Teen International 2015


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