If good health and fitness came in a pill, we'd all be in great shape and live long lives. Don't ya just
wanna punch people when they say stuff like that? Still, there is a point to be made. No one ever said
that living a healthy lifestyle is easy, and I'm surely not gonna lie and say it is either. It takes a bit of
work, good choices, pre-planning from time to time, and...finding forms of exercise we enjoy enough
to maintain throughout our lives.

While I was losing weight during my 29th year, I did my best to mix things up so that I was never bored.
New exercise videos (yes, VHS - it was the late 90's afterall) became a reward, replacing treats such as
pizza, burritos, french fries, and ice cream. Fair trade, huh? Along with daily riding of a stationary bike,
I followed pre-recorded classes taught by all the usual suspects: Susan Powter, Tony Little, Jane Fonda,
and Keli Roberts, who offered up a variety of step classes, toning with weights, stretching, Pilates,
upper body, lower body, and ab workouts.

On average, I exercised between one and two hours per day, sometimes in the early morning
before work, sometimes after, and often a combination of the two. While riding my bike, I would wear
headphones and watch movies or VCR'd television shows to distract me while pedaling. Definitely made
it easier to sustain rides of 45-90 minutes,...especially for a big guy like I was.

Of these exercises initially geared toward fat loss, I have maintained quite a few, though in slightly
different forms. Cardio is something I've always been able to do on my own, especially when combined
with movie watching while on a stationary bike. Frequent "riding" is sometimes alternated with one
of those ol' Keli Roberts step videos (now transferred to DVD). The toning with weights picked up again
over the past couple years with the help of personal trainers to teach me about how muscles work.
Just now branching out on my own for the first time in two years in order to maintain what I've managed
to achieve as far as general toning and strength. Still have a lot to learn, though doing my best to
continue the program mapped out with the help of trainers.

Cardio has now been consumed with spinning (indoor cycling) classes, of which I have taken up to
5 a week for nearly a year. My enjoyment of this intense, concentrated heart and muscle workout has
led to my becoming a certified spinning instructor, and I am now beginning to lead classes of
my own. On average, spinning is credited with burning between 500-800 calories per 45-60 minute
session. That is one heck of a calorie return on your relatively short time investment!

Regardless of my workout routine, the most important thing is to find what works for you, whether
it be jogging, hiking, biking, swimming, playing individual and/or team sports, enrolling in group classes
at the gym, yoga, Pilates, kickboxing,...or any number of hybrids from the aforementioned activities.

There is something out there for everyone,...including you. So go find the exercise that you enjoy most!