"Do it for your sanity, not your vanity"

I have read countless books and articles on fitness, its benefits and all the techniques. There are so many books on the market about getting fit and losing weight that we get dizzy with the sheer volume of information. I am not here to recreate all that information and I am not professional, but I just want to share what works for me.
A few years back when I lost a close friend to a brain tumour, I started running.  Up to that point in my life I couldn't stand running and really couldn't understand anyone who did.  But something about that pain in my life and the need to just stop thinking prompted me to start running. It was at that time that I created my own fitness motto, "Do it for your sanity and not for your vanity".
The heart of this slogan is you will get results faster for your mental health and wellness than you will with your weight loss goals. If you want immediate results then start looking at your sanity, because you will find it there.  Now I am not saying that being motivated by vanity and looking better is bad. In fact, I think that to some degree everyone exercises for the purpose of looking better.  I have found that vanity alone will not have the staying power that exercising for your mental health and over all wellness will. All experts agree that successful long term weight loss takes time. The good news is that you can feel the results of exercise on your over-all health all most as soon as you start.
This is not just a good idea.  Increasingly, studies are showing that exercise is an effective treatment for mild to moderate depression.  Results show that there is a strong correlation between improved mood and aerobic capacity.  Exercise is an effective treatment for stressful situation like a rough patch in a relationship or problems at work. For me personally, I get the best results when I exercise hard enough so that all I want to think about is breathing and moving.  I find that forcing my brain to only focus on such basic functions makes dealing with the stress easier. It's this gained sanity that helps get me on that treadmill and keep going. It doesn't just improve me at the very moment either; I find that the extra calm that comes from the run can continue for a couple of days.    It's showing that "sanity" is indeed a positive outcome for exercise.
There is no one size fits all when it comes to getting and staying fit. What works for one, is a dismal failure for another. The easiest way to get fit is to just get out there and do it. There are plenty of places to walk, run or bike.   Enjoying the sunshine has the added benefit of giving you much needed vitamin D. Summer is far too short in this area, so many people prefer to have a gym or other place that can be used year round to promote a good routine. The added benefit of going to a gym is that there are others around to help motivate and encourage us. Often we are more likely to stick to a plan that involves others.
We are blessed in this small town to have many options available that help us meet all different fitness levels and needs.
Three Hills has a wonderful Aquatic Center with fitness classes for various ages and levels. They also have a gym attached for those who would like to add to water workouts.   This is a great option for families that would like to do fitness together.
Curves is a "women's only" gym located in Three Hills. Curves offers a 30 minute workout that is targeted to help you achieve results. This is a great option for women who are new to fitness and need to start slow or have other health conditions that need to be monitored. Curves provides a support structure to help women obtain better health by being a helpful and supportive community.
Prairie Athletics has a gym available to the public that includes various weight training equipment, two treadmills and other cardio equipment.
There are also a variety of dance studios that offer dance and other fitness classes for adults.
So get out there and do some exercise. "Do it for your sanity, not your vanity".