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The popularity of walking as a fitness activity is growing by leaps and bounds. Low risk and easy to start, walking has proved its health benefits in numerous studies. An eight-year study of 13,000 people found that those who walked 30 minutes a day had a significantly lower risk of premature death than those who rarely exercised. A regular walking program can help: Reduce blood cholesterol Lower blood pressure Increase cardiovascular endurance Boost bone strength Burn calories and keep weight down Get Ready! A walking program is simple to start. All you need are comfortable clothes and shoes. Layer loose clothing, keeping in mind that exercise elevates the body's temperature. Shoes specifically designed for walking are best. Every workout should begin with a brief warm-up and a few simple stretches. Walk around the house or in place for a few minutes to get the blood flowing to the muscles before you attempt to stretch them. Although walking primarily works the major muscles of the legs, don't forget to stretch your back, shoulders and arms. This will help to loosen up any tension you may be carrying and make your walk more enjoyable as well as more effective. Get Moving! Beginning walkers can make their workouts less strenuous by limiting how fast and far they walk. Keep in mind the following: Walk short distances. Begin with a five-minute stroll and gradually increase your distance. Forget about speed. Walk at a comfortable pace. Focus on good posture, keeping your head lifted and shoulders relaxed. Swing your arms naturally, and breathe deeply. If you can't catch your breath, slow down or avoid hills. Be sure you can talk while walking. If you can't converse, you are walking too fast. Get Fit! Walking is one fitness activity that allows you numerous options. Once you have reached a point where you can walk a few miles with relative ease, you can start to vary the intensity. Walking hills, in addition to increasing your cardiovascular endurance, is a great way to tone the legs. Concentrate on lengthening your stride or increasing your speed. And don't forget to reward yourself after each workout with a few minutes of relaxing stretches to help prevent sore muscles. Listening to lively music while you walk is also a great way to energize your workout. But if you wear headphones, keep the volume down and watch out for traffic that you may not hear. Keep track of your progress. Many experts recommend that you walk a minimum of 20 minutes a day. But there are no hard and fast rules. Fit walking into your schedule whenever you can. That may mean two 10-minute walks each day, or even hour-long walks two to three times a week. The best schedule is one that keeps you walking and keeps you fit! Article by: The American Council on Exercise The American Council on Exercise (ACE) is the largest nonprofit fitness certification, education and training organization in the world.
A little effort and a positive attitude will perk you up in a flash. These simple energizing tips will give you new life. 1. Eat properly. Nutritious meals are number one in the battle against fatigue. Make sure to eat high-protein foods, such as meat, cheese, eggs and whole-grain breads with each meal. Munch on fruit when you need a snack. Avoid too much caffeine. You may want to try perking yourself up with a high potency vitamin B complex, Fifty mg. Of B15 with each meal is said to help. Cayenne pepper is another natural stimulant. You can mix a teaspoon in hot water or take it in capsule form. 2. Get Proper rest. If you are not getting enough at night, take a break and nap during the day. Or perhaps before you head out at night if youre a late night partygoer. 3. Keep in shape with exercise. A good daily walk will get those tired muscles moving. You don't have to go to the gym everyday, but you should avoid sitting on your tush all day. 4. Meditate. Any form of meditation can be a real, natural healer. Just sit quietly, breathe deeply, and let your mind forget your daily hassles. Think of pleasant things. Re-energizing your dead batteries will help you put fatigue to rest for good. Above all, you can fight fatigue best by keeping a positive mental attitude. Try the tips mentioned, and pamper yourself; take a break when you need it.
Because thin females and muscular males are seen as the ideal in our society, we have come to believe that body size and shape are totally under a person's control. If you continually strive to achieve a socially imposed ideal, you will never be free of your insecurities or your self-consciousness. You must truly realize and then learn to accept that we are not all meant to be fashion-model size. Our body size and structure reflects not only our eating and exercise habits but also our genetics. The role this latter factor plays in determining weight seems to vary greatly between individuals. We are all born with a certain body type inherited from our parents. Although hardly anyone is a pure body type, there are three different applicable categories: ectomorphs, mesomorphs, and endomorphs. Characteristically, ectomorphs have a light build with slight muscular development. They are usually tall and thin with small frames and narrow hips and shoulders. Mesomorphs have a husky, muscular build. They often have broad shoulders, and their weight is concentrated in the upper body, making them look compact or stocky. Endomorphs are characterized by a heavy, rounded build with shoulders usually narrower than their hips. They have a round, soft appearance and are more often overweight or obese. When we understand and appreciate our bodies, we are able to work with them, not against them. Although many of us are a combination of two body types, we cannot become what we are not. However, everyone can improve their appearance and their health and performance levels by implementing the principles of a safe and effective eating and exercise program. Even if you have a genetic predisposition to being overweight, the way you live is what ultimately determines whether you become fat. Genes clearly play a role, but they certainly don't determine what you're going to have for dinner or how often you exercise. Chances are if you're living an unhealthy lifestyle, you'll become fat and unhealthy. All of us can't be thin. But every single one of us can be healthy. By focusing on what you're eating and how much you're exercising, you'll be able to achieve optimum health and fitness, even though you may not achieve society's ideal of thinness. Accepting yourself does not mean that you're hopeless and that it's okay to do nothing. It means that you feel good and care about yourself, and that you want to be the very best you can be, regardless of your genetics, regardless of society's standards. To achieve this level of optimum wellness, you must have a positive self image. This means that your feelings about your body are not influenced by events in your daily life. For many people, life's problems are projected onto their body. "If only I were thinner--or more muscular, I would have made the team, gotten the job, been chosen. . . . If only I were thinner--or more muscular, I could meet more people, find the right guy/girl, be happy." This self-defeating habit is reinforced by the images we see in advertising; your body becomes an easy target for everything wrong in your life. When you have a positive self-image, you value and respect your body; you are also more likely to feel good about living a healthy lifestyle. No matter how much genetics predetermines how you store and lose fat, the body you've been given will still respond positively to being appreciated and treated well. Focusing on fun physical activity and eating healthy foods will help you feel good whatever your size. Developing a healthy, positive image of yourself is the first critical factor in your fitness success. Having a strong sense of self-worth provides the basis for making rational and affirming decisions about your health. Good luck, stay positive, and enjoy all the wonderful benefits of a healthy, active lifestyle! Article prescribed by: Chad Tackett Chad Tackett is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and the president of Global Health and Fitness. Offering the best online programs and guides to meet your fitness goals.
Well, if you’re like most Americans (88 percent in 2001 according to a General Nutrition Centers poll), you have at least one resolution. And, if you are like the majority of these promise-makers, your resolution is probably related to health and fitness. Every year, approximately 55 percent promise to eat healthier, 50 percent resolve to exercise more, and 38 percent wante to lose weight. While resolutions have well intentions, unfortunately most people fail at keeping them. With all the hype surrounding these promises, it’s easy to get caught up in them without really taking them seriously. We live in a throw-away society and even our resolutions, I’m afraid, are not immune. However, especially for promises that include improving our health it’s in our best interest to not take them lightly. So, what’s the secret to successful resolutions? While you can’t wave a magic wand and make your resolution come true, there are some easy steps to take to make it easier to fulfill your promise to yourself. • Choose an obtainable goal. Resolving to look like a super model is not realistic for the majority of us, but promising to include daily physical activity in our lives is very possible. Avoid choosing a resolution that you’ve been unsuccessful at achieving year after year. This will only set you up for failure, frustration and disappointment. If you are still tempted to make a promise that you’ve made before, then try altering it. For example, instead of stating that you are going to lose 30 pounds, try promising to eat healthier and increase your weekly exercise. • Create a game plan. At the beginning of January, write a comprehensive plan. All successful businesses start with a business plan that describes their mission and specifics on how they will achieve it. Write your own personal plan and you’ll be more likely to succeed as well. • Break it down to make it less intimidating. Rather than one BIG end goal, dissect it into smaller pieces. Set several smaller goals to achieve throughout the year that will help you to reach the ultimate goal. Then even if you aren’t able to reach your final goal, you will have many smaller, but still significant, achievements along the way. For example, if your goal is to complete a 10K race, your smaller goals could be running a 5K in less than 30 minutes, adding upper and lower body strength training to increase your muscular endurance, and running 2 miles with a personal best completion time. • Don’t do it alone! Ask friends and family members to help you so you have someone to be accountable to. Just be sure to set limits so that this doesn’t backfire and become more irritating than helpful. For example, if you resolve to be more positive ask them to gently remind you when you start talking negatively. Reward yourself with each milestone. If you’ve stuck with your resolution for 2 months, treat yourself to something special. But, be careful of your reward type. If you’ve lost 5 pounds, don’t give yourself a piece of cake as an award. Instead, treat yourself to a something non-food related, like a professional massage. • Get professional assistance, if needed. Everyone needs help and sometimes a friend just isn’t enough. Sometimes you need the help of a trained professional. Don’t feel that seeking help is a way of copping out. Especially when it comes to fitness, research studies have shown that assistance from a fitness professional greatly improves peoples success rate. • Limit your number of promises. You’ll spread yourself too thin trying to make multiple changes in your life. This will just lead to failure of all of the resolutions. • Don’t let statistics get you down. On average only about 20% of us keep our New Year’s resolutions. Unfortunately, some of the biggest failures are found in fitness resolutions. But don’t let the statistics get you down. By following the tips above you’ll be better equipped to fall into the successful 20% category. Article written by: Lynn Bode