Being physically active can literally save your life! Being fit can affect every aspect of your life not just your physical health, but your emotional and mental well being, too. Only 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity for 5 days out of the week can help you become physically fit. Fitness relates to "physical activity" . Fitness is not just a trim or muscular body or a 10K runner. I like to think of fitness as the key for optimal health and overall well being.Many times fitness professionals are frustrated with clients who want to be fit, but dont take the required actions. Many people think that by taking a pill or ordering a gadget seen on an infomercial will do the trick and they will become fit. How many of you have exercise equipment hiding in closet or under the bed and use your treadmill as a clothes hanger? Having the equipment alone wont help you become physically fit. You have to use it. Physical fitness doesnt happen overnight, and its not a quick fix. Looking like the models on TV selling exercise equipment is not practical for most people. Getting fit is not that easy. On the other hand, its not that hard. Understanding the benefits of being fit, feeling the benefits, and seeing the benefits keep us motivated and consistent.Here are some of the health benefits that can save your life. Physical activity has a direct effect on the heart. It increases oxygen supply to the heart, decreases oxygen demands and improves the strength of the heart muscle contractions. Exercise lowers blood pressure. Exercise significantly improves blood sugar levels; which is important if you have type 2 diabetes or if you have a family history of diabetes.Well-respected research shows that compared with active people, sedentary people have almost double the risk of developing or dying from coronary heart disease. This is critically important as heart disease remains the leading cause of death in both men and women in the United States. The New England Medical Journal states in a study of over 84,000 middle-aged women, who exercised moderately or vigorously for 30 minutes a day slashed their risk of heart disease by 80% (these women did not smoke cigarettes, were not overweight, and maintained a healthful diet).Here are some tips to get you started.Get a physical exam before beginning any exercise program.Find activities you enjoy doing each day.Start slowly. Dont expect fitness results to happen overnight.Follow a progressive program of exercise. Hire a personal trainer to help you with motivation, coaching, or to learn how to exercise properly.Invite a friend, spouse or family member to join you.Set realistic goals and measure your results in 3 month intervals.Dont stop if you arent getting the results you except. If you stop, you will never get the results. Results arent just how you look, its how you feel and your level of health. Think of exercise as adding quality months and years onto your life. For more information and tips on exercise, go to http://www.easyexercisetips.com
Exercise is a powerful tool against the physical effects of aging and it's never too late to start. Being a senior citizen is no reason to avoid exercise, says University of Illinois professor of kinesiology Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko. In fact, any physical activity, like walking even if walking canes must be used, will benefit health. It's important to "choose an activity that you will do," whatever that is, the professor said. "It really matters less exactly what you do than it matters to avoid being completely sedentary." A 1996 report from the U.S. Surgeon General indicates only about 15 percent of adults over 65 get a recommended level of physical activity and as many as one-third get no exercise at all, Chodzko-Zajko noted in an article he wrote for the journal Quest. Chodzko-Zajko suggests that some people might benefit from strategies such as keeping a diary of all their physical activity, including even things like short walks to the store with their walking canes, doing housework or working in the garden. Seeing the diary with their activities written down may help motivate people to exercise because they will want to avoid days in which they have nothing to write. Another trick to encourage increased walking that he likes is getting a dog. The dog will insist on going out for a walk even if the owner might not be in the mood. "Part of the problem may be that we've adopted a medical model of exercise, where exercise is sort of a bitter pill, and you get a prescription and you're expected to stick to it," Chodzko-Zajko said. "But the bottom line is it takes time to change behavior, and I personally feel the broader you can define your activity program, the less likely you are to become demoralized." Even seated exercise is beneficialPeople who need mobility chairs can still benefit from exercise, although they may have to do it in a seated position. Many of those using mobility chairs have the use of their limbs, but use the chairs because they tire easily. Walking may not be a good exercise choice in this case.Instead, they can try doing leg lifts in a seated position. Start by lifting only one leg at a time to a horizontal position and then put the leg back to vertical. Do this 10 times with each leg to start, working up to three sets of 15 leg lifts per leg. Once this has become easy, lift both legs at the same time, again starting with 10 lifts and working up to three sets of 15 leg lifts. To increase the work load on the leg muscles, ankle weights can be added. Start with one pound per leg and start over at the lowest number of lifts. Exercising the upper body is also important. This can also be done from a seated position. Do a variety of arm exercises. Start with one pound weights at 10 repetitions per exercise. If you don't own any weights, a can of peas from the kitchen is a good substitute. Many web sites and exercise tapes demonstrate exercises for the upper body that can be done while seated.
If you are a runner, then I am sure that you will know about calf cramps.Imagine this scenario if you will. Let's say that you are 7.5k into a 10k run and the road starts to incline. Ever so slightly, but enough to put that extra strain on your legs as you try to maintain contact with the leaders. And the temperature? Well, it's the morning, but it's hot and liable to get hotter before the end. And to make matters worse, you were so desperate to maintain contact with the leading group, that you forgot to take on liquid at the last feeding station. And did you use tight fitting calf length socks? I know they are all the rage, but why did you do it?So what do we have here?* Extra strain on muscles? * Dehydration? * Loss of essentials salts? * Restriction of blood flow? All in all, I think that we are describing running "calf cramps" , waiting to happen.I am not sure that anyone has definitive answer to the cause of cramps, but there are certainly several steps that you can take which could help save you from disaster during competition, in any sport.1. A Proper Warm UpOk, I know you know, but did you do it? If not, then those cramps could be coming. Seriously, if you have been involved in any sport to any level, then you will be aware of the importance of a proper warm up. And I don't just mean a brisk walk up the stairs to the changing room either! A proper warm up should include a routine that gently stretches your muscles to get them ready for the increased exertion, and gets your blood flowing around your body. Not only will a warm help prevent calf cramps, they will also help prevent some of the injuries that might occur when you put sudden strain on cold muscles.And whilst we are talking of warm ups, don't forget warm downs as well. Warming down after exercise can also help prevent cramping and reduce the risk of injury.2. Train Hard, Run EasyHave you heard this before? No? Well you should give it some thought, because it's true. When you train for a sport, not only do you practice the necessary skills required to execute which ever event you are competing in, but you are also training your body for the rigours of the event. To given an exaggerated example, if you train for a sprint, and then try and run a marathon, your body won't be ready. If you try it, I think you could be in for some serious cramps.Remember, train hard, run easy.3. Water is Sport's Life BloodWhenever you start to exercise, you start to sweat (or you should). Sweat is nature's way of cooling you down when you get hot, so, it's a good thing. And since your body is mainly made of water, then you should have plenty, shouldn't you? Well, considering that you lose moisture from your body when you breathe, sweating does take a lot of fluid out of your system.And your body will demand that it be replaced!If you start feeling dizzy, or experience a rapid heart beat, then these could be signs that you are starting to dehydrate. I will take it as read that if your mouth and lips feel dry, then you should be taking water on board. It is not always possible to take on fluid during sport, but always have some available as soon as you are able to drink.4. Sport A'int No Catwalk.It's true! Sport is not a fashion parade. If you think it is, then you are hanging out in the wrong place! There's nothing wrong with looking cool whilst you compete, but be practical. Don't risk injury (or cramps) by wearing clothing that is too tight, and that restricts your body's movement, either externally or via blood flow. Believe me, I know. When I was younger, I used tie up's on my socks whilst playing soccer (not as a fashion statement you'll understand), just to keep my socks up and my shin guards inside my socks. Three quarters of the way through a game, my calves would tighten up, and I would roll on the floor in agony. Once it was understood, that I 'only had cramp', I was the object of much derision, but believe me, cramp is far from funny if you are the one suffering.Wear appropriate clothing.5. Eat Properly.When you are sweating and working hard, not only do you lose water, you also lose nutrients. There is speculation that that athletes who get calf cramps could suffer from low levels of potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. I am not suggesting that you do low level analysis of your breakfast cereal, but the message is clear. Look after your body, and your body will look after you. Eat sensibly, and eat the right foods.
The Rocky Mountain News' energetic and prolific health and fitness writer, Lisa Ryckman, is always a good read. In this particular column, she reviews some current fad diets with a deliciously mordant wit. See, its hard to fool a fitness writer who really knows what she is talking about.Read the whole column but here are some excerpts.On the Quaque diet which recommends alternating extremely low calorie days with normal calorie days: If you don't like tomatoes you won't like this diet, which the author acknowledges might not work and could even be dangerous. Don't try it if you have medical problems, an eating disorder or take meds for heart disease, diabetes, hypertension or stroke - in short, if you suffer from any of the myriad health problems often associated with being unpleasingly plump.On How the Rich Get Thin, she offers the following, When she arrived at Klauer's Park Avenue doorstep, this "dynamic mover and shaker in the world of public relations" had lost her zip; she was fat, fatigued and flaky. "For a woman accustomed to being in the limelight, this was a most unhappy state of affairs," Klauer confides breathlessly. Fortunately for Dianne, her assistant became adept at calling restaurants in advance to ask for crudits instead of a bread basket on her table.On the Skinny Bitch she opines, A chapter about the low-carb craze is titled "The Dead, Rotting, Decomposing Flesh Diet." A sometimes amusing, sometimes annoying bully of a book with an attitude on every page and a potentially obnoxious political agenda.This article is sponsored by: http://www.getfitsource.com
As a certified personal trainer and editor of a popular fitness site, FitnessGear101.com, Ive heard every excuse in the book when it comes to why people dont exercise. However, the one that takes the, pardon-my-pun, fitness cake is lack of time. A day doesnt go by without one of my clients professing that they simply dont have time for exercise. Well, Ive seen people who want to loose weight badly enough. They will restrict their diets, exercise rigorously for an hour a day and even swear off alcohol gasp and chocolate double gasp! So, dont give me that bull! People shy away from exercise because they think theyll have to spend hours in a gym. To maintain good health all you need is a healthy diet and a daily walk that can be broken up into increments throughout the day. Still dont believe me? Ill show you how easy it is to fit brief walks into your day:1)Is Sex and the City a rerun again? It breaks my heart when that happens. Why not go for a 30-minute walk. If its a new episode that you simply cant miss, jump rope during commercials or run on the spot.2)Does carting the kids to hockey or baseball cut into your exercise time? Take some inspiration from Jr. and stay on your feet during the game. Youll get kudos for being the teams best cheer leader, and your butt wont expand to the size of the soccer field.3)Are you dying to get your hands on the next best-seller? Buy it as a book-on-tape and take it walking with you. It might have you extending your stroll to finish a chapter.4)Instead of a sumptuous brunch with the girls, try a brisk 30-minute walk with your BFF. Catching up on all the latest gossip can be just as delicious during a walk plus it wont tempt you to cheat on your healthy eating plan. 5)Remember when people used to run errands? Well many of us still take that term literally. The next time you need a quart of milk, walk to the local grocer. 6)Use your lunch break as an exercise break. I go work out and then eat lunch at my desk. A brisk walk around the block will leave you more refueled for the afternoon than that third cup of coffee. 7)Do you complain about how slow your apartment elevator is? Take the faster route the stairs. Youll burn calories in the process. 8)Its always ironic that those who circle the parking lot looking for the closest spot are often the most overweight. Park farther away where there are spots o plenty. Youll burn extra calories lugging your groceries back to the car. 9)Have you ever heard the phrase hurry up and wait!? Well its not just a humorous observation its a great way to stay moving. The next time youre waiting in a long lineup dont take a chair, pace the floor or do a little stretching.10)If you have no time to exercise, chances are you dont have time to clean the house either. Housework such as dusting, vacuuming, shoveling and raking is multitasking because it counts as exercise.