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Health and Fitness for Life

Health and Fitness for ... is a funny thing. It is given to us as a child and we enjoy it without any ... for having the ability to do what we want to

Health and Fitness for Life



Health is a funny thing. It is given to us as a child and we enjoy it without
any appreciation for having the ability to do what we want to physically. We
run, jump, skip and just have a ball with the energy and fitness we have without
having to work for it.


As we grow into our early twenties, most of us slow down from our most active
years and don't get as much 'natural' exercise. We walk less, definitely run
less and for the most part, 'settle in' to a more comfortable life of going to
work and, eating on the run, then getting home in time to watch TV all night.
(not too much exercise in that, except for the thumb - changing channels)


As we approach and enter our thirties, we tend to gain a bit of weight, lose
some muscle composition, and begin to notice that climbing a couple of flights
of stairs leaves us 'catching our breath'. This is the beginning of a long,
downward spiral of loss of health and fitness that slowly sneaks up in us - the
next thing we know we are in our early forties and some of our friends are
talking about the best blood pressure pills or anxiety reducing medications over
lunch. What has happened?

Simple Daily Strategies

The best way to stop the plight of health decline is to begin with some simple
daily strategies. One of the biggest reasons that health improvement products
are everywhere is that humans have a tendency to look for the 'quick fix' and
avoid having to commit to any long term fitness activity. We begin a diet or
fitness program that lasts for twelve weeks and three days into it we
rationalize that the timeframe of the program doesn't justify the commitment -
so we quit and forget about our health until the next reminder shows up.

The solution is to create a short list of simple daily strategies that will keep
us involved with making healthy choices, without causing us to give in and give
up. Some examples of this strategy are to take the stairs instead of the
elevator, park a block from work and walk the extra five minutes, throw a couple
of apples in your bag to take to work so you stay away from the vending machine.

Some other ideas are:

- Do a little yard work instead of sitting down on the couch after work.

- Walk the golf course instead of renting a cart.

- Put a set of hand weights on the floor at the base of your couch so you can do
a few simple reps while watching TV.

- Don't by sweets, cookies or ice cream when grocery shopping. The easier it is
to get that less than healthy snack, the more often you will indulge.

- Create a list of 'healthy alternatives' for your grocery list. Apples instead
of cookies. Bottles water instead of soda. Wheat bread instead of white bread.
Margarine instead of butter. Yogurt instead of ice cream.

These small, simple changes can do a lot to improve your overall health quickly
and are more likely to stick with you once you develop the habit of eating
better and looking for quick ways to get in ten minutes of walking here and
there. Its a lot easier to walk a little further to work that it is to commit to
getting to a health club three times a week. You'll stick to it longer if you
don't feel the pressure of the commitment.

Exercise Tips

For building overall fitness, you will want to create a simple exercise program.
No, not one of those 3 page, 20 different machine workouts that confuse you into
quitting. Get a set of hand weights, a simple weight bench and if money allows,
some type of aerobic machine like a treadmill or
elliptical machine for the cardio workouts. If you have the tools in your home and nearby, you will be more likely to spend fifteen to twenty minutes working toward a better body.

Long Term Effects

A leaner, healthier body will function better and more efficiently. Health
issues like high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity are much less likely.
Overall attitude and outlook will change when your body functions better.

Short Term Effects

You will have a clearer view of your day if you spend twenty minutes working
out. You will lose weight and tone up in a short period of time. You will notice
that you have more energy at the end of the day when you workout.

Creating and Living Your Plan

Sit down and write out a list of exercises that you like. (if you say you don't
like any - write the ones you dislike the least.)

Find a way to do those exercises 3-5 times a week for fifteen to twenty minutes.

Do it - you'll be better for it.


Source: Free Articles from


Andrew Constantine is the editor for several informational fitness sites. See
more articles

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