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Fitness and How to Succeed

Aug 15, 2008
If you have browsed through your favorite bookstore lately in search of help in succeeding in your quest to live a healthy lifestyle or where to start out on your fitness program, you probably walked out more confused then when you walked in. Looking to the internet in many cases is not much more help due to the massive amounts of data to sift through much of which is geared toward those that mother nature still favors. Lastly much of the information you find does nothing more than explain why we should be working out and staying active, something we have all heard and are well aware of at this stage in life.

For those of us that mother nature does not favor quite as much as before we turned 40 we can read all of the fitness articles that we want, sign-up for various programs, getting a training coach and any number of other options, but something the marketing gurus fail to mention is that biochemically speaking we are not programmed to succeed. Mother Nature has started turning off those longevity signals, the rebuild/repair signals and no amount of training is going to change that - sorry. The good news is that we can turn these signals back on and once we have our bodies in an anabolic (rebuild/repair) state we can succeed and in grand fashion. The key to turning those signals back on is DHEA which has been proven in numerous IRB certified tests to have a profound impact on the aging process and most importantly returning our bodies, biochemically speaking, to a more youthful state. To do this properly please see a use with the direction of your health professional to have your DHEA sulfate levels tested.

While a very powerful and critical component to any fitness program anyone 40+ DHEA is not a quick fix and please do not approach it with this mentality. However, take note that it does work and as mentioned previously there is a lot of data to support this claim. As an example a year long study with postmenopausal women clearly demonstrated increased bone density, improved glucose tolerance, enhanced feelings of well being, decreased body fat, increased muscle mass, improved liver functions and NO side effects.

Once you shift your body from a catabolic (downward spiral) state back into an anabolic state of rebuild/repair you are ready to get to work.

First and foremost avoid being a weekend warrior. Those individuals that spend a couple weekends a month working out really do more harm than good. In short their bodies simply don't ever have an opportunity to increase strength, flexibility and/or stamina and in short they are putting themselves in a position whereby they are much more susceptible to injury. Consistent exercise spread throughout the entire week is much more beneficial.

Set goals. Whatever your goals for taking up a fitness/wellness program put them in writing and just as importantly put them somewhere that you will see them often. Share them with a friend; find yourself an accountability partner; a workout partner; or your spouse. By taking this small step you have just greatly increased your odds of success. Clearly defined goals are a critical step towards success in any devour. Along the lines of setting goals, make your goals achievable and realistic. One of the biggest contributors to people failing when starting out with a new workout regimen is discouragement - we are wired to like success. Set some realistic short term goals that can be stepping stones towards your bigger long term goals. Remember it is important to see progress and the best way to measure that progress is to have goals.

Moderation is the key. Moderate consistent exercise is proven to stimulate your metabolism, promote weight loss and most importantly reduces your risk of injury. Remember that you are actually reprogramming your body, over time, to use the calories that you take in daily for energy, rebuilding your muscles and not storing it as fat. When we are sedentary our bodies learn that we don't need a lot of that extra energy, the muscles are NOT working and as such it is much easier to simply store those calories as fat. Just as we can program our bodies to know that we don't need that energy we have the ability to change that programming through moderate consistent exercise spread over 3 to 5 days a week.

As an important note please do not get discourage by all of the charts that have been published showing that for example you burn 200 calories after doing a specific exercise for 30 minutes. The truth is that your body continues to burn calories at an increase rate long after you have stopped exercising and as previously mentioned your body will learn to burn more calories on daily basis.

If cost is a concern one of the most effective and efficient exercises is walking. With a good pair of walking shoes you are ready to go. From walking through the neighborhood, walking on the track at the local school or walking through the mall during bad weather you have an unlimited number of options. In a number of cities malls have started opening their doors long before the stores open to allow patrons to do their walking without the added challenge of dodging shoppers.

Please do not forget or discount strength training. In order to maximize your benefits gained from exercise it is imperative that increase your upper body strength. Most exercising provides great benefits to all of the large muscles located in our legs, but does little to increase our upper body strength. If you are wondering why the importance of upper body strength/training keep in mind that 65% of your muscles are above your waist. Research has shown that for most people their upper body muscles are the most underdeveloped muscles they have. As such moderate training on alternate days provides the most benefit as it gives the muscles the time required to rebuild and repair themselves after being stressed. It is important to note that we are not talking about large amounts of weight as most people could benefit significantly from weights ranging from 3lbs to 10lbs.

Get help! If you are a do-it yourself type person this is one area that it is strongly recommended that you seek the guidance of an experienced trainer. There are numerous details about training that can only be taught by and experienced trainer and most importantly having that feedback during the workout process is critical. Being able to correct bad form, posture, and/or little details of a particular exercise is very important prior to developing bad habits.

Stretching is often an overlooked but very critical component for the success of any fitness program. Strength, flexibility and reduced chances for injury are benefits of proper stretching both before, after and during your workouts. Yes, during your workout. Moving through the complete range of motion for a given exercise not only stresses the muscle, but provides the stretching of the muscles that is required for full range of motion. Many times people feel that the stretching part of the workout is optional, they don't schedule time for that part of the workout and when sporting some sore muscles stretching isn't any fun, but your success greatly depends on this often overlooked component.

Rest and Relaxation are just as important if not more important than the exercise part of your routine. It boils down to the fact that your muscles do not grow while you are in the gym. That is where they are being stressed, broken down and tore down due to the stressors of the exercises that you are putting them through. Once you have torn your muscles down, they need time to rebuild and repair themselves. For young athletes over training is often one of the biggest reasons they are not performing at their maximum potential.

Armed with the above tips you are much more likely to succeed. Remember to get the important nutrients that your body needs to maintain an anabolic state, maintain a consistent moderate workout pattern, find a workout routine that fits your schedule and provides adequate stimulation for both your upper and lower body, get help from a professional trainer/coach, remember to stretch both before and after your workouts, and lastly relax.
About the Author
Glenn has combined his passion for health and fitness with a great business model that allows him opportunities that would have otherwise not been possible. For more information visit http://www.opportunityofyourlife.com/
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