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Your 'How To' Guide to FITNESS

Aug 16, 2008
How to run marathon

All runners are unique, but for typical novice runners a period of 16 weeks training will be needed. A gradual increase of both speed and distance is important, as this will prevent overuse injuries such as shin splints. Race directors can advise you of the course terrain, and this will allow you to train for similar conditions.

Carefully consider how much time you can devote to training runs each week, as this will ensure your goals for the race are attainable. Choosing gear for the race is important too. Sneakers should be broken in but not worn down and clothing should be lightweight and should wick moisture away from the skin. Heart-rate monitors are also useful as the rate of intensity can be tracked.

When you actually reach race day, a well-devised plan of action is recommended. The pre-race meal should be carbohydrate-based, such as a piece of toast and a banana. Water plus electrolyte replacement drinks are typically good choices for most runners and these should be consumed at regular intervals before and throughout the race to avoid dehydration. Energy replacement bars, bananas, jelly and sandwiches are great snacks for during the race and runners should experiment with this during training sessions.

Properly pacing yourself is very important for first time marathon runners, so ensure you begin the race with those of similar ability. Stick with a run-walk ratio that suits you and don't worry about those passing you, as you will catch them later! Cross the finish line with a smile on your face, cool down with a brisk walk and within 30 minutes have a carbohydrate loaded snack. Picture that sense of achievement when you complete your first marathon!

How to increase your flexibility

Flexibility is widely defined as the body's ability to move a joint smoothly through its complete range of motion (Expert Author Rom Maroney, 2007). As we age our muscles tighten and our flexibility decreases. Decreased flexibility can lead to immobility, back and neck pain, poor posture, weight gain and injury, among other things. Flexibility is important when it comes to participation in recreational sports and even in performing the simplest quotidian tasks.

Flexibility can be increased through a broad range of activities; however the primary practice is stretching. Simple stretching should be undertaken three to five times per well or approximately 10 minutes per session, as recommended by certified American applied kinesiologist Allyson Tambor. These stretches should include rudimentary exercises of the hamstring, chest, calf, shoulder, quadriceps, triceps and back.

Many believe that inert rehabilitation is the optimum remedy for physical pain, such as lower back soreness or shoulder tension. But quite often staying on the couch or in bed is not the best way to go. In fact stretching sessions, strength training and getting the blood flowing through cardio exercise can be more effective to relieve pain. Natural remedies such as yoga and massage can also be beneficial in increasing flexibility.

Working to increase flexibility should not be a short term goal - it should be a long term commitment. Flexibility is not just for gymnasts, it is for everyone. Maintaining a good level of flexibility means you will move better, sleep better and look better for the long term.

How to burn fat with yoga

Yoga practices are among the most ancient methods to keep the body free from many types of problems. Yoga fitness exercises can burn calories and convert fat into lean muscles, prevent muscles loss and tone the body. There are many who would say that the lean muscle building through yoga is far more effective than going to the gym and hitting the weights.

A number of yoga postures require you to hold positions for long periods of time and also to remain inverted for substantial periods. These positions put pressure on the thyroid gland to regulate metabolism and this works to burn calories. It also puts pressure on the digestive tract and prevents age and gravity induced abdominal sagging. Yoga helps in firming the abdominal muscles to work toward that ' flat stomach' you may have had your sights on.

Yoga offers a solution to losing weight, and losing it for good. It tones the body in a uniform manner, unlike any other weight loss program. It can be practiced at any age to keep the body supple. To burn fat fast, yoga provides easy to follow regimens and recommends the intake of healthy food according to the needs of your body. Although the process of burning calories and fat through the yoga process takes more time than other training methods, it provides long term benefits to the body.
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