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Optimising Your Fitness Plan

Dec 25, 2007
The health and fitness market is one of the biggest growing branches of commercialism in the world today.

Not a day goes by without being able to open up a multitude of newspapers to be told things like don't eat too many carbohydrates, sugars or fats. We are to drink gallons of water every day, vary our diets with a plethora of fruit and vegetables and if we haven't got all day to be chewing, just juice them.

There's the grapefruit diet, the cabbage soup diet, the chocolate lovers diet, the macrobiotic diet and a wide choice of detox diets. Personally, I'm in favour of the see food diet. See food and eat it.

Sometimes we get told the best way to stay healthy is to eat little and often, another time to eat three square meals a day.

There are foods to lower blood pressure, increase blood pressure, calm our moods, liven our moods, foods to gain weight and lose weight, combat tiredness or help us sleep more. The list is never ending and if we listened to it all we'd have no time in a day to do anything but work out what mood we were in, what our bodies were capable of that particular day and what we were going to eat next.

If we listened to all the scare stories of foods that cause cancer, senile dementia or hyperactivity we would be feeding our children and ourselves nothing but meal replacement powders.

With all this information at our fingertips, it would seem people are still unable to moderate their own eating habits when you consider the rising incidents of obesity and the burgeoning diet clubs. Drive past any gym in the next few weeks and see advertising boards offering us special deals to sign up for the New Year and lose those Christmas pounds.

We can make our New Year's resolutions, work out a regime for the gym promising ourselves we'll be rigidly attending every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for a two hour session and get the body we want. We turn up, sweat like crazy, stick it out for a few weeks and then feel dis-heartened because we can't see any difference.

A personal trainer is a good idea because they can work out a personal plan depending on your current fitness level but they are still restricted by the information you give them.

One of the most useful tools for health and fitness on the market today is personal heart rate monitors. Worn on the wrist like a watch, they will constantly assess things like blood pressure and heart rate. These things are affected on a daily, sometimes hourly basis, by numerous influences such as health, diet, temperature, hormones and emotions.

If you pay attention to your heart rate monitor then every work out, whether it be at the gym or your weekly shopping trip, will be geared towards optimum performance. If your heart rate is particularly high one day, there is no point in pushing your body over the limit at the gym. It will put excess strain on your organs and your body will put all its resources into maintenance for those organs instead of the areas you are trying to work on.

Your heart rate monitor can also give you an indication of just how relaxed you are. If your stress levels are high, and sometimes we are not aware of this, then we can take practical steps to reduce it. Working your body to its optimum will have more far reaching effects than just starving and pushing it. It will also be more time efficient and cost effective. There will be no need for costly diets, just a balanced diet and an occasional check on your heart rate monitor.
About the Author
Health expert Shaun Parker looks at the effectiveness of heart rate monitors on fitness regimes. To find out more please visit http://www.bodyshapersfitness.com/
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