Why step out of your comfort zone

As I pushed against the pedals of my bike during a recent bike (spin) class at the gym, I observed my own discomfort rise as the intensity of the class increased. Confronted with both physical and emotional discomfort, I became consciously aware that I had two primary choices in response to my pain. Each of these responses would impact differently on my outcome and results. So what result could I expect to achieve by stepping out of my comfort zone? Placed under pressure, my physical body responded by ‘heating up’ – my breathing became shallower and faster, my legs began to ache, and beads of sweat erupted over my body, slowing dripping off my face in steady drops onto the floor below. As I reached for a towel to wipe my face and momentarily recover, I realized that I was now experiencing emotional discomfort as well. As my physical discomfort intensified, so did my emotional discomfort. I experienced feelings of doubt as to whether I could continue with the level of intensity, and feelings of wanting to disconnect and/or quit from the physical discomfort I was experiencing. In response to being pushed outside of my comfort zone, my two choices or responses to this situation became immediately apparent. One choice was to ‘back off’ or slow down, and thereby reduce and/or minimize my discomfort.

If I took this choice, I knew I could experience returning to a place of physical comfort, where my body ‘cooled’ down and relaxed, and also to a place where my emotions would return to a calmer state. The other choice I faced was to notice and accept my discomfort, but to decide that I would continue regardless. In this decision I understood I could continue to experience discomfort (for a temporary period), and perhaps even face the possibility that the intensity of discomfort would increase. To determine my choice, I asked the question: “What is my intent in taking this class? What are the results I’m looking to achieve?” Is it to experience exercising comfortably – knowing that by not extending or pushing my limits, there was a good possibility that my level of fitness and physical shape would remain unchanged (or be very minimal)? OR Is my intention to experience change and growth in terms of my physical fitness and shape, knowing that in order to achieve this I would likely need to push my current physical comfort boundaries? Relative to my short and long-term goals for the class, (which in this instance was to increase my fitness), making the choice to ‘push’ through my discomfort and persist with that temporarily, was more likely to produce the result I was after. I decided the ‘uncomfortable’ choice was more in alignment with my intention, so I chose this in preference to remaining ‘comfortable’ throughout the class. In my opinion, there was no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answer faced with the above choices. Rather, simply an awareness of whether the choice made was in alignment with the end result I wished to experience. So why would you want to step out of your own comfort zone? When you’re next exercising – be it walking the dog, exercising at home or at the gym – why not ask yourself this question to provide you with the answer. ‘What is my intention by participating in this particular exercise?’ If your own intention is purely for pleasure or recreation, then you may be quite willing to create the experience where your exercise is comfortable and painless. If however you are looking to produce change at a physical or fitness level, consider the possibility that experiencing some discomfort may be necessary in order for you to achieve these results. Choosing a state of ‘discomfort’ or ‘comfort’ is not a judgment exercise, simply a choice you make relative to creating an outcome more in alignment with your desired result.

Fitness training the importance of correct warming up

All types of physical practice, in fitness or any other sport, must begin with correct warming up. This activity, together with relaxation and the main stage, are the three essential parts of the training. The types of warming up can vary a lot in length, intensity and structure of exercises, according to the sport or the training you want to start. Although there are many kinds of warming up, all of them have in common two distinct stages. The first stage concerns general warming up, whose purpose is to gradually prepare the whole body for the effort which will follow. The body temperature also increases. At this stage, the inertia of the body is easily removed through aerobic exercises (running, cycling, etc.). This stage should not take more than 5-10 minutes; otherwise it will change into a real aerobic training. It is well known that during aerobic effort the body consumes a lot of glycogen, so, especially before force training (anaerobic), there is the risk of running out of energy. The second stage of warming up is specific to each sport. This stage aims to warm up the main muscles and joints involved in the effort, but also to anticipate, by simulation, some movements from the main part of the training. This stage can be longer than the first one and includes different types of gymnastics for the joints, jumping, exercises at greater speed, stretching, etc. However, this stage shouldn't be very long either, because the sportsman needs to save physical energy and to avoid mental stress.

In many sports (target shooting, fencing, tennis, etc.), mental stress can be bigger than physical effort. These two stages of warming up must come one after the other very strictly. It is forbidden to switch their order, and also to skip one of them. Unfortunately, it is common in sport to skip the first stage and do just specific warming up, which is considered more important. This is a big mistake, because this type of exercises does not rise the body temperature as much as the ones involving minimum aerobic effort.

The result is that the body will be much more rigid and a lot less prepared for the main part of the training. There are cases, especially in sport games, when both stages of warming up are abandoned. Kicking the ball or passing a few times are supposed to replace a thorough, but boring warming up. Not doing the warming up correctly or, worse, not doing it at all increases the risk of having accidents during training or competing. Possible accidents range from simple ones, like pulling a muscle or cramps, to some really bad ones (ruptured muscles, hernia, sprains, dislocations, etc.). Even if, luckily, such accidents do not happen, the body will experience a dramatic decrease of efficiency in performing the exercises. It is very important for beginners to do the warming up. If they do not ignore it when they take up sport, they will form a habit of warming up and will, hopefully, keep this habit as long as they do sport. They must not assume the false idea that, being beginners, they shouldn't exercise so intensely. All these problems are traps that correct warming up can definitely avoid.

The no exercise diet

Did you know you can lose weight without exercising, without taking pills, and without being hungry? Find out about how eating a vegetable can change your life. The commercial is a catchy one. There’s a blonde dressed in jogging shorts and a tank top, moving to the beat of music as she follows the steps to the latest dance/exercise video. She looks great, with a wide smile and an enviable figure. The routine looks enjoyable with fun little dance combos, a couple of twists and twirls, and they’re even playing a song off your favorite CD. So what’s the problem?

The problem is that as you sit watching the commercial, you’re busy popping potato chips in your mouth. Yes, it’s time to go on a diet. You’ve known it for quite some time, but you can’t seem to get your butt in gear. Maybe it’s because diet has become a curse word to you. It entails nothing fun. It means eating foods that aren’t your favorites. It means being hungry. And worst of all, it means exercise. They don’t call you a couch potato for nothing. You admit it. You like to curl up on the sofa and watch TV. You aren’t even sure if you own a pair of jogging shoes, and if you do, you certainly can’t remember the last time you went jogging.

Maybe you even think that exercising on a diet would throw your body into complete shock since the closest thing you get to exercise is pulling out that bag of potato chips. You’re not alone. Across the globe, people long to lose weight the easy way. Perhaps that’s why diet after diet seems to appear almost every day. Atkins diet… low fat diet… Weight Watcher’s diet…

LA Weight Loss diet… the list goes on. The bottom line is that we lose weight by cutting calories. The best diet is a diet that simply limits the number of calories you take in. You will still lose weight on a diet even if you don’t exercise. “But wait a minute,” You may say, “I don’t want to be hungry, and I don’t want to give up my potato chips.” You don’t have to. What would you say if I told you that I know of a no exercise diet that allows you to eat what you want in moderation? You might answer, “I’ll still be hungry.” No you won’t, thanks to Hoodia Gordonii. A cactus-like plant that grows in the African desert, this vegetable has been consumed for centuries, mostly by Bushmen who needed to ward off hunger during long journeys. Now, it’s finally available to the public. This amazing product will make your diet an easy thing to stick with since you will no longer be hungry. This plant keeps you from being hungry by tricking your brain into thinking you’ve already eaten. No more binging on potato chips… no more extra servings of pizza. You won’t have the desire to eat much, and without really ever going on a diet, you’ll lose weight safely and easily. Featured on 60 Minutes and Today, this product will change your life.

Alcohol and exercise

Alcohol And Exercise On Friday afternoon after you leave work, you probably think about going out and having a few drinks with friends to relax and wind down. Even though you may think you deserve to go out and have a few drinks, there are some things that you should certainly keep in mind. Like any other day, tomorrow is going to be a day for exercise, and since you are exercising on a regular basis, a few drinks of alcohol won't really hurt anything, right? Before you decide to rush out to the local bar, there are a few things below that you should think about before you make your choice about going out to drink some alcohol. Research has proven that even small amounts of alcohol with increase muscular endurance and the output of strength, although these types of benefits are very short lived. After 20 minutes or so, the problems will begin to surface. All of the negative side effects associated with alcohol will easily outweigh any possible benefits that it can have. No matter how you look at it, alcohol is a poison that can really harm your body if you aren't careful. The negative side of alcohol can reduce your strength, endurance, aerobic capability, recovery time, ability to metabolize fat, and even your muscle growth as well. Alcohol will also have an effect on your nervous system and brain. If you use it long term, you can cause severe deterioration of your central nervous system. Even with short term use, nerve muscle interaction can be reduced which will result in a loss of strength. Once alcohol reaches the blood cells, it can and probably will damage them. With alcohol users, inflammation of the muscle cells is a very common thing. Over periods of time, some of these cells that have been damaged can die which will result in less functional muscle contractions. Drinking alcohol will also leave you with more soreness of your muscles after you exercise, which means that it will take you a lot longer to recuperate. Alcohol will also have many different effects on your heart and circulatory system as well. When you drink any type of alcohol, you may begin to see a reduction in your endurance capabilities. Anytime you drink, your heat loss will increase, due to the alcohol simulating your blood vessels to dilate. The loss in heat can cause your muscles to become quite cold, therefore become slower and weaker during your muscle contractions. Drinking alcohol can also lead to digestive and nutrition problems as well. Alcohol cause a release of insulin that will increase the metabolism of glycogen, which spares fat and makes the loss of fat very hard. Due to alcohol interfering with the absorption of several key nutrients, you can also become anemic and deficient with B type vitamins. Because your liver is the organ that detoxifies alcohol, the more you drink, the harder your liver has to work. The extra stress alcohol places on your liver can cause serious damage and even destroy some of your liver cells. Since alcohol is diuretic, drinking large amounts can put a lot of stress on your kidneys as well. During diuretic action, the hormones are secreted. This can lead to heightened water retention and no one who exercises will want this to happen. If you must drink alcohol, you should do it in moderation and never drink before you exercise, as this will impair your balance, coordination, and also your judgement. Think about your health and how you exercise - and you may begin to look at things from a whole new prospective. (word count 602)

Exercise and pregnancy

Prescribing a medication for pregnant women is a complex process. Before obstetricians and gynecologists decide which dose of which drug can best treat a condition without putting any harmful side effects on the mother and the baby, they consider the patient's age, general health, the number of months before delivery, tolerance for medications, and any other drugs the pregnant patient may be taking. Prescribing exercise on pregnant women has to be just as scientific and precise. The type, intensity, frequency, and duration of a "dose" of exercise are all critical. One person's healthy, vigorous workout could be hazardous to another. These dangers may be greater in pregnant women because they are more likely to have strains and other serious side effects for the would-be mother. However, if exercise will be implemented and carried out in a normal, average range, exercise will not have an effect on the overall condition of the pregnancy and especially on labor or delivery. Pregnancy Quality prenatal care should be given to a mother during her pregnancy. She should be prepared for the normal delivery of a healthy baby. Complications should be prevented at all costs. All of these things are boiled down to the fact that a pregnant woman should be cared in such a way that she will not be compelled to do vigorous work but should not also stay in bed and be inactive until she gives birth to her baby. Consequently, a pregnant woman's condition varies in relation to the growth and development of the baby in side her womb. Therefore, it is necessary that proper health guidance be provided by her physician during her visit. Moreover, it is important to keep the pregnant woman's life active in order to promote good health, not only for her but also for the baby most importantly. Physical conditions like blood pressure, weight and health status is usually monitored during the pregnant woman's visit to her doctor. For this reason, it is significant to note that exercise can be the number one factor in order to keep these aspects in good condition. As the health experts contend, adequate physical and emotional information is needed by a pregnant woman to prepare herself for delivery. She needs practical health messages in keeping herself and the baby healthy. Hence, for mothers or would-be mothers who are not yet aware why they should exert some effort in engaging into moderate, normal exercise, here is a list of some of its benefits so that you will be able to understand the reason why pregnant women have to exercise regularly: 1. Defiance against fatigue As muscle becomes fatigued, it produces less force. To accomplish a task like climbing the stairs, for example, or shoveling snow, more units of muscle must be called into play to back up the wearied muscles. The tired muscles are both less efficient and less effective. Hence, this will just put more strain on the pregnant woman because of the weight that is continuously adding up each day. That is why tired muscles will usually result to leg cramps or sore muscles. What every pregnant woman must know is that exercise improves the condition of the muscles and their ability to work longer without fatigue. 2. Reduce backaches Even when you sit or stand, some muscles are working, and such relatively easy postures can tax some muscles and cause fatigue. The muscles of the lower back, for example, can be exhausted and worn out by the effort of keeping erect when a pregnant woman stand still for several hours. With exercise, a pregnant woman can correct this error by developing her posture. 3. Increase the amount of oxygen Work and exercise rely on glycogen, a substance produced by the body from complex carbohydrates and stored muscles and liver. The supply of glycogen in the muscles determines and limits the duration of activity. Exercise depletes the glycogen in the muscles and leads to tiredness. However, when glycogen is depleted by strenuous activity, it is replaced in quantities greater than before, as if the body recognized the need to lay in a larger supply of fuel. Hence, oxidation is essential for converting glycogen to the energy that pregnant women need to wiggle a finger, flex a muscle, or practice the lungs and heart for some blowing action during normal delivery. These are just some of the many benefits exercise can bring to pregnant women. Besides, nothing is completely wrong for a pregnant woman doing some moderate exercises. The only important thing to remember is that before starting an exercise program, whether pregnant or not, it is best to consult your doctor. As they say, doctors know best!

How to deal with muscle cramps

Muscle cramps are temporary contractions of the muscles and they usually appear during physical effort. The sensation is similar to the one you have when you feel a strong, involuntary tightening of the muscle group that you can't control any more. There are many causes which bring about cramps, but they happen most often because of insufficient warming up before training. Good and correct warming up has two stages: the general one (cardio), for increasing the body temperature (running, cycling, etc.) and the specific one, during which the main joints and groups of muscles which will be involved in training are warmed up. It is enough not to give, from different reasons (rush, superficiality, ignorance), the necessary time or importance to one of these stages, and cramps can become a current phenomenon. As important as warming up is the relaxation stage after the training.

This has, like warming up, two stages: a dynamic one (aerobic) and a static one (stretching). It is meant to 'calm down' the body and to eliminate the muscular tension and the catabolic products resulted from the training. Lack of relaxation can slow down the process of recovery of the body, having often as result cramps during the next training and sometimes even during repose. Cramps may also appear because of electrolytic misbalance, which can result from massively losing electrolytes through abundant perspiration. Recovering hydro-electrolytic balance is a priority and it can be realized through balanced and varied nourishment, rich in vegetables and fruit and completed periodically with nutritional supplements, poly-minerals and poly-vitamins. When muscular cramps appear during training, the first thing you must do is stop the effort which produced the cramps. Massaging the affected zone is a good idea. This will intensify blood circulation in that group of muscles and will remove faster the catabolic products resulted from the training.

It is also the moment for light stretching, from which will benefit not only the affected zone, but also the antagonist muscles. This exercise is meant to put again in place the muscular fibers, in their usual alignment, contributing to the relaxation of the muscles, but also to elongating and making the muscular group affected by cramps more elastic. Another benefic element could be a warm shower, which will contribute to bringing the tensed muscles back to normal through peripheral vascular dilatation. Ignoring the cramps can have as a result more or less grave situations, from muscle tightening to muscular rupture.

Besides the physical effects of the cramps, the sportsman can also be affected psychologically. He will not dare intensify the training any more, being frightened of these casual contractions. He can even become hypochondriac, suspecting any common muscle pain during effort or post-effort to be a symptom of cramps. Experience in sport will provide the best prophylaxis for these situations, the practitioner being able to make the difference between the real situations and the false alarms, contributing, this way, to increasing the effectiveness of the training.

Exercise myths

Copyright 2006 Karen Sessions Everywhere you look you will find exercise information. It can come in fitness magazines, the beauty salon, your co-workers, the Internet, and infomercials. You will see snappy headlines such as, “Lose 10 Pounds in a Week with No Exercise at All!”, and “Melt Pounds without Dieting.” These marketing ploys don’t end. They will use any tactic to get you to buy their product. Along with the vast amount of exercise information coming to us at every conceivable angle, there are many myths leaving the consumer thoroughly confused. In this article I will be discussing several exercise myths, giving you the facts and dispelling the fiction. Myth #1: Exercising with weights will bulk you up. Fact: - Excess calories from protein, carbohydrates, and fat will bulk you up, not resistance training. Fat is bulky and inactive while muscle an active, lean and dense tissue. The more muscle you acquire, the more fat you will burn at rest and during activity. Myth #2: Muscle weighs more than fat. Fact: - A pound of muscle and a pound of fat weigh the same, a pound. As previously stated, muscle is more dense, and takes up less space than fat. Adding muscle to your physique will create curves and make you appear smaller in the absence of excess fat. Myth #3: If I stop weight training, my muscle will turn to fat. Fact: - Muscle cannot turn into fat any more than fat can turn into muscle. The two are not interchangeable. They are two completely different tissues. You can increase or decrease fat and muscle, but the two cannot change into the other, ever! Myth #4: Crunches will make my abs visible. Fact: - Crunches will build the abdominal muscle, but your abs won't shine through until you remove the layer of fat covering them. When it comes to "ripped" abs, they are built with balanced nutrition, coupled with proper exercise. Myth #5: Weighted crunches will make my midsection thick. Fact: - The abdominal muscle is a thin layer of muscle tissue, and not able to grow much in size like other body parts. Therefore, adding resistance to your abdominal training will just increase your midsection strength. It is the side bends and twists that can contribute to a thick waist. Myth #6: Exercise burns fat. Fact: - Exercise burns calories, and eating correctly with added exercise can aid in fat burning. Weight loss is not a one-shot approach. There are many angles, and you have to tackle each of them in small to moderate amounts. Knowing the right food combinations can give you the advantage on fat burning. Myth #7: Exercising with light weights and a lot of reps will get me defined. Fact: Training with light weights will build muscle endurance. If your goal is to get defined, you should also incorporate a healthy diet balanced in macronutrients and add some cardiovascular exercise. Myth #8: I just want to tone up, not build muscle. Fact: When you weight train you build muscle. There is no “toning” about it. As a woman, you have the ability to control the amount of muscle you add to your frame to a certain extent. Hormonally, women will not build a large degree of muscle mass. However, you can add more muscle size by increasing your protein intake and overall calories. For a woman to add a lot of muscle, it takes a lot of hard work and dedication, and sometimes steroids. Conclusion to Exercise Myths Now that we have dispelled exercise fact from fiction, you are better equipped to get in the shape you desire. Always strive for excellence and keep a positive attitude.

Keep fit for life at any age

Scientists now know that it’s usually more dangerous to not stay active, no matter how old you are. And you don’t need to buy special clothes or belong to a gym to become more physical. Most people don’t get enough physical activity. Here are some reasons why they should: * Lack of physical activity and not eating the right foods, taken together, are the second greatest inherent cause of death in the United States. (Smoking is the number one cause.) * Physical exercise can help people feel right and enjoy life more. * Regular exercise can halt or put off some diseases like cancer, heart disease, or diabetes. It can also perk up your mood can be a direct result along with helping depression. * Being active can help people stay independent and able to keep doing things like getting around or dressing themselves as they get older. There are four types of physical activies you need to do to have the right assortment of physical activities. 1. Get at least 30 minutes of activity that makes you breathe harder on most or all days of the week. That’s called “endurance activity,” because it builds your energy or “staying power.” You don’t have to be active for 30 minutes all at once. Ten minutes of endurance activity at a time is fine. Just make sure those 10-minute sessions add up to a total of 30 minutes most days. How hard do you need to exercise? The right level of effort is described this way: If you can talk while exercising without any trouble at all, you’re not working hard enough. If you can’t talk at all, it’s way too hard. 2. Keep using your muscles. When muscles aren’t used, they waste away at any age. How important is it to have “enough” muscle? Very! Muscles step-up your metabolism, allowing you to burn off more calories during the day when your body is at rest. Using your muscles may also make your bones stronger, too. 3. Do things to help your balance. Every now and then walk heel-to-toe. When you walk this way, the toes of the foot in back should almost touch the heel of the foot in front. 4. Stretch. Stretching can help keep you flexible and will be able to move more freely. Stretch when your muscles have warmed up. Never stretch so far that it hurts. So, make physical activity a part of your everyday life. Find things you enjoy. Go for brisk walks. Ride a bike. Dance. Work around the house and in the yard, take care of your garden, climb the stairs, or rake your leaves. Regular day to day chores around the hous can keep you moving and active.

Shape your legs tone your butt and build strength

Shape your legs, tone your butt and build functional strength, with the Reverse Lunge. Lunges are an exceptional exercise for conditioning your lower body. They stress the muscles from a perfect angle to develop incredible shape and symmetry in your legs, thighs and butt. Because they require balance, lunges also build neuromuscular and functional capacity - helping your body go through its daily motions and letting you pick up your children with ease. Whether you're trying to lose weight, want to look sleeker in shorts, or improve your athletic performance, lunges should be part of your training program. In my opinion, the Ultimate Lunge is the Reverse Lunge. There are many types of lunges, and many ways to perform them all, but since we only have time to cover one - my choice is the reverse lunge. Here's why: - Because you have more balance and support, it's easy to learn and perform. Plus, you have less momentum to contend with during the exercise which provides more effective stress to the muscles and yields better results. - It's safer and softer on your knees because your back foot absorbs the ballistic shock of the lunge step. (Contrasted to the front lunge where impact shock can transfer to the knee even if you land heel to toe.) - It creates muscular balance by initiating the movement backward as opposed to most other exercise movement patterns that take you forward and bias your musculature toward forward motion. How To Do A Reverse Lunge Correctly - Start facing forward, with your feet shoulder width apart, and your arms at your side. - Step back with one leg far enough to allow your knees to bend at 90 degree angles. You can simultaneously bring your arms up to act as a slight counter balance. If you want a greater challenge, hold light weights in your hands. - You're in correct position at the bottom of your lunge when your front knee is directly over the ankle. IMPORTANT - To go back to the start position, start dropping your arms and lift from the heel of your front leg. DO NOT PUSH OFF YOUR BACK LEG. This simple advice will dramatically improve the effectiveness of your reverse lunge, give you a far tighter, leaner butt and get you much better results in half the time. Try doing reverse lunges 3 times a week on non-consecutive days. Work up to 2 sets of 10 repetitions on each leg. After a month, I think you'll be amazed at the impact the reverse lunge will have on your physique.

5 super simple exercise tips

With each New Year comes the determination to begin exercising. Perhaps even you made a promise to add more exercise into your day. If your efforts at exercising are not going as well as you had planned, take a look at these tips. They might help get you back on track. Tip #1 – Do Something You Enjoy Exercise doesn’t have to mean spending hours at the gym peddling away on a stationary bike. It doesn’t mean you have to spend money on exercise gadgets you will likely never use, either. Anything you do to get your body moving is going to be better than doing nothing. Walking is an easy exercise that you can do just about anywhere, in any climate. Bike riding, dancing, gardening, weight lifting, swimming, playing a favorite sport, house cleaning and even playing in the yard with your children are just some of the ways you can add exercise into your daily routine. Tip #2 – Schedule Time for Exercise As you would a meeting or a doctor appointment, sometimes the only way to make time to exercise is to put it on your daily schedule. We’ve all got busy lives and we’re often so busy taking care of others that we never seem to make time for ourselves. Once exercise becomes part of your daily To-Do list, you’re more likely to do it. Some people have only a certain time during the day available for exercise while others will have to vary the time each day. Some people need a nudge and for them, exercising with a friend is a good solution. Choose whichever way works best for you. Just remember to actually go and do it! Tip #3 – Remember that Exercise Can Energize Even though you might feel too tired to exercise, give it a try anyway. You might be surprised to find how energized you feel while you’re at it and afterwards, when you’re finished. Exercise is a great stress-reliever too and if you know anything about stress, you know that it is one of the body’s biggest energy-sappers. Tip #4 – Don’t be Afraid to Mix it up Like anything that is done over and over again, exercise can become mundane. When you get bored with exercising, you’re less likely to keep at it. To keep from getting bored with your workout routine, change it. If you’re tired of walking, try cycling. If you’re into weight lifting, try alternating this with cardiovascular exercises throughout the week. Go bowling or play a game of tennis once in a while, and if you find you enjoy these types of activities, join up with a team. Tip #5 – Always Begin by Warming up Regardless of the type of exercise you choose, it is very important that you begin each session by warming up your muscles. Stretching helps prevent damage to muscle tissue and it gets your blood flowing. It gets your heart pumping, too. Just five minutes is all it takes to get your exercise session off to a good start.

Fitness training do the exercises correctly

In fitness, like in any other sport, correct performing of exercises is essential. Even if a program is well dosed, divided and individualized, as long as the exercises are not done correctly, no one can expect to achieve the results he/ she expected. Moreover, there could be a risk for his/ her body health and integrity. Special attention must be paid to the condition of the spine, which could suffer from pathological deformation of the type of cifosis, scoliosis, lordosis or combined problems. These cases are more to be dealt with in the field of kinetic therapy, medical gymnastics, etc. In the other cases, the natural curves of the spine must always be protected and maintained in a safe condition.

In order to reduce the risk of injury, the sportsman must be careful not only with the correctness of the exercises, but also with fortifying spine muscles. The major joints of the body (the coxofemural joints and the joints of the elbow and the knee) must not be neglected, since they are the most exposed to effort. Regarding the correctness of the exercises, it is recommended that the normal amplitude of a joint not be forced. If the purpose of the training is to increase the mobility of the joints, the body must be carefully warmed up before the flexibility exercises. All the body must be warmed up with aerobic exercises for about 5-10 minutes. This is necessary for gradually increasing the temperature of the whole body, so implicitly of the joints which are going to be involved in the effort. For the same purpose, the stretching exercises are extremely important and effective. Their dosing must be carefully graduated and at the beginning a very short period (8-10 seconds) must not be exceeded.

The technique of performing the exercises is constantly improved, so that the sportsman can reach skills which will be very useful when he/ she tries to learn new and more complex exercises. From the large area of force exercises, one must avoid the positions which involve a moment of pressure of the spine and the partial repetitions which do not open or close a joint completely. In the case of efforts during which the body is prone to repeated shocks, like running, jumping, special attention must be paid to techniques meant to dampen, to soften the impact. In sports which encourage deformation, partial development of the body, like cycling, tennis, football, it is necessary to try and maintain a balance between the muscle groups which are less involved in effort during specific training and the ones overexerted. Compensating exercises can always be found for every agonist or antagonist muscle. This way the joints involved in exercising are much better protected. It is also very important to vary the exercises regularly in order to avoid routine, which is very frustrating for the sportsman who trains constantly, for a long time, in the same program. The effort must be carefully dosed so that the sportsmen avoid both overtraining and training below the level of minimum effectiveness. If you consider these aspects of individual or collective training, the effectiveness of your training will definitely improve.

Winning tactics for running a marathon

Let's face it, if you've ever run a marathon, or even been a spectator, you'll appreciate the motivation and commitment involved. If you're not prepared when it comes to race day you can expect many hours of suffering and struggle! It doesn't have to be that way, of course, if you put in the required training over several months. This requires commitment and motivation, and a belief that the accumulation of all those training miles will help you to reach your goal-- whether this is time-oriented, or the equally valid desire to get round. So what is meant exactly by motivation and commitment?

Motivation is the desire to achieve something unusual that gives you the incentive to do things that other people are not prepared to do. Not many people are prepared to train week in, week out so that they can stand at the start of a marathon and say to themselves, "yes, I am ready and I couldn't have done anything more." You can always do something more, but even the elite athletes feel that way. Every athlete has their challenges -- whether it's getting the children ready for school, or an Achilles injury. It's how we overcome these challenges that make us stronger, and mean we can stand on the start line with a quiet confidence. If you're working full time you might have to get up every day at five a. m. to fit your training in, and this will take commitment, motivation and determination. It won't help if after a few weeks you revert to your former habits, and get up half an hour before you have to leave for work. Whether it is getting up early, or beginning a fitness program your motivation and commitment needs to last over the long term to have an affect. In training for a marathon it will not help running for ten miles every two weeks, and doing no exercise in between. Your body will have forgotten what it has to do by the time you run again! It is better to run three or more times a week with one longer run on the weekend, and you will be in better shape. These small, regular runs will add up to success over time, but they are far easier to do when you have a target to aim at. This can be a time you want to run, or the desire to complete the 26 mile race. Either way if you know what you want to achieve you will be more likely to do the things you need to do. Having a target concentrates the mind, and increases your motivation.

Exercise game planning for dieters

If you make the wise decision of trying to get more exercise, you’ll need to figure out what you are able to do and how long you are able to do it. I’m not talking about what you could do in your glory days. I’m talking about what you can do right now. I’ll give you an example. When I was in college, I wasn’t very fat or heavy at all. I used to jog three miles a day religiously, until the day I got a job, and then I just didn’t seem to have the time for it anymore. With a little patience and a lot of junk food, I grew to be over 60 pounds heavier than my former self. Then, out of the blue sky, I decided to take up jogging again. I bought a pair of cheap running shoes and headed for the local high school track. There was quite a variety of people walking, running, and playing soccer. I saw a few high school-aged people and even some women and men over 60 or 70 years old. I thought, “This is great, I can look forward to 40 more years of jogging.” I remembered that I had liked to stretch before the three-mile-joy-ride, so I stretched out my thighs, calves, and any other leg muscles I could think of. I was set to go, and I couldn’t wait to get the “runner’s high” that I used to experience daily. The first ten steps were a little bit uncomfortable, and of course they would be. I hadn’t attempted to jog in seven years (and 60 pounds). “But I only need to run twelve laps,” I thought to myself. That would be three miles. I started out strong, but within the first half lap, I had slowed considerably and I was having trouble breathing. This isn’t how I remembered it. What was going on? I feared I might collapse right here on the track, and then the grandma runners would pass me up one by one and laugh. I couldn’t let that happen. Since I could barely run, or breathe, I decided to start limping. It didn’t matter which leg I chose as long as it remained consistent. I slowly limped onto the grass in the center of the track and pretended to be assessing the damage to my leg. I was actually sucking wind quite violently. A few people stopped to ask if I was all right. All I could think to say was, “Damn, it’s the same muscle I pulled six months ago.” I’m glad they didn’t ask me which muscle. I then massaged my leg all over but concentrated most of my efforts on my left ankle. Within five minutes I was up and limping again, this time straight towards my car. Even though I seemed to pull off the fake limping act, I still felt miserable. I hadn’t even run one lousy lap. I got in my car and raced away. I couldn’t go straight home until I had collected all of my painful thoughts and sorted them out. Instead, I headed to the one place that I felt most welcome...7-Eleven. I don’t remember what I feasted on that day, but I didn’t imagine that the clerk was laughing at me as I had imagined the other runners back at the track had been. In fact, no one really laughed at me that day, but they might have if I hadn’t been such a great actor. And knowing that they could have laughed at me, I ate like a king and queen combined, and I cleansed myself of the imagined laughter. I wanted a hug that day, but maybe what I really needed was therapy. The story illustrates that you need to exercise at your current level of ability. If it has been five years since you’ve exercised, you cannot expect yourself to pick right up where you left off. Experiment a little and see what your body can actually do right now. Another gem I will peddle to you is the idea of starting small and building up to bigger routines as you become ready. If you decide that walking will be your favorite means of exercising, don’t try for ten miles on your first day. You can easily start by just walking around the block each day for a week. Next you can try expanding your walk to involve a few more blocks. The following week you’ll add even more blocks, and in six months or so, you just might be walking three or four miles. Make sure that you build up gradually, rather than biting off more than you can chew. It’s much better to have a continuous string of successes than a setback every four weeks. After you lose ten to fifteen pounds, you will feel able to exercise longer. The more you lose, the more you can do. That seems a bit backwards to me. The people who most need to exercise are the same people who can do the least amount of it. It’s a cruel world. Don’t think—just get started right now. When you are ready to begin exercising, remember that you will be doing this each day. It is important not to get bored. If you keep your exercise bicycle in the garage, make sure you also have a television or radio in the garage. Watching television or listening to the radio passes the time a little faster; before you know it, your 30 minutes are up. One friend of mine is a big advocate of varying your routine often. If you’ve been walking on flat land as your exercise, perhaps the next thing to do is to try adding some hills to your walk. Then perhaps you could bike on certain days and swim on others. I agree that this would be a better overall workout than exercising the same way each day. However, I’m lazier than he, and we both know it. He has weighed 100 pounds less than me for a stretch of nearly ten years, so he must be doing at least a few things right. Whatever your exercise plan will be, make sure you keep at it. Make a schedule and stick to it. Let it be a regular part of your day, like brushing your teeth or feeding your dog or cat. It’s easy to say you will just take one day off, but sometimes that day can turn into days or weeks. Plan ahead for the winter or off-season. You may not be able to jog for long stretches at a time during the winter, depending upon your local climate. Buy that exercise bike, or take up an indoor exercise such as aerobics. It is also wise to be mindful of the time of day you prefer to exercise. I knew a lot of people at my office that liked to get up early in the morning and exercise. I always had a hard time getting up early, since I had been used to staying up so late (when I was twenty-something). But many things would keep me from exercising after work. I was often too tired or mentally drained after work. I also belonged to some clubs that met in the evenings, and I still needed some time to see my friends. Yes, life was busy, but I’m sure it’s been busy for you as well. Given my situation, I eventually realized that I could exercise more consistently if I woke up one hour earlier and exercised in the morning. Was that easy for me? No. It took me three or four months to adjust to my new schedule. But once I found myself bouncing out of bed very early in the morning, I knew I would continue to do so. The best news about exercise is that it gives your metabolism a jolt to help you burn more calories even after you’ve finished exercising. That’s truly a deal you can’t pass up. So stop whatever it is that you are doing and go exercise right now. Yes, I mean it! Hurry! Right now!

25 ways get 10 mins of fitness exercise pt 2

Around the House 1. When you go outside to pick up your morning newspaper, take a brisk 5-minute walk up the street in one direction and back in the other. 2. If you're housebound caring for a sick child or grandchild, hop on an exercise bike or treadmill while your ailing loved one naps. 3. Try 5 to 10 minutes of jumping jacks. (A 150-pound woman can burn 90 calories in one 10-minute session.) 4. Cooking dinner? Do standing push-ups while you wait for a pot to boil. Stand about an arm's length from the kitchen counter, and push your arms against the counter. Push in and out to work your arms and shoulders. 5. After dinner, go outside and play tag or shoot baskets with your kids and their friends. 6. Just before bed or while you're giving yourself a facial at night, do a few repetitions of some dumbbell exercises, suggests exercise instructor Sheila Cluff, owner and founder of The Oaks at Ojai and The Palms, in Palm Springs, CA, who keeps a set of free weights on a shelf in front of her bathroom sink. While Waiting 7. Walk around the block several times while you wait for your child to take a music lesson. As your fitness level improves, add 1-minute bursts of jogging to your walks. 8. Walk around medical buildings if you have a long wait for a doctor's appointment. "I always ask the receptionist to give me an idea of how long I have left to wait," Cluff says. "Most are usually very willing to tell you." 9. While your son or daughter plays a soccer game, walk around the field. 10. Turn a trip to a park with your child into a mini-workout for you. Throw a ball back and forth and run for fly balls.

What to look for when selecting a fitness trainer

There are many reasons why you might consider hiring a fitness trainer to help you with exercise and advice about nutrition. One might be that you feel you need an expert in the field to help make sure you are doing all your exercises properly. Another might be that you want this person to give you good, effective exercise routines so you can get the most from your exercise sessions. Yet another might be that you want someone to help you manage your dietary needs. All of these are good reasons to hire a fitness trainer, but how do you know if you will be hiring a trainer that will best suit your needs? Here are a few guidelines to consider that will help you make the right choice when choosing a fitness trainer. First and foremost, you need to make sure that the trainer you choose holds a current, nationally accredited certification in the fitness field. Some of the certification organizations that require a good, solid minimum knowledge base to earn their certification are the “ISSA” (International Sports Sciences Association), the “ACSM” (American Collage of Sports Medicine), the “NSCA” (National Strength and Conditioning Association), and on a somewhat lesser level, but still an acceptable certification is the “ACE” (American Council on Exercise). Some others like the “NAFC” (National Association for Fitness Certification) or the “NFPT” (National Federation of Professional Trainers) are a lot less strict for their certification requirements.

While it is very important that the fitness trainer you choose holds one of the better certifications, it is certainly not the only thing to look for when choosing a trainer. There are a few other things you will want to be sure of to ensure your satisfaction. One thing to look for is whether or not your fitness trainer has a plan to suit your individual needs. Some trainers get caught in a rut and train their clients with a “one size fits all” approach to exercise and while this may be alright for the raw beginner for the purpose of general muscle and connective tissue adaptation, they need to be able to branch out and have a vision of how to customize exercise routines that are best for your needs. In other words, what do they see possible for you. You might ask the trainer; what kind of a plan do you see for me and how will it benefit me? Another point to consider is whether your fitness trainer can be objective about your training. Your trainer should always consider your needs during each training session. Sometimes the trainer may need to alter your exercise routine due to an injury or simply because you’ve had a hard day and do not have the energy you usually have. You might ask the trainer; how do you assess me each day before my session. One of the most important things, of course, is whether you and your fitness trainer have matching personality’s or simply put, you must get along with each other and you must feel comfortable with your trainer or it will be hard to work with him/her. You need to understand what your trainer is trying to do and so your trainer needs to give clear, detailed instructions. Your fitness trainer should be open to what you have to say and be able to listen to and respond to your concerns. If you have made the decision to invest your time and money into an exercise lifestyle, and you are enlisting the help of a fitness professional, make sure you choose one who you know will give you everything you need to give you the results you want in a safe, enjoyable way.

What the heck is an exercise modality and why should i care

What are you trying to get out of your exercise program? Are you trying to lose weight? Are you trying to put on muscle mass? Are you training for a sport or an athletic contest of some kind? Okay, now that you’ve answered the question of why you are exercising to begin with, you are now ready to ask yourself what type of exercise program you will need to get involved with in order to accomplish that goal. If you answered “aerobics”, “weight training”, “yoga”, “flexibility exercises”, “martial arts”, or pretty much any other form of exercise that you can imagine, then congratulations are in order! You’ve just answered the question, “What the heck is an exercise modality”? Simply put, an exercise modality is a system or form of exercise that is designed to elicit a very specific response from the body of the individual who is engaging in the exercise.

In the case of aerobics, most people are trying to get their body to shed excess bodyfat and to increase their level of cardiovascular endurance. Weight or resistance training exercisers are usually trying to grow or tone their muscles to make them stronger, bigger, or more attractive. People who practice Yoga are usually after a stronger mind/body connection in order to gain more energy or awareness. The possibilities are endless. There are so many exercise modalities out there that even trying to name them all would be a waste of time.

Even as this article is written, and even as you – the reader – take in its information, someone somewhere is probably coming up with a new “exercise modality”. So why even try to learn them? Why should you care about exercise modalities? Simply put, because you need to practice them! No, that doesn’t mean that you have to be able to run a marathon, bench press 400 lbs, balance on your pinky toe, and dance a jig all at the same time… The point is not that you have to become proficient in any specific exercise modality. You do need to learn about different types of training, though.

No matter how effective your present exercise program is, one of two things is either already happening, or is going to happen eventually: 1) Your body is adapting to the stimulus provided by your chosen exercise modality, and you are not seeing the same results from it that you saw in the beginning. 2) The exercise modality that you have chosen is lacking in one or more of the measurements of good health: strength, cardiovascular conditioning, flexibility, agility, balance, tensile strength of bones, tendons, and ligaments, basic survival skills such as starting and limit strength, swimming capabilities, or a heightened level of neuromuscular coordination. As you can see, simply being able to run through a circuit of weight machines at the gym and then jumping into an aerobics class is not sufficient for a level of health and fitness that is both complete, as well as sustainable over the long-term. Despite what you may think, there will never be a time in your life when it is appropriate or healthy for you to “back off” and give up on exercise or proper nutrition. From today until the day when you leave this Earth, you will need the high quality of life that is provided by the proper level of health and fitness. In order to ensure that your health and fitness program does not allow your body to adapt to a certain stimulus, as well as to ensure that your program includes activity in each of the measurable levels of health and fitness, you must practice different exercise modalities on a regular basis. Don’t scoff at Pilates because you think it is for wimps. Those of you in the aerobics room don’t look at the weight lifters as if they are a bunch of cavemen who know nothing about true fitness. Those of you in the Yoga frame of mind, open up your mind to the fact that Yoga alone is not going to maintain your level of health and your quality of life from now until the end. Martial artists – step out of the Dojo and pick up some dumbbells or balance on an exercise ball once in awhile. There is no single exercise modality that is perfect for everyone, all the time. Yes, there are certain modalities that work better for certain people, but that doesn’t mean that you should never check out new activities and experiences. Close-mindedness has never resulted in positive results in the entire history of our planet. It’s not going to start now. Open your mind to new possibilities and you will open yourself to new experiences and a higher quality of life itself. Who knows? You might even enjoy it!

Where to find free exercises to flatten stomach

They are everywhere; magazines where on the front cover have beautiful models showing off their flat stomach and a caption that may say something similar to "Want flat abs, we'll show you how!" These magazine articles are great for some people who want to spend the money to buy the magazine in order to find out how to flatten their stomach. Then there are endless websites that if you sign up and pay the fee, you will be given exercise routines meant to flatten you stomach. Again, this may be a good source for some people who have this goal, but where can you go to find free exercise to flatten stomachs? The internet is probably one of the best sources for finding free information. There are hundreds of sites a person will find just by using the search words "free stomach exercises" or similar phrases. These sites will give step-by-step instructions on how to perform a variety of exercises to flatten stomachs. When a person finds several exercises he or she likes, it is simple to print them out and have the paper available when performing the exercise. Another good source to find free exercises to flatten stomachs is at a library.

The library may actually have more information then the internet; it is just not as convenient. A person who takes the time to visit the library can find books on how to flatten their stomach read magazine articles and borrow videos that talk about exercises to flatten stomachs. One source for finding free exercise to flatten stomachs is the television. If a person can set aside a specific time during the day for exercise, there are many television programs on throughout the day that are exercise related, even channels dedicated just to exercise and health. Many of these shows will focus on flattening stomachs, since this is a primary goal of most people that exercise. This method for finding free exercises to flatten stomachs may be the least convenient and may not be feasible to everyone, but for some people that can find the right program and make it work with their schedule or the ability to record for use at a later time, it may be a good option. For people that truly need to loose weight around their stomachs for health reasons, doctors are probably the best source for free exercises to flatten stomachs. They will have available many brochures and other material that will help the person in their goal to look and feel better. In addition, a doctor would be a good source for finding out other places to obtain this information.

There are hundreds of sources for finding exercises to flatten stomachs. Some of these sources require a purchase or even an investment. There are also many sources available that offer free exercises to flatten stomach muscles. Just because a person paid for the information does not necessarily make it better.

Remember, the best exercise is the exercise that works for the individual, regardless of the source.

Six steps to a positive body image

A positive body image is one that we should all strive for. This is when you know yourself and who you are. You have a very true perception of your size, shape, and weight. You see yourself as you are in the present. You accept yourself, even though you may be overweight. You believe in yourself and love yourself while still striving for something better. When you have a positive body image, no time is spent obsessing about food, weight, calories, exercise, etc. You are proud of who you are and feel comfortable in your own body.

Many people that suffer from binge eating disorder do not have positive body images. Instead, they have very distorted images of how they see themselves. Here are six ways to create a positive body image for yourself. 1. Create a list of people that you admire. Write down why you admire each person. As you are writing the characteristics you like, take notice of what you are writing down. For example, let’s say that you have a high regard for Oprah. Your list might include her generosity towards people, her willingness to support what she believes in, and her strong character that went for success no matter what background she came from. You do not admire Oprah because of her looks; you admire her for the difference that she has made in the world. For her contribution to society. How she has touched and changed so many lives. 2. Remember a time in your life when you felt great about yourself. Travel back in your life to a time when you were happy with your body. Maybe this was high school or college. Whatever the time, just close your eyes and remember how you felt. Let these good feelings radiate within you. 3. Write down what you like about yourself now. Take out a piece of paper and write down everything that you like about yourself: your legs, your eyebrows, your smile, your hair, etc. The key here is to focus on the likes of yourself instead of the many dislikes. Start appreciating what you do like about yourself. This will make you feel better overall. 4. Notice how you carry yourself when you walk. Do you walk with your head down looking at the ground? Do you slump your shoulders? Perk up! Start walking and making eye contact with people. Hold your head up high. Walk with your shoulders held back. 5. Start exercising. If you haven’t exercised in a while, start off slow. Go for a walk outside on a nice day. If you are used to exercising, keep it up and change up your routine so that you don’t get bored. When you exercise you begin to feel good about yourself, even if it is for 15 minutes. Start off slow and work your way up. 6. Hang out with positive people. Take a look at the people closest to you. Are they positive or negative people? Chances are if they are negative this attitude will reflect on you and your attitude. Try to limit your time with any negativity as this will only make you feel bad about yourself. You will focus on the things that you do not like about yourself. Start feeling good about yourself and learn to accept yourself. Little by little you will notice changes that have occurred. Learn to be on your side instead of always being against yourself. Put your shoulders back and quit thinking about what you’re not. Love the person you are and the person that you are becoming.

Cross training for fitness and fatloss

The numbers on your scale do not indicate whether you are fit or fat. Far more significant than your total body weight is the composition of your body tissue. If a man's fatty tissue is bigger than 14% up to 15% of his body mass, or if a woman's is more than 20% to 22%, he or she is overweight, or more precisely, overfat. A small amount of fat is needed for padding the internal organs and as insulation under the skin. Excess fat leads to such diseases as diabetes, gout, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, and gallbladder problems. There are very few, very fat persons. The reason is that the fittest, not the fattest survive. The problem now is focused on how to resolve the problem. The problem with most people who want to lose weight is that they have the propensity to concentrate more on getting those numbers lower than what they are seeing now. What happens next is that they strive harder to achieve a lower weight, according to the "ever reliable" result of the weighing scale.

It would be more important to think of the human body as a heat-exchange engine that works on the basic principles of energy physics. The caloric balance equals the total calorie intake minus the total calorie expenditure. Some of the calories people ingest are used for basal metabolism. As people get old, their bodies require fewer calories for this basic upkeep. Some calories are excreted as waste products. Some go into "work metabolism," the energy expenditure required for any physical activity. Hence, if people take in more calories than are used by these functions, there is a definite caloric excess. By the laws of physics, energy is transformed rather than destroyed. In this case, each excess of 3,500 calories is changed into a pound of fat. If people want to reverse this process, they have to burn up 3,500 calories to lose a single pound.

Winning the War Against Fat When you think of fighting fat with exercise, you probably think of hours of hard, sweaty exertion. If this is the case, then, you will not get any farther. This is because people who are so much into losing more by exerting more effort tend to get bored easily. Why? Because experts contend that when people exert more effort than what they are capable of doing creates a tendency to develop weariness and ennui. Hence, they give up, stop doing their routine exercises, and end up sulking in the corner with a bag of chips that seems to have all the bad calories in this world. Now, you might ask, "What should be done instead?" The answer: cross training. After some intensive studies and experimentations, health experts were able to come up with the concept of incorporating cross training in order to overcome or break the monotony or dullness in an exercise program. Cross training refers to the integration of diverse movements or activities into a person's conventional exercise routine. The main purpose of incorporating cross training into an exercise program is to avoid overdoing excess muscle damages and to put a stop to an imminent boredom. Three of the most commonly used activities whenever a person decides to engage into cross training are swimming, running, and cycling. In cross training, distance is one way to extend your activity as your condition improves. For this reason, you need to traverse a measured distance. If possible, swim the course and measure the distance. If you will be using a running track, such courses usually are a quarter-mile per lap for a complete circuit. Cross training offers a variety of benefits for fitness and fatloss. It builds up the strength and endurance of the heart, lungs, and blood vessels. It has also some tranquilizing effect on the nerves, and it burns up calories as much as it makes your "losing weight" more bearable. Cross training has three basic components: 1. Endurance exercises to condition the heart, lungs, and blood vessels and to induce relaxation. These begin with a careful planned walking and jogging regimen, depending on fitness level. 2. Exercises to strengthen the muscles, particularly those important to good posture. These include some activities that are selected to encourage some people who are already burnt out with a particular routine. 3. Exercises to improve joint mobility and prevent or relieve aches and pains. These consist of a series of static stretching positions that are safe and effective for most of the people who wish to try to lose some fat. Indeed, cross training is a great way to modify the concept of exercising and losing fat without having to endure monotonous activities. In fact, the idea of exercising is to like what you are doing, hence, if you engage into cross training, you will be aware of it that you have already achieve your desired weight. Boiled down, cross training is, certainly, one way of having fun.

Some common myths that keep women from weight training

Weight training has long been known to improve health, improve strength, step up vigor, and improve the physique. Men have been taking advantage of this fact for many years now, but many women have avoided weight training and continue to do so because they see it as a masculine thing meant to bulk up muscle. Many women have abstained from training with weights because of some misconceptions associated with women and weight training. If you have never given any thought to working out with weights before, it is probably because one or more of the common myths about women’s weight training is stopping you. Let’s take a look at some of these myths and let’s find out just what the real truth is and why you should not let them stop you from taking advantage of all the benefits weight training has to offer. One common myth is that some women think they are too old to work with weights. The truth is you are never too old to be able to strengthen and tone your muscles. By using lighter weights and a relatively low intensity program you can still benefit from weight training. It has been proven through studies that people as old as 80 and even 90 who started weight training saw up to a 200% increase in strength over a one month period. Another common myth is that some women think they will lose their flexibility with weight training. The truth here is that weight training will actually help you to become more flexible. By doing weight training exercises through a full range of motion your muscles are put into a stretch with each repetition and by strengthening them, they are less prone to injury while doing stretching exercises. This next myth is probably the most common one by far. Many women think that if they lift weights they will develop big muscles and look bulky and unfeminine. Nothing can be further from the truth! The fact is, women don’t have near enough of the male hormone testosterone, and testosterone is the major growth hormone that will produce bulky muscles. Unless women use supplemental means like steroids and growth hormone, they cannot bulk up like men. Weight training will get you firm and toned but by no means will it make you look manly. One myth that is fairly common is that some women think that weight training is just boring and tedious. The truth is that weight training can be done with a friend, and you can make each other laugh as well as help keep each other on track. You can listen to music as you exercise. You can mix different exercises into your routine and change up your routine from time to time. You will also find that as your strength and your body are improving, you will feel so much better about it all. When you reach a certain goal, give yourself a reward like eating out in a fancy restaurant or taking a weekend vacation somewhere nice. Now that you know the truth to some of the myths that have been stopping you from enjoying the many benefits of weight training, there is no reason for you not to make it a part of you exercise regimen. Weight training is no longer strictly for men only. So get up, get to the weights, and get fit for life.

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