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Beginner's Guide To Fitness
By: Diana Keuilian

So you are finally ready to turn from your couch potato ways, and trade your T.V. remote in for a dumbbell! Congratulations, and welcome to the wonderful world of fitness! I commend you on your resolve to lose weight and get into shape! Now where do you begin? These days there sure is a lot of talk about diet and fitness, whether it is a new diet pill or piece of exercise equipment. It is enough to make your head spin, and certainly enough to confuse the beginner. Take a deep breath, and follow these simple tips to go from being a fitness beginner to a pro!

The first thing you need to do, as a fitness beginner, is to start moving! I mean this literally. Get up, and walk out your front door. Now walk down the street. Now turn the corner. Keep going! Do you get the picture? Start introducing your body to fitness by going on walks. These walks will probably start out slow and short, but before you know it they will be brisk and long. Try to work up a sweat as you tour the neighborhood. Make it a habit to wake up early to go on your walk, or consistently go on a walk before you go to bed. These walks will get you to start burning calories each day, and will also begin to build your cardiovascular endurance.

Once you become a pro at walking, you will need to add something new to your routine. Stretch before and after your walks. Start by reaching down to touch your toes and holding it for 30 seconds. You will feel tightness on the backs of your legs, in your hamstrings. Now place your palm against a wall at chest level and turn your body away from it. As you hold this for 30 seconds you will feel a stretch in your chest. Most inactive people have tight hamstring and chest muscles due to prolonged sitting, so it should be your priority to stretch these muscles out. You will be pleasantly surprised at what this will do for your posture!

Fitness professionals like to claim that 80% of what your body looks like is directly related to what you eat. In other words, if you are eating burgers and fries and visiting the gym everyday, you are still going to look like you are eating burgers and fries! It is time to clean up your diet, so you can continue on your fast track to fitness.

∑Rule #1: No more fast food. Fast food is cheap, available, and quick, but it is far from healthy. You are better off avoiding it completely.
∑Rule #2: Eat 5 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables everyday. Your body needs the nutrients found in these foods, and they will fill you up without empty calories.
∑Rule #3: Eat 4-5 small meals a day, rather than 2 large ones. This will keep your metabolism high all day, and turn you into a calorie-burning machine!

After you have mastered walking, stretching, and have started to clean up your diet, you are ready to join a gym. Donít be intimidated or scared of this concept, the gym is a friendly place where people go to burn calories and build muscle! Find a local gym that has a convenient location near your home or work place. The key to making your gym membership worth its monthly dues is to use it consistently. Go to the gym no less than three times a week. While you are there begin a resistance training program as well as a cardiovascular program.

There is no better motivator to get you to the gym than knowing that someone is there waiting for you. If you find yourself slacking off in your workouts, or skipping the gym, a workout buddy might be just what you need. Find a friend with whom you share similar fitness goals, and become workout buddies. Agree to meet three times a week at the gym, and encourage each other throughout your workout. You will find that this makes workouts motivating and fun.

There you have it, all you need to know to get yourself up off the coach and into a healthy, fit lifestyle! Making the decision to get into shape will be the best one you make in your life, and I wish you all the best. To your health!

About the Author

Diana Keuilian, author, ACE certified Personal Trainer, and co-founder of offers online personal training and nutrition programs that fit your budget and schedule. Whether your goal is to lose weight, firm and tone, or to build muscle, will build a custom designed program just for you.
Visit: and begin meeting your fitness goals today!

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The Power of Stretching    - Dave Snape


Your muscles ache from a good stretch. This is quite
normal and is part of the process. Stretching has
seemingly been with us and particularly with athletes
since the beginning of time.

A very key point to good stretching is to hold the
stretch for at least seventeen seconds. This is a
pearl of wisdom gleaned from a ballet teacher a few
years back. She said that any stretch under 17
seconds was just not effective.

The 17 second rule is exceeded in the high intensity
Bikram's yoga where stretches are held for about 30
seconds. Don't forget the high level of heat that is
used in Bikram's to extract that last little bit of
stretch out of your muscles. An interesting twist that
is not necessary to gain benefits from stretching. But,
it can't hurt, right?

So what kind of benefits can you expect from
stretching? That's an easy one. Have you ever seen the
movie, Blood Sport? Did you know that Frank Dux could
truly stretch his body to the extreme. The actor that
played him was quite elastic as well.

Great elasticity is also something you might see in
well trained Spetsnaz (Russian) agents. They often work
out with Russian kettlebells too. They are for superior
strength gains and the ability to withstand ballistic

Why are stretching and flexibility considered important
to these people? Stretching gives one the ability to
have explosive power available at one's fingertips
without the need to warm up. Of course most of us are
not martial artists or agents. But, you'll be happy to
know there are plenty of other benefits.

Let me give you an example. After learning to sit in
the full lotus position for long periods of time, my
ankles became very flexible. One day I was walking
along and my left foot fell into a pothole. This mishap
pushed my ankle sideways to about 90 degrees from it's
normal position.

Amazingly, this didn't even hurt, not one bit. If my
ankle hadn't been so flexible, I may have suffered a
sprained ankle. At the very least, it would have hurt
for days.

Key point: stretching helps you to avoid injuries.
Not only that but if you do have a muscle, tendon or
ligament injury it should heal faster, theoretically

Stretching actually grows the ligaments, tendons and
muscles being stretched. They really grow longer over

Check with your physician before undertaking any type
of exercise, including stretching.

Here is some good instructional material on stretching:

Dave Snape

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*The information, products and the claims made about specific products on or through this site have not been evaluated by or the United States Food and Drug Administration and are not approved to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or for prescription of any medication or other treatment. You should consult with a healthcare professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem.

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