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Five Ways to Fit Fitness Into Your Life
By: Sylvie Charrier

It is extremely important to select an exercise program that will be well-suited to your lifestyle. If you have to drive 25 miles in rush hour traffic to the nearest pool, a swimming routine might not be your first pick. Find an exercise program that you like - shop around, try out various sports and programs. Only you can really determine if a given exercise plan is right for your tastes. In the end, the key to any exercise plan is obvious: For it to "work", you have to stick to it. And, to stick to it, most people need to find some satisfaction in what they're doing. Go out and find some exercise fun!


The Buddy System: Exercise Made Easy


Find a partner to exercise with you. Having an exercise buddy will not only keep you motivated, it will also help you push yourself to becoming better and better. Your partner will inspire you to get out of bed on those cold mornings when you’re feeling lazy, and will share in your excitement when you've reached a milestone on your path to achieving your health goals. In addition, a partner will allow you to discuss your fears or frustrations, too. Find a partner and commit to making positive change in your life today.


Elevator Out of Order: Use the Stairs


Whenever you can, use the stairs instead of the elevator. Elevators may be convenient, but they also make us lazy. There are so many opportunities in your daily life where you can choose to either be lazy or motivated to move. Doing a stair workout shows that your dedicated to achieving your diet and fitness goal. You will actually give your body a surprisingly good workout just by walking up and down stairs. If you focus your attention when climbing or descending, you can isolate the affected muscles groups (e.g., calves, quadriceps, gluteus, hamstring) and produce a stellar workout for yourself.


Wriggle 'Em, Jiggle 'Em: Fun with All Your Fingers and Toes


Whether you're stuck behind a desk, tied up in rush hour traffic, or sitting in your favorite chair watching TV, any time is a good time to give your body a healthy stretch. Why don't you start with your fingers and your toes? Wiggle them, jiggle them, stretch them 'round - your joints will thank you more than you can know. Release that tension and say goodbye to accumulated stress by starting with these simple stretches.


Swim, Swam, Swum: Your Health Has Just Begun


If you are just starting out on your path toward weight loss and renewed health, swimming is one of the best exercises for you. Because it is a non-weight bearing activity-meaning you aren't placing the stress of your body weight on your muscles and joints-you can exercise more safely and for longer periods of time. Swimming is an excellent exercise to build cardiovascular strength, burn calories, and establish whole-body conditioning. If there is a pool nearby, swim as often as you can. And, if nothing else, a cool dip in a pool is a wonderful stress reliever.


If You Can Sit, You Can Stand. If You Can Stand, You Can Walk


If one day you want to revel in your achievements, you need to revolutionize your life - from your diet, to exercise, to your daily habits. For example, if you sit at a desk for a living, get up every half an hour and take a lap around the floor of your office. If you stand for a living, shift your weight back and forth between legs, walk about, stretch out. Because movement is the key to getting your body in shape, take every opportunity you can to do a little moving and shaking!

About the Author

Sylvie Charrier is the author of the book "Living La Vida Low Carb: The Vegetarian Way". As a busy work-at-home mom, she discovered simple ways to get more results from her low carb diet. She shares her recipe makeovers and health tips on her website

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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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