Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Keeping That Exercise Resolution

“Making New Year resolutions is easy. Keeping them is the hard part.
It's easy to start a diet or exercise program, but it's hard to keep going unless you're smart about it. Look at what you want and understand what works for you, so you can create a training routine that really pays off for you. Both aerobics and weight training are important, both to lose weight and to improve your health. Our bodies were designed to move, even though modern life is more about watching TV or sitting in front of computers. Exercising can vastly improve our overall health. It will increase metabolism and circulation, lubricate joints, improve bone health, decrease stress—and, of course, help us lose weight. The trick is to start by making reasonable choices for who you are now. Don't worry about what you used to do or what the person next to you is doing. Focus on what works for you If you don't particularly like to exercise, focus on how much better your body feels after working out. Initially you may feel tired or sore, and it will take a little while before you feel the good effects. Just tell yourself, ‘It's OK if I don't feel good now. I'll feel good in about 20 minutes.’ As your body gets used to exercise, you'll find yourself thinking, ‘I'll feel great when I walk out of here.’ During and after exercise it is important to drink a lot of water. This will help flush out toxins created by exertion, and will decrease any aches and pains the next morning. You want to reward yourself to keep your resolution, not punish yourself. Exercising is a lifestyle choice; it needs to become part of your routine. If you enjoy the social interaction of an exercise class, make the class your routine. If you like to dance, choose a dance exercise class. If you prefer a solitary approach, then hit the weights and the aerobic machines. Your routine doesn't have to involve a gym if that doesn't appeal or if money is tight. Some free weights at home, stretchy exercise bands, an exercise ball or even a wind-trainer for your bike can give you a complete home workout through a Chicago winter. A certain amount of soreness is normal after using muscles that have gotten creaky. Start out slowly and use light weights; if you feel pain while doing something, stop. Working out should stress the body but not cause pain. Unfortunately, our bodies don't often send the pain message until after we've overdone it. On aerobic machines, start with low resistance and short duration. If you are not used to working out, it can help to get some advice from a knowledgeable source. If you already have pain in your body, talk things over with a professional. Chiropractic is good at keeping the body in balance, and there are some great acupressure techniques for building endurance and clearing out toxins. A little fine-tuning can keep you on track. It's a new year. Time to make those resolutions work.”

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