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How Important is Exercise?


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How Important is Exercise?

Most people will try a hundred different fad diets, at least as many nutritional supplements and even all sorts of wacky alternatives. But, getting them to exercise can be a real challenge.

Nevertheless, it's an inescapable fact that proper diet has to be accompanied by an age-appropriate, regular exercise program - if the goal is good health and an attractive body. Diet is essential, but exercise is its essential partner. Diet provides the proper fuel, but exercise uses that fuel to generate health and fitness.

There's no need to become a fitness fanatic, but there are several simple exercises you can begin today. Start a daily stretching routine of at least 10 minutes before doing any vigorous training. A 20-minute walk every other day is a great beginning for those not used to exercise.

Work up to more effort slowly. Most of those new to exercise get discouraged and quit too soon because they try too hard at first. This produces soreness and sometimes injury. That reduces the motivation.

Instead, start with some light weight training, using 5lb, 10lb, then 20lb weights. Curls, squats and other exercises are simple and you'll soon graduate. Then add a 10-minute jog, a 20-minute jog, then 30-minutes. Once you hit an hour-long run, you're into the serious workout category.

If you can, invest in equipment that may help you get motivated. Others will need the social stimulus of a gym to keep their willpower up. But in either case, don't let your money go to waste. Make a commitment to regular workouts, whether at home or away. If you do join a gym, don't be shy. Take advantage of the expertise of more experienced fitness enthusiasts and the staff.

In order to lose weight, you want to be sure to include some cardiovascular exercises in your routine. That can be running, cycling or any number of alternatives. To tone muscles and tighten the slack skin that will result from major body fat reduction, you'll need to add resistance and weightlifting exercises. You can use stretchers, rope and pulley or other equipment to supply the resistance. Weight machines are great for lifting exercises.

As you get into the routine, you may or may not actually lose weight. If you're not obese but merely overweight, you may not see much loss. As you reduce fat deposits the difference can be made up by gains in muscle mass. Don't pay much attention to early losses, they may well be due as much to water loss as anything else.

But as you reduce excess body fat and tone muscles you'll experience many side benefits beyond a more attractive body. You'll feel better overall, be more energetic and should experience a heightened mood.

Feel good about it. You worked hard for the results.

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