Exercise Tips

As we age, we generally become less active. This often leads to unwanted weight gain and other health problems.

Find an activity that you can do that will get your body moving. If you enjoy it, chances are you will stick with it and reap the rewards.

Do something active for at least 45 minutes, 3 or 4 times a week. Make it a priority. Schedule time for exercise, and don’t let other things interfere. Do what you enjoy. Dance, walk, run, swim, go to the gym, do exercise videos, take an exercise class, or whatever activity you like - change it when you get bored.

Adding weight training to your exercise routine will build muscle and burn even more calories. Muscle burns considerably more calories than fat. It’s also heavier than fat, so initially you may gain a few pounds of muscle weight, but look slimmer and notice that your clothes fit better. Don’t rely on a scale as the only measurement of your progress. Body fat percentage, tape measurements, how your clothes fit, and how you feel are also important indicators.

Women need not worry about “bulking up” from lifting weights. Genetics make it nearly impossible for women to obtain bulky muscles without taking some type of hormones or steroid drugs. Weight training will not only help you look more firm and toned, but it will help guard against Osteoporosis. [Copyright © 2004 World Image Naturals, Inc. www.worldimagenaturals.com ]

When Your Routine Becomes Routine

It is important to develop a routine to follow for any successful fitness goal. A routine adds structure and direction to an exercise plan.

However, a routine may also become counterproductive, if it's not updated periodically. A routine can keep us from progressing by not offering our body enough challenge for positive change. Someone once said "If you keep doing what you've always done, you'll keep getting what you've always got."

We need to make sure that we are not just “going through the motions” to appease our conscience and just doing enough to avoid feeling guilty. The body only makes change when it is challenged to do so.

If you are using weights, consider adding more weight or reps. Or, switch from free weights to machines. If you generally do cardio on the treadmill, give the stair stepper or elliptical machine a try. Variations can also be made to existing exercises such as doing curls on an incline bench rather than doing them upright, or by adding incline to your treadmill routine.

Don't let your routine become so routine that you don't get anywhere. Consult with a fitness professional for advice on developing a progressive routine that fits you. [© 2004 W.I.N., Inc. worldimagenaturals.com]