Imagine what the world would be like if no one exercised. Never mind, you can already see it when you walk down nearly any city street. Our society is faced with an epidemic of obesity, and people need to become more in tune with their own health and fitness.
There is no question that exercise is essential to living a healthy lifestyle. Exercise is the best way to lose body fat, as it boosts the metabolism and helps the body to burn excess calories. Exercise also revs up your heart and gets your lungs pumping at maximum capacity. People who exercise regularly have healthier bones. They look good and feel great about themselves. Exercise gives people increased stamina, so they are able to keep up with life's busy pace.
Unfortunately, though nearly everyone is aware of the many benefits of physical fitness, many women ignore the facts and choose to stay sedentary. They'd rather live the easy life, hitting the snooze button, taking the elevator up two floors and driving to work. In our convenient society, women suffer from a lack of health and fitness.
You can reach and maintain your ideal body weight simply by using the following tips. The specific issues that women face, including a higher susceptibility to osteoporosis, bring to light particular health and fitness issues. To keep your body strong and maintain optimum health, you should follow these tips and implement no less than two of them into all of your health and fitness routines:
1. Don't feel as though you're not doing enough. It seems that women are born with the innate feeling that they're letting someone down. But it doesn't matter if you can't spend ten hours a week at the gym or jog every evening. The important thing is that you make a commitment to improving your health and fitness, and then stick to it. Women's health and fitness advisors suggest that you exercise three to five times a week, for 20-60 minutes. In reality, this isn't always possible. Don't frustrate yourself by aiming for someone else's ideals when you know it's just not possible. If you can work out twice a week at twenty minutes per session, you're doing a great job.
2. Focus on your successes. Concentrate on how good you feel about your new health and fitness regime. If weight loss is part of your plan, and you're struggling to meet your goal, don't beat yourself up about it. Focus on what you've done to this point, and use today as a new starting point. You've made a commitment to yourself, and that is your biggest success.
3. Put weights before cardio. Many women begin their health and fitness routines with cardio exercises, and then follow it up with weight lifting. The disadvantage is that you may be missing out on a critical component of the routine, because you're spending all of your time with cardio. If this is a regular occurrence, the outcome can be disappointing despite countless hours at the gym. Reverse the order and perform weight training first. You'll likely see a more positive visible outcome.
4. Don't do too much, too soon. Your ideal health and fitness regime requires a workout of no more than an hour at a time. Doing the same exercises over extended periods or spending too much time at the gym or can be tedious and boring. When you narrow your time frame and focus on the exercise, your workout sessions will be more fun and you'll see better results.
5. Keep an eye on your heart rate. Women should work out at 75-85% of their maximum heart rate. When your heart rate is too low, it's a sign that you're not working to your full potential. Too high a rate, on the other hand, shows that you're pushing yourself to a potentially dangerous level. Sticking with a happy medium of 50% or so will not help you to realize your fitness goals. Keep a heart rate monitor on hand or do a manual count incrementally during your workout to ensure that you're reaching, but not exceeding, your ideal target heart rate.
6. Find a fitness friend. Support is so important when trying to stick to an exercise program. If you are currently working out to an individual regime with no fitness community, you may find that your workouts are lacking, or just not that successful. Having social support around you can bring a greater sense of camaraderie, kinship and even healthy competition. If you normally work out at home by yourself, try visiting a gym for a sample workout or join a yoga, Pilates or sailing class. Running clubs, golf courses and group sports such as bowling are all great ways to meet new people and stay in shape.
7. Be self-supportive. It's tough to take on a new health and fitness routine. You need to have commitment and discipline, and you need to be prepared to work hard. Give yourself a pep talk. Don't pressure yourself too much. You deserve a pat on the back, so go ahead and give yourself one. Others give you great feedback, so why not you?
More than ever before, women's health and fitness is an important issue. With fast food and our sedentary lifestyles, we are being robbed of our good health, and stripped of our self-esteem. Only you can make the change to a healthier lifestyle. Move at your own pace, and you will be amazed at how far you can go.
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Columnist Ernestine Clagge is a writer for several popular web sites, on heart health and health fitness topics.
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