Monday, January 5, 2009

Fitness - A Lifestyle Approach

So often we are caught up in the moment and lose our perspective. We tend to push ourselves harder, demand more and expect more. Sometimes, we reap the results we aim for - sometimes our body just can't adjust. In those times, muscle stiffness and soreness aren't uncommon, especially if you 're pushing to excel. For most of us, these aches will ease within a day or two and are usually nothing to worry about. When you push a little too hard, chances are you'll wind up with a sport related injury.

How can you protect yourself against injury before it happens, yet reap the highest potential your body has to offer? First, it is imperative to understand that fitness and health are not dependent on weight or body size, but a composition of aerobic conditioning, flexibility, a balance of muscular strength and conditioning, and wholesome, balanced nutrition.

No Pill Can Provide These Benefits
The myriad of health benefits that accompany the incorporation of an aerobic exercise program in ones lifestyle is truly overwhelming. By comparison, what type of pill can increase your longevity, increase the amount of "good cholesterol" in your blood, help stabilize your blood glucose level, decrease your disk of cardiac arrest, decrease your risk of certain types of cancers, and in general, help you feel better about yourself? With a steady diet of aerobic exercise all of the above can happen. The key to your success is to be slow and steady. Do not try to do too much at once, and remember, keep it interesting…be creative.

Stretch to Protect
Stretching, in its many wondrous forms, is just one of the safe guards you can take to help protect yourself from injury. Stretching both pre- and post-workout will provide an increase in your range of motion and thus increase your strength, speed and balance. Remember, as the muscles strengthen as a result of exercise, they also become tighter. There is no quicker way to get hurt than to push your body before the muscles are warm, the tendons stretch, and the joints are lubricated.

Incorporating Weight Resistance
A weight resistance program that supports your goals, provides a balance of strength and conditioning and encourages flexibility is critical in your development as an active being. By learning proper technique, form and the program fundamentals of resistance training, you can increase the likelihood of being able to distinguish between ache and injury. Therefore, you are able to modify your program and incorporate the changes that will strengthen your weaknesses and prevent injury. Remember, technique and program design are more important than being able to "lift the stack".

Premium Performance and Optimum Results
Racecar drivers don't set track records and win races with faulty plugs and watered down gas, nor can you expect to perform well without premium fuel in your tank. A diet rich in complex carbohydrates, loaded with fruits and vegetables, and washed down with copious amounts of water can make the difference between another noble try and a personal record. Depending on your event and goals, your diet should be designed to provide you with the optimum nutrients activated at the optimum time.

Remember, playing it smart and injury free doesn't happen by chance or accident, you need to plan on being successful, whatever your aspirations are!

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