This Article is About
keeping fit
spare tyre
belt buckle
getting in shape
tolerance level
diet pills
medicine cabinet
lugs
Keeping Fit And Healthy
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The early stages to becoming fit and healthy

Introduction

So you are getting a feeling that you are slowing down – not as agile as you used to be – and becoming very easily frustrated and short tempered. You had to change a flat tyre and your back is aching and the muscles in your arms are sore from lifting and fitting that spare tyre on to the lugs – actually trembling and missing the key hole as you try to start up your car again. You give the wife a hand by taking the bags of groceries out of the car but you are breathless by the time you get them inside the house –and several times some of the bags have been on the point of slipping from your loose grasp. You find yourself holding on to the railing more firmly and more often as you climb the stairs and your footsteps are slow, unsure and laborious. You try to ignore the fact that your belt is getting tighter and you are going to have to use an outer belt buckle hole. Your answer to this problem of the bulge has been diet pills, several brands of which now fill your medicine cabinet. Your friends, who belong to fitness health clubs, invite you for hikes but you are afraid to join them and be embarrassed as you feel you are going to “slow them down” and maybe cannot even hike that distance! Sounds familiar? Yes say many and are sure signs that you are not keeping fit and healthy.

If you are now beginning to have these experiences and want to do something about it, then you are at the right place here and now. We are going to be able to help you get fit and healthy so that your tolerance level will be much higher and you actually get a “high” –feeling of exhilaration- from physical activity. There wont be a “quick fix” and if you have never “exercised” or have lain off that for a lengthy period, there will be some “discomfort” along the way (no pain, no gain they say!) but the transition process to “getting in shape” can be made easy – and here we will begin to show you how if you decide to go for it! A major condition we are putting in place here for your wellness, health and fitness, is that it is not going to be an expensive undertaking.

Preparation

If you have decided to become fit and healthy, to do something about maintaining a healthy lifestyle, it is a process that you will have to plan. This is essential, particularly if you are 40+ and have never indulged in much physical activities before. An “exercise” regime is not something into which you just enthusiastically jump and magically get physically fit! It can be a slow and somewhat painful process in the beginning, requiring self discipline and some sacrifice (that second slice of black forest cake for example!) but the rewards are more than worth the discomfort!

A first step is to decide what kind of “exercise” (physical activity) is best suited for you. There are dozens of physical activities in which you could engage e.g. jogging, swimming, fencing, dancing, weight lifting, mountain climbing, etc., etc., but obviously the best basis for choice should be something that you ENJOY doing. This is important as you want to “experience” what you are doing as a “joy ride” rather than a chore or some sort of self inflicted punishment. For purpose of this article we will choose some “light” general exercises with jogging as the main “exercise” activity.

Secondly, before you start any such “physical activity” (and I mean one that will get your pulse rate up – if this is not happening, then you are not “exercising”!) consult your doctor to determine if such activity is OK for you – that is, it is one which in your present physical condition, does not pose serious medical risks. Potential heart problems come readily to mind!

Thirdly, put aside a specific period (day and time) during which you can, without the risk of too many competing distractions, commit and devote to the carrying out of this “exercise”. You want it to be a fixed behaviour pattern, to be a routine, or otherwise, it will become subject to whim or “convenience” and be avoided, especially in those early stages of your exercise regimen, when some physical discomfort might be experienced – joints ache, muscles are sore, some ligaments painfully stretched, etc. The time of day is a matter of preference (if not convenience). Personally I prefer in the early mornings as I am well rested, and a shower afterwards, leaves me refreshed, enervated and charged up mentally and physically, to face the day’s challenges!

Fourthly, choose your “workout” outfit or “gear” (and remember I am dealing with a running/jogging routine!) carefully. Being comfortable with what you are wearing is important. You can choose either some version of the usual “sweat-suits” or a simple pair of shorts (doubtlessly the kind of weather will have an impact on this decision!). I live in the Caribbean and prefer shorts to running suits as shorts are much cooler and expose and allow my skin to “breathe”. The most critical item in your jogging paraphernalia however, are your shoes or sneakers. It is absolutely essential that these are most comfortable, especially if you will be running/jogging on heard surfaces such as asphalt or concrete. Pounding your feet on these, “jar” your knee joints and your calf muscles and can cause some serious (and painful!) damage if you are not careful. Here is where it might be worthwhile to make a little expenditure to ensure that you get a good pair of shoes for the conditions under which you will be jogging.

Fifthly, make sure you have the proper hydration equipment, such as water bottles, pouches etc. In warm weather conditions, drinking sufficient water is very important. You should carry a supply with you, particularly if it is very hot, if you sweat a lot, and you are jogging over long distances, etc.

As you probably have gathered by now, preparing for an exercise regimen is as important as the regimen itself. Failure to prepare properly can mean a disaster for the whole undertaking, which can either occur immediately, or is in the making for later, or conditions could be experienced which weaken your resolve or lead you to question the efficacy of the undertaking in the first place. Remember, keeping fit and healthy is an end in itself. The means however, have to be carefully managed. This process will not be the same for everyone and so what has been discussed above - although there are some common essentialities – are to be seen as general guidelines only. Although wellness can be a matter of choice and the experience, that special feeling of wellbeing a very personal one, it profoundly impacts our collective perception of the world and hence ultimately how we as human beings interact with each other.

As you progress, the signs of being “out of shape”, of not being fit and healthy - the aches and pains from physical activity, weight gain, a decrease in physical agility, shortness of breath, a loss of self confidence, mild to severe irritation at things that you use to be able to deal with calmly – will begin to decrease, and this, added to the improvement in your overall physical which your doctor is bound to note ,will auger well for your fitness and health.

In our next fitness article, we will move on to where the real action starts – actually getting on the road – the road to keeping fit and healthy. Hey, and by the way, you can throw out those diet pills! Where you are going you will lose weight and keep off those pounds of fat in a much more natural, healthy and inexpensive way!


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