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Focus & Customize Your Fitness Plan

Fitness is a way of thinking and being. Fitness is physical and mental too: a healthy body leads to a healthy mind. The good habits developed in improving your physique and strength and stamina often pay off in a sense of well-being and a cleaner, healthier view of your place in this challenging world.


To realize the best possible fitness program for you, listen to your body. This means paying attention to its moods and rhythms. It translates to limbering up your body regularly through a routine of stretching and basic aerobics.


Regular, daily walking is an often overlooked tool in establishing a foundation for fitness. Its benefits have been praised for good reason. The oldest kinetic human activity is naturally good for us while avoiding stressing joints and muscles. A solid, crisp-paced 35-40 minute daily walk maintains an aerobic baseline, helps circulation and boots energy and mood.


Different people have different bodies, different histories of physical activity and varying levels of confidence in the physical realm. A fitness program designed for a 37 year old man with a background in competitive sports shares limited attributes with one geared to an 80 year old woman who wants to battle osteoporosis. Though her effort is just as valid as his, the mechanics of achievement will be different.


Fitness might be taken for devotion. If the body is a temple, then fitness programs might be forms of worship. True fitness is based on a sympathetic attitude towards the body. Body and mind, mind and body. They are meant to work together. Even if the mind is the body’s master in some ways, don’t turn this into tyranny. Many of our neuroses stem from a too-powerful brain that turns into something like an opponent.


A good fitness routine is varied and interesting. Designing a routine with complementary elements is good common sense. It prevents boredom. It ‘works’ different parts of the body. By mixing stretching, walking, weight lifting, sprinting and cardiovascular activities – and adding a favorite sport – you maximize your fitness potential.


Build a program that works for you, keeps your interest, addresses any health issues and improves your athletic performance. Consult with a physician and personal trainer, purchase helpful products – and get to work!


Do you want more energy and generally better health? Logic suggests you plan a general exercise and nutrition program that builds strength, cardiovascular level and stamina. The hardest part is to honestly evaluate your current fitness level and eating habits. Before getting strenuous, consult a doctor. Seek out good workout facilities and at-home assists. These could be jump ropes, barbells or hand grippers.


Make systematic changes to your current diet (many people just don’t ‘eat right’). Research nutrition, ignoring fad diets and radical cures to excessive weight. Keep in mind that most of us eat a little too much – and more than a little too many processed foods. Emphasize a balanced diet.


Talk to a nutritionist or read two or three of the many fine books out there on the subject. Eating right – which in almost every case also translates to eating less – is an underrated catalyst in an improved fitness calculus.

If you are an athlete or a reborn athlete chasing superior performance in your chosen sport, the equation changes accordingly. You still need to get a fix on your present level, and consider nutritional habits and changes within the plan. It makes sense to measure body fat percentage and receive a tangible view of speed, strength and stamina levels.


The differences are found in the focus and emphasis of the specific program. As an athlete, build a specific fitness program that integrates skills and attributes most appropriate for your sport. If you are a sprinter or tennis player, customize a program that you combines strength with speed and coordination exercises. A long-distance runner or rower will benefit from a program designed to increase endurance and stamina.


No matter the specific sport, focus on a nutrition plan that increases energy while reducing excess weight or fatigue. You should also factor in the days on which you compete, making sure your diet before and after an event enhances both performance and recovery.

About Author
Larry Hall

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