Keep Your Moving Parts Moveable: Nuggets of Workout Wisdom

Fitness, the ultimate gift that keeps on giving, is a priceless gift you give to yourself. But how fit does one need to be?

There are so many levels to fitness, so many ways to define it. But one thing’s for sure: it’s not good to ignore the subject. Fitness success comes from finding what’s right- what works- for you.

An opened mind is one of the most important traits that will help you reach fitness goals. An opened mind will search for new ideas when other ideas don’t work and will focus on what the body can do rather than upon its limitations. Throw in determination and you’ll be on your way to becoming your best fit self.

Is going to the gym a requirement? No. In fact it could be a fitness habit killer. It’s easy to feel intimidated at a gym even though, just like with church, we shouldn’t concern ourselves with other people’s reasons for going.

Home workouts are great, especially for busy people, because drive time is eliminated, there’s no pressure to look good in your gym clothes, you can work out in bits and pieces, in complete privacy, at your convenience, capturing otherwise wasted time intervals as brief as 30 seconds.

The best exercise plans will include more than cardio exercise because cardio exercise simply can’t do enough for the total body. There’s a lot more to your body than your heart and respiratory system. Cardio will leave you with a flabby core and weak arms. There’s nothing more targeted than weight training- more able to access every muscle of the body. Strength training will not make women too muscular. In fact, a case can be made that strength training with weights is even more important for women than for men.

You may observe super feats at the gym but will those people still be working out when they’re in their sixties- or are these people the fitness dropouts of tomorrow? If you do choose strength training as your exercise mode of choice you can easily keep your body beautiful. For how long? For as long as you maintain the practice. Maintaining your body’s shape and maximizing your metabolism is what you can expect from strength training. Middle-age bulge won’t be your problem.

Keeping youthful and beautiful skin is the truly big challenge as you age- way more difficult than retaining your body’s shape. The truly unavoidable signs of aging are skin-related. By the way, cigarette smoking is a guaranteed wrinkle multiplier. But the good news is everything looks better with muscles- even wrinkles.

The best choice is to exercise moderately and consistently- if you want fitness for life. A good motto is to make exercise an effort but never a strain. You brush your teeth every day and you exercise every day. It’s what you do. Your bottom line for exercise frequency is to work out more days than not. Focus on a number of ‘consecutive workout days’ rather than ‘days per week.’

Only you (not your trainer) can determine the workout intensity that is right for you. Make sure that the intensity of your workout matches your taste for intensity. Taste for intensity is personal so beware of when it changes.

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