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How to Adjust a Fitness Program to Your Needs and Circumstances



How to Adjust a Fitness Program to Your Needs and Circumstances

Regardless of our best intentions, squeezing in a workout can sometimes be difficult. Maybe we begin the week planning to go to the gym three or four times, only to have our plans derailed by work or family obligations. Though it can prove to be a struggle, our goals for personal fitness should not be abandoned. Instead, when it’s challenging to find the time to exercise, we should look upon it as an opportunity to be creative. It’s essential to lay out a fitness program according to your needs and circumstances.

Organize Your Day for Exercise

Begin by considering an ordinary day in your life. Analyze everything you do, from helping to get the kids off to school until you tuck them in at night. Look for unexpected pockets of time during which you might be able to fit in some exercise. One great strategy is to get up earlier in the morning. Even taking a half hour to watch a yoga DVD can be a meaningful experience, allowing you to feel centered and calm as your day begins.

When getting up early is not an option, some sources like BlueCross BlueShield suggest making a point of exercising on weekends. You can even make it something in which the whole family can participate. Go for a family hike or bike ride – it’s all physical activity and counts as a workout.

If getting to the gym is a stumbling block, wipe out going there entirely. You can use a nearby trail for a walking or jogging date with friends. Consider establishing a mini-gym inside your home for the ultimate outside-of-the-gym workouts. Read elliptical trainer reviews on consumer product websites to find the perfect cardio equipment to suit your needs. Stock your home gym with equipment like the elliptical trainer and a weight machine, or keep it simple with workout bands and an exercise ball. Either way, having your exercise equipment immediately on hand is a great way to fit in workouts.

Set a Goal according to your fitness program.

When you’ve struggled to fit exercise into your daily routine, even setting aside an hour or two a week for exercise can seem complicated. However, it is not impossible, and you can begin by setting realistic, achievable goals. For instance, you might decide to fit in your first week of workouts on Wednesday morning and Saturday afternoon. Schedule the time just as you would for any other appointment you might have. This constitutes a specific and measurable goal. You know precisely what you are supposed to do, and you can easily judge whether or not you achieved your goal.

Carry your goal-setting further by deciding that you will find a third opportunity to exercise each week after a month of exercising. Once your schedule is established, you can begin setting other goals, such as weight loss. It is important to keep both short and long-term goals. Perhaps your long-term goal is to lose 20 pounds. Your short-term goal could be to lose the first 3 pounds, and each of these small milestones should be marked by a celebration—like a beach trip, not an extra dessert!

Make the Most of Your Workout

You can still get a quality workout even with limited exercise time. One exercise innovation is the use of complex exercises. According to Ask Men, most complex exercises are used with weight training. These techniques are suitable for both men and women, and when performed correctly, they will deliver a cardio and strength training workout. Complexes are an opportunity for you to be creative by choreographing your routine. Mix squats with bicep curls, overhead presses, and upright rows. Use the same weight for each exercise; each exercise will flow smoothly from one motion to the next. This is a great time saver, plus it elevates your heart rate.

Focus on your problem areas, including exercises that you don’t enjoy. Only by focusing on these parts of your workout routine will you truly begin to see improvement. When you bring your weak points up to being on par with your strengths, your total fitness level will increase, and you’ll make new goals. Keep routines fresh by subscribing to fitness magazines that feature articles that give detailed descriptions of exercises. Step-by-step photographs and clarifying text help you add new exercises regularly.

If you invest in equipment, start with the basics, like dumbbells and exercise balls. These are economical choices that are easy to store. If you develop a love of running or walking, then a treadmill is probably worth the expense. If you’re going to be walking outdoors, you might choose to purchase a pedometer. An inexpensive model will work just fine, and you’ll probably gain motivation when you see how far you’ve come.

Before investing in equipment like treadmills or universal weight machines, ensure you have adequate space. Know the machine’s dimensions and measure the prospective location in your house, leaving some space for you to maneuver while using the machine. Consider the cost of the machine carefully. Does its quality justify its cost? Check classified advertisements for good quality used equipment that might be available for a fraction of the cost.

Eat Right for Maximum Results

Exercise is only part of the fitness equation. Eating right is just as important. Invest in a healthy food cookbook and try some new recipes. Include raw fruits and vegetables in meals. They are good for you, and they are also inexpensive. Take the family to the local farmer’s market to buy local produce. Have snacks like carrot sticks and almonds, which are filling and good for you too. Cut ground beef out and substitute ground turkey instead. The cost is virtually the same, but the fat content in ground turkey is impressively low.

Focus on Rest

Make sure you take adequate time off from exercising and get quality sleep at night. It’s okay to take a break from exercising once in a while. Make sure your workouts aren’t too strenuous. If you’re still sore 48 hours after exercise, then chances are that you are overdoing it. At night, create a bedroom sanctuary that is a dark, quiet, and comfortable temperature. For those times when you have difficulty falling asleep, keep some natural sleep enhancers on hand. Most can be found at the local health food store. They are gentle and safe to use and are non-habit forming. Do something relaxing for an hour before bedtime, like reading a book, to encourage your body to shut down for the night.


Simple Balance Exercises



Simple Balance Exercises

For a while now, the idea of a work-life balance intrigues me. Some consider it to be an illusion much like true love and while the lifestyles of the rich and famous might be perfect evidence of why life can be so cool if you’ve obtained financial freedom, there no doubt that the effort to get there can take a while.

At another level altogether, doing what you love is another thing that most people give thought to… and sometimes, this takes a while to get there too. But at least, you keep yourself busy in the non-hedonistic manner, at least.

In my estimation, it’s what most people identify as their dreams, and for the lucky ones who do get there, the reality of these dreams often don’t meet the very fantasy that caused them to work towards them. However, for the most part, one can at least the savor the journey that led them there in the first place.

Perhaps, it is only in the second case that one truly achieves balance… for as a Chinese philosopher once said: if you love your work, you wouldn’t work a single day of your life.

And while this is something that one should (and will, sooner or later) give thought to, this whole idea of remaining balanced in the physical world is just as important as well.

The Importance of Maintaining Physical Balance

For starters, perhaps the equilibrium definition describes how balance is achieved, and this has a lot to do with your body weight distribution and, in some cases, provides one with maximum poise that works to their advantage for the most part.

The simplest answer to this question lies in the fact that you need balance for everything, apart from lying on your butt! And it’s almost obvious that this core body function works in the favor of sports athletes as opposed to those who don’t necessarily make it an essential facet of their training routine.

And as one gets older, the abilities that we take for granted (physical balance being one of them) now are not necessarily our strong points anymore, and this can lead to injury and the fear of falling if not being afflicted by injury due to one falling down.

And so does this mean that it’s inevitable that we will lose our balance as we get older… or old. (winky wink)

The Benefits of Simple Balance Exercises

Apart from working on muscular strength, if one also focuses on working out to improve balance… the thing is, this does not play such a debilitating role as one gets older and older. And while the most straightforward benefits of simple balance exercises can be to fortify your body against harm (from falling etc.) as one gets old, the thing is that working towards this can improve your fitness levels by a long shot in the short-term as well.

And since I am not a certified instructor, here’s a link with some of the simplest balance exercises that one can perform to improve their fitness levels.

In Closing

And with all this talk about the work-life balance, one should know that the physical balance is no less important!

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Lower Back Pain Exercises: In finding humor in aphorisms…



Lower Back Pain Exercises: In finding humor in aphorisms…


If you like to read, maxims or aphorisms are not a bad way to spend your time. Plenty of these are available over the internet in the form of several websites, and it’s always interested me to find truths in lines such as “In Life not being fair to everyone, it is being fair to each and everyone of us”.

But, to do so one has to be in a philosophical bent of mind, and one where you tend to take Life a bit seriously while doing your soul-searching in ways that seem to provide you answers.

After a point however, one comes to the conclusion that it is pointless to be so driven and serious, and what the situation really demands is a lot less seriousness and humor that can possibly help one take it easy.

Aphorisms and the region located below your “Lower Back”

And so, one moves on from far more serious versions such as the fabled “Behind every great man is a great woman” to several adaptations such as this one: “Behind every great man is a great woman. And behind every great woman, is a guy looking at her a** (um… the region below your lower back, maybe!) .”

Haha. Gross but realistic… right?

And while there are several men whose wives consider their husbands to be a pain in the a** (Oops, in the region located below your “lower back”), these aches and pains can move to other regions as well for several reasons other than the constant nagging of their wives.

Lower Back Pain

But seriously, lower back pain can be excruciating, and one is better off without the sprain or strain that these muscles in your lower back go through.

However, since almost 80% of people have to experience lumbago at some point of time in their lives or the other, one can safely assume that the causes are several ranging from mechanical to oxygen deprivation and even depression.

The one thing that stops people from becoming active again after is the continuous recurrence of this pain, but it should not deter you from at least making an attempt to be active as much as possible.

What you can do, while choosing to stay active (despite the pain) is to avoid positions that you know strain those lower back muscles while also resorting to medical treatment and nonprescription painkillers just in case, it hurts.

When it comes to exercises for lower back pain, one should know that they aren’t complicated and can be done from home but one should consult with the physician before trying them.

Lower Back Pain Exercises

And which brings us to the next question: So what can one do from an exercise point-of-view when one has lower back pain?

Firstly, you have to find gentle strengthening exercises for your stomach, back and legs, which will not only prevent re-injury but will speed up the process of recovery.

Here’s a sample video that stretches the tight muscles (which cause discomfort and pain in the lower back) around the hips, thus relieving pain with each time you complete the routine. And I say sample because this is a delicate medical matter, and thus this routine has only been provided so as to provide one with an idea as to what kind of exercises are conducted for the same.

Please CONSULT your physician before doing any kind of exercises such as these!

In Closing

Considering the fact that this ‘nagging’ pain is just as excruciating as the aphorism “Behind every great man there is a woman rolling her eyes.”, the truth of it all is that the former is preventable through working out regularly… but the latter (marriage… I mean) is inevitable. You know, there’s someone for everyone… and it doesn’t if they call that person your ‘bitter half’!

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7 Tricks & Tips to Help You Stick to Your Fitness Program



7 Tricks & Tips to Help You Stick to Your Fitness Program

For many of us, exercise or a short-time fitness program is a quick fix for an expanding waistline or to look good on the beach. But after we’ve achieved our goal, it is way too easy to let things slide and turn our backs on physical exercise until the need arises again.

If you care about your health and value your life, physical fitness shouldn’t just be regarded as a quick solution to a weight problem. There are even more powerful benefits to staying fit and healthy.

Regular exercise helps to prevent serious health problems, including depression, some cancers, diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis. It can also help you feel more confident and less sluggish and give you more energy.

The trouble is we all know that exercise is good for us but motivating ourselves to begin a fitness regime and stick to it is the tricky part.

It wasn’t until I grew older that I realized that a physical fitness regime was essential to my health and well-being. And I too found it difficult to motivate myself, but I found plenty of tips and trick to make sure that I stuck to my fitness plan.

7 Tips and Tricks

1. The 30 Day Rule: Research has shown that any daily activity will become a habit, if you stick to it for 30 days. So getting through the first 30 days of your fitness regime is crucial to your success.

2. Find a Training Buddy: Working out with a colleague or friend can be a great idea, as you can spur each other on when the going gets tough.

Pro: Working out with others can make exercise more fun.

Con: If you are not both truly committed to getting fit, you may influence each other to give up.

3. Hire a Personal Trainer: If you are struggling to get started, it may be worth hiring a personal trainer for a few weeks. A good personal trainer can help you devise a fitness plan and get used to a regular exercise regime.

Pro: A personal trainer will motivate you to work out. And because you’re paying for his time, you will probably take your fitness regime more seriously.

Con: Hiring a personal trainer can be an expensive option. Depending on where you live, expect to pay between $25 and $75 per hour.

4. Choose Something You Have a Chance of Enjoying: This might sound like common sense but you would be surprised at the number of people who choose a particular exercise just because it burns fat faster.

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Pro: You are likelier to stick to a fitness program you enjoy.

Con: You may just become addicted to exercise. I am not joking; exercise addiction is a serious problem for some people. They become addicted to the highs they get from exercise as a result of increased dopamine level.

5. Variety: Instead of plodding away on the treadmill for an hour, choose a workout which includes a variety of different exercises.

Pro: You are less likely to get bored. Also, you are more likely to avoid injury, as you will be exercising various muscle groups instead of putting all the strain on one.

Con: You will need to put a bit more thought and planning into your exercise routine.

6. Use Gadgets: If you are into technology, using fitness-related gadgets and mobile phone applications might motivate you. There are plenty of good ones available if you do a search on Google.

Pro: Applications that record your progress and help you plan your workout will add a fun element to your fitness regime, and inspire you to carry on.

Con: You may be tempted to spend more time playing with gadgets and applications than you spend working out.

7. Protect Yourself Against Injury: Make sure you do not injure yourself when working out by warming up, cooling down, and stretching. Also, take the time to learn the proper exercise techniques.

Pro: You are less likely to put yourself out of action for several weeks if you avoid injuring yourself.

Con: Warm-ups, cooling down, and stretches add additional time to your workout, but they are an essential part of your routine.

In closing

All this may sound like hard work, but the benefits of keeping fit shouldn’t be ignored. You will feel and look healthier if you participate in a regular fitness program, and you may even prolong your life.

Authorís Bio

Derek Carroll enjoys reviewing fitness products such as the p90x nutrition and exercise schedule, and the Bowflex dumbbells 552 adjustable dumbbell set. He also searches the internet for great deals and savings and shares his findings on his blog,

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