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Regular exercise has been proven to be a positive contributor to optimal health (provided that it has been done properly and sensibly).

There are many good reasons for you to exercise: Reduces physical, mental and emotional stress; protects against heart disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, hypertension and obesity; improves your respiratory and cardiovascular system; changes your body composition and decreases fat in your blood; increases your work capacity and  blood volume, changes the size and number of mitochondria, which are the powerhouses of the cells; it can help you spend quality time with your family and friends by exercising together.

There are many components to physical fitness: Agility, balance, cardiovascular, endurance, coordination, flexibility; power, speed, strength, and reactive time. The first and foremost questions you must ask yourself is what do you want to achieve? What are your goals? Exercise is very specific in nature and without goals you may not attain what you want and eventually get disappointed and quit. By establishing incremental goals you are assuring that your road to success will be paid with a series of satisfying achievements.

The following are some general guidelines you can use to get started: First consult your doctor, especially if you have a history of heart disease or any other condition that might need some specific instructions or special attention. If you get a clean bill of health, you want to start out gradually especially if you haven't exercised lately. Wear comfortable clothes. Have a good pair of workout shoes. Start with low intensity activity for at least five minutes, this will give your cardiovascular and muscles a transition period. This will also increase your body temperature and prepare you for a training routine

Next is stretching, your regimen of flexibility exercises should include all the major muscle group of the body. Don't rush through them and don't bounce! Stretch slowly for a count of 30 seconds to one minute. Approach them with a relaxed centered attitude. It’s also good to stretch after your workout.

Now its time for your specific workout. There are lots of activities you can do. Do something you enjoy. Aerobic activities that work up a sweat are most effective in making muscles leaner, which in turn will help speed up your metabolism allowing you to burn more calories. Weight training has been shown to help build muscle strength and endurance while making muscles leaner thus speeding up your metabolism. Circuit training is a combination of both aerobics and weight training giving you the benefits of both.

Try to have a varied program, not to do the same exercise two days in a row. Even the government is recommending 30 minutes of exercise a day 4-6 days a week. Try to incorporate exercise into your daily life. Take the stairs, park farther away, take a walk at lunch. Ten minutes here and there can add up to 30 minutes rather quickly. The bottom line is doing something is better than doing nothing at all.

Do something you like, do it now, do it often and do it for life!

Get started today!

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