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Fitness and Exercise

Abdominal Exercises
Basic Fitness Tips
Body Mass Index
Choosing a Treadmill
Compulsive Exercise
Dealing with Injuries
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Exercise and Caffeine
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Exercise Mistakes
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Flat Abs
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Maximize Your Routine
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Mom's Fitness
Muscle Strength
Personal Training
Plateau Secrets
Post Workout Soreness
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Sports Physiotherapists
Sports Fitness
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Stay Fit During Holidays
Stick to your Goals
Strengthen Joints
Too Much Exercise
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How to Create an Exercise Routine

Congratulations! You’ve decided to put together an exercise regimen. Here are some guidelines that will help you design a safe, efficient and effective fitness program.

Determine Your Fitness Level: If you have been leading a sedentary life, you may need to have a few tests performed by a physician or fitness professional. Even if you have been sedentary, you may be stronger in some areas as compared to others. Remember the cliché: “You are only as strong as your weakest link!” Your fitness routine should not only focus on your strengths. For example, if you are as flexible as a Gumby toy, you probably do not want to spend hours every day practicing yoga. In fact, hyper flexibility can destroy the integrity of your joints and lead to injury. In other words, you should not be able to bend over backwards for anyone or anything unless you have enough strength to pull yourself back up. Hyper mobile people should add strength training to their fitness routine.

On the other hand, if you are incredibly strong without flexibility, you may want to add a few days of yoga training. Many people who can perform hundreds of crunches have strong external abdominal muscles. However, their deeper core muscles may be rather weak. This can lead to balance and coordination problems. Core training and neuromuscular coordination exercises are an important element in any fitness program, because they train the body to use its level of fitness in a functional manner.

In order to perform sport, or even daily activities, you need at least a minimal amount of aerobic endurance. Cardiovascular exercise is also important for weight control and heart health. Remember, if you have been sedentary, even a 30 minute walk will count as aerobic activity. However, your strength training program is needed to protect the joints from the impact caused by some aerobic activities.

Correct Your Posture and Muscular Imbalances: Have you ever seen someone who works out for hours daily but always looks the same? This can be due to poor posture or muscular imbalance. Programs that improve posture, such as Pilates are great for improving posture and correcting imbalances.

Determine Your Goals: What would you like to accomplish? Are you trying to lose weight? Would you like to improve your flexibility? Are you training for a specific sport, or would you just like to improve your muscular strength and definition. While your fitness goals may help you decide what aspects of conditioning to emphasize, it is important to create a program that includes all of the major elements of physical fitness.

Plan a Logical Progression: You may be enthusiastic, but progressing too quickly can lead to injury and burnout.

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