Fitness and health

Who invented exercise and why? It's all about using the body that you have got so that it keeps going for longer and allows you to do what you want to do.  Oh, yes and you look better so you feel better.

Confront your inner potato 
Fast food is an all too easy substitute for sensible home cooked meals and once the rubbish diet kicks in, it's a small step to hunting through a pile of empty pizza cartons, Chardonnay bottles and Mars Bar wrappers hunting for the remote control and that probably sums up your exercise for the day.

If you can’t bring yourself to move away from the TV, you could try some stretching exercises, press-ups and sit-ups on the living room floor. When you need to get the groceries, leave the car at home and walk. The journey home carrying the shopping bags not only helps to get you fit, it encourages you to buy lightweight food (like lettuce).

Get fit, have fun
The mention of exercise may conjure up thoughts of beautiful bodies parading in exclusive gymnasiums or it may induce a panic attack. If you are a complete stranger to exercise, it may be a good idea to talk to your doctor about how much is right for you. A good goal is to work up to exercising four to six times a week for thirty to sixty minutes at a time. Remember though, that even a small amount of exercise is beneficial and is better than none at all.

person swimmingThe best way to ensure you will stick to your exercise regime is to chose something you enjoy – swimming, for instance, is easier on arthritic joints than jogging and you may be less inclined to bordom or injury if you vary your routine. So, walk one day, bicycle the next

Consider activities like dancing or rambling, and even the more physical domestic chores like washing the windows (yeah right) as all part of your excercise routine.  It can take several weeks before you see any of the benefits so try not to get discouraged.

Home work-out
Working out at home can be done by following instructions from books, DVDs or the internet and by using, for example, an exercise bike or treadmill. Home work out is an expensive option (the local gym is the place for us mere mortals) but should you have the space and the resources you can attain that flat stomach and sleek thighs in the privacy of your own home.

Don’t forget that ordinary household objects can double up as weights for extra impact but be warned; a tin of baked beans swung around in a sweaty hand is likely to end up flying through the nearest window.
One big advantage of exercising at home is that you can dive into your own shower afterwards thereby avoiding inflicting your sweaty armpits and red face upon unsuspecting members of the public. Then you can go straight into the kitchen to scoff a jam doughnut and the remains of last night's curry – sorry I mean a banana and a bowl of muesli.
Healthy body, healthy mind
The correlation between exercise and improved mental health is strong. It has all round benefits; a physical work out will make you feel good inside and out by stimulating serotonin, the hormone responsible for the sense of well being. 

Exercise has a positive influence on other aspects of health and you’ll be more inclined to reach for the fruit bowl and the carrot sticks rather than the biscuit tin and the number for the nearest Chinese takeaway.

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