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Optimize Your Fitness By Being
Creative And Making Exercise Fun


Exercise does wonders for our mood, boosts our energy levels, and has a myriad of benefits to the heart. Yet, we give up working out at the drop
of a hat, sometimes when it gets all too boring.

By incorporating certain creative strategies, you can make exercising fun and maintain healthy cardiovascular system, says Judy Hinderliter and husband Alan from University of North Carolina.

Exercise not only can help people lose weight, but also improves mood significantly. "That in turn can affect how we feel about ourselves and affect a lot of our lifestyle choices," Alan added.

Hinderliters advise people starting a new exercise programme to consult a physician and to start slowly. "A lot of people try to do too much at once and fail or become injured," said Judy. "I really encourage people to start out gradually with any changes in eating and exercise, so it becomes part of their lifestyle," she added. Here are some tips from the Hinderliters to help maintain a regular exercise regime without getting bored.

Turn social occasions into fitness time. For instance, the Hinderliters went on a run for their first date, redefining the meaning of "heart-pounding."

Schedule exercise into your day, just as you do with other appointments.

Vary the type and intensity of exercise to avoid boredom.

Play games, such as tennis, racquetball or squash. Such games are "a way to keep it fun and interesting, but also a great workout," Alan Hinderliter said.

If you can afford a personal trainer, get one. A professional can help you design an effective exercise programme and guide you how to avoid injuries.

If you can, try walking to work. "Instead of a 15-minute commute, make it a half-hour walk," Alan Hinderliter added.

Don’t forget to eat a heart-healthy diet: whole grains, lean meat and low-fat dairy products, plenty of fruits and veggies, and few saturated fats. For an average person, the caloric content of a tablespoon of butter requires a mile of walking to burn off, Judy explained.

Get a minimum of 30-minute of moderate exercise, such as brisk walking, at least five times a week, or 30 minutes three times each week of vigorous exercise such as running, swimming, bicycling or playing basketball.



January 18, 2010
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