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Personal Success Exercise

We all want to be fit, but what is fitness? Is it going to the gym every day? Is it running a marathon? Is it being a vegetarian? Actually, to be fit involves being healthy in every area of your life because fitness involves mind, body and spirit. While other aspects of fitness are discussed in other Success Guide Sections, this part deals with physical activity.

The three aspects of physical fitness necessary for a fit body are: cardiovascular activity, muscle conditioning and flexibility. The type, length and intensity of each will vary with the needs of each individual.

Cardiovascular Fitness:

Benefits of cardiovascular activity include having more energy, burning more calories and reducing stress in our lives. Cardiovascular fitness is achieved through regular aerobic exercise. This is sustained large muscle movements for an extended period of time. It's a good idea to try to incorporate aerobic activity 5-7 times weekly even if it's just 10 or 15 minutes a day. Depending on your goals, the time may need to be increased.

Cardio Examples - Walking, Cycling, Skating, Dancing, Jogging, Stairstepping, Jumping Rope and Cross-Country Skiing

Muscle Conditioning:

Toned muscles, increased strength and muscular endurance, reduced bone loss and more efficient metabolism are some of the benefits of muscle conditioning. In order to do this, you need to use weights or other types of resistance. Many will benefit from this type of exercise 1-2 times weekly. In order to achieve greater results, more will be necessary.

Muscle Conditioning Examples - Free Weights, Exercise Ball (Available in our store), Own Body Resistance (like push ups), Exercise Bands, Exercise Machines, Water Resistance and Pilates

Flexibility:

While often overlooked, this fitness element is necessary to achieve and maintain an appropriate range of motion throughout the body and decrease risk of injury. In turn, this also leads to improved posture, better circulation and improved mental alertness.

Flexibility Enhancers - Static Self Stretching, Partner Stretching and Yoga / Exercise Bands Can Help Here Too (Also Available In Our Store)

Putting It All Together:

Now that you know the 3 main elements of a fitness program, it's time to put them together in a manner that works best for you. If you are unsure of safe and effective ways to perform the activities, there are numerous books, audiotapes and exercise videos that you can buy or rent. You can also go to group classes, join a gym or enlist the services of a personal trainer.

Once you know the modes of movement you prefer, and how to use them, you can determine your plan of action. Planners help many people start and stick with their programs. Daily, weekly, monthly and yearly planners are available depending on which you choose.


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