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Balanced Fitness and Health

Working out adds many new dimensions to your life — an important component of optimal human performance. Much like diet and nutrition, each person must find an individualized program to meet his or her particular needs. So start out as simply as possible. Then consider joining a group to get some psychological encouragement, as long as you can exercise within your own limits.

Through this habit change, the exercise program becomes a positive addiction. Your routine will ultimately become a part of your day, like brushing your teeth. There are a number of important factors to consider when starting or modifying your exercise routine:

  • Scheduling. Create a realistic schedule of exercise that fits in with family, work and your other commitments. This will allow you to be more consistent, and help make it part of a new lifestyle.
  • Physical factors. Be sure you can withstand the minor stress of exercise. Do you have some physical imbalances that may be aggravated by exercise? Take into consideration a history of prior injuries or conditions. Consider your workout surface — blacktop, wood and carpet are preferable to concrete, marble and steel. Grass and dirt surfaces may be safe, but they also can be stressful if they are uneven or too soft.
  • Chemical factors. The proper nutrients, especially fats, are necessary for aerobic efficiency. High-sugar foods and drinks can be detrimental when consumed before workouts. Proper hydration is a must; drink water all day, not just after working out.
  • Psychological factors. Studies have shown that people who exercise in the morning find it easier to maintain a regular program. But whether you exercise in the morning, midday or evening, be consistent. Write out a simple exercise program, if necessary. You are more apt to follow something you can see. Keep a log on a calendar or in a

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