Reach for it!

When we think of exercise, most of us imagine donning some sweats or shorts and a T-shirt, sport shoes and other various workout paraphernalia so we can sweat it out in a gym.  X-amount of cardio, x-amount of weights, tred mills, ellipes and stair climbers.  Sound familiar? It does to me because it is something I actually try to do every chance that I can.  But this, to some, may seem like a barbaric ritual or just too far away from their comfort zone.  I can relate to that also, because, some days there is just no way I am going to go through the effort to get my gym bag together, head down to the gym, change, go and work out with a bunch of other people around, some times having to wait for a machine, face the sight of others 1/2 my age with the body I wish I could get while I again wait for a shower stall.

Sorry, it is not my intention to put anyone off on going to a gym, but, rather, what I would like to point out is that, weather you just don’t feel like hitting the gym one day, or, you would rather do something at home instead of a gym, there is plenty that you can do to stay fit and trim and you most certainly do not need all the fancy machines in a gym to get it done.

Reach for it.  No, this is not some motivational words to push you mentally into a work out routine, although, if that works for you, great.  But what I am talking about is, STRETCHING.

Any good exercise routine will always start with a good stretch and then a warm up.  Many people skip a stretch, the cause of all too many sports injuries, or cut it very short, just doing a few cursory things to make it look like, or at least make themselves feel as if, they have done the deed.  But in reality, a true and good stretch, combined with 5 to 10 minutes of cardio can be a great way to stay in shape (combined with a balanced diet of course).

What do I mean by, “a good stretch”.  Well, I would not go so far as to call it, “Yoga”, but that is close to what one should be doing.  In fact, don’t be afraid of Yoga, it is fantastic and goes a long ways in reducing cholesterol, reverses hardening of the arteries, help weight loss and improves your exercise capacity.  But the key is to stretch as many muscles as you can and elongate those stretches each time time you preform them.  Hold the stretch for 10 to 30 seconds and slowly move to the next one.

This alone, for 10 minutes, will increase your metabolism all day, burning fat, getting rid of excess lactic acid and increasing your range of motion which makes all your movements in anything you do easier.  Think of it that way and it is easy to understand how that is going to have a great impact on your whole life.

Now, follow that up with some simple, basic, exercises that you can do right at home, jumping jacks, squats, pushups and you just might be in some of the best shape you have been in a very long time.  And the great thing is, you can stretch anywhere, any time.  Ya, someone in the office might think your a little weird, but, if you have been sitting at the desk for a bit and starting to feel the need to move, why not stand up and do some stretches?  Do it enough times and I bet others will start doing it to.  Healthy living is contagious.

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