What are your fitness goals for 2013?

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ARE you tired of looking at yourself in the mirror and seeing an image that does not reflect who you are? Have you outgrown all your jeans? Does playing with your kids or grandkids leave you winded? Are you more on focused on putting on your expensive make up, artificial eyebrows or worried about your eye bags? Are your butt and breasts no longer as firm? It’s time to set and achieve your goals on shaping up. Make them your motivation as you start the new year.

Reasons to get fit

“I want to be able to keep up with my kids and grand kids.” “I want to look good in my favorite clothes.” I’m unhappy with all the weight I’ve put on.” “I want to lower my blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar.” I need to look good for a wedding, reunion, or other big events.” These are some of the practical reasons why people, including my clients, want to get fit. Regular exercise can help one achieve his or her fitness goals. The best part is, exercise has nothing but good side effects.

Looking in the mirror

When you look at yourself in the mirror, what do you want to see? Most of my clients say they want to see their old selves and they want to get back the self confidence that they lost after they gained weight. They want toned muscles, cheekbones that do not like that of Santa Claus’. I tell them to first ask themselves: What has changed? Was your old self thinner? Happier? More energetic? I always tell them that the secret to staying younger is to feel younger. Chronological age is different than one’s body age.

The benefits of exercise

If all the health benefits of exercise were contained in a pill, pharmacies will sold out in a day. By being active everyday for less time than it takes to watch a TV show, you can:

• Lose weight. Even a mild exercise burns three times the number of calories used by sitting on the sofa working the remote. You must burn 3,500 calories to lose a pound. That’s 500 calories a day to lose a pound per week (or 250 calories burned if you eat 250 fewer calories , which is easy to do if you follow a diet plan.) The amount of weight you lose depends on the number of calories you burn. Remember: Weight loss is calories in versus calories out.

• Lower blood pressure. Physical activity is inversely related to the progresssive build-up of plaque in your carotid arteries (the all important ones that deliver blood to your brain). Studies show that even people who just do golf or gardening on the weekends have clearer arteries than those who do nothing.

• Beat diabetes. Researchers found that regular

exercise improves blood sugar metabolism by almost 25 percent. A single exercise improves blood sugar metabolism immediately.

• Lower cholesterol. It’s no secret that losing weight helps out bad cholesterol levels. But exercise by itself with or without weight loss is still very effective. A study by researchers from Duke University revealed that exercise changes the structure of the protein particles that carry cholesterol making it harder for them to damage the arteries and set the stage for heart disease.

• Feel happier. A growing body of research confirms the blues-beating power of exercise. Research shows exercise works as well as anti-depressant drugs for improving well being—a single walk around the neighborhood can boost the mood of someone, who’s clinically depressed.

• Bank more beats. The average inactive person’s heart beats 70 to 75 times per minute more than a beat per second. A fit person’s heart is so strong that it can squeeze out about 25 percent more blood with every beat so it only needs to pump about 50 times per minute. That adds up to 36,000 fewer beats every single day or 13 million fewer beats a year.

What great benefit our body will have if only we include exercise in our lifestyle.

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