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Articles Fitness Nutrition

Firm up Forever With This Women's Fitness Program

Jul 21, 2014

This women's fitness program can help you firm up and lose weight more quickly. It can also help you establish good fitness habits that will last a lifetime. Whether you are overweight, slender, in shape, or out of shape, you'll see the benefit of sticking with this program. As with any new fitness regime, it's prudent to check with your doctor and chiropractor about the risks and benefits for your specific body. If you've never worked out before, it's a good idea to do one workout with a personal trainer or body worker so that you start off with the right form.

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The program will combine aerobic exercise, weight-lifting, stretching and dietary changes. It can be adapted for a gym setting as well as completed at home. Start slowly with any exercise that's new. Never work to the point of pain that goes beyond muscle burn in the last repetition or moderate muscle soreness. We'll look at each component separately and then explore a few different ways of integrating the components into a weekly workout schedule that you'll be able to maintain.

Nutrition to Support Fitness

Any effective and long-lasting fitness program includes balanced nutrition. It's important to get enough calories to give you the energy to exercise. You can determine your specific caloric needs on various nutritional websites or with a good nutritionist. It's also important to eat a good balance of lean protein, vegetables, whole fruits, healthy fats and grains. Choose foods that support colon health like raw nuts and seeds, plain yogurt, and foods that are minimally processed. Many people feel much better and less bloated when they avoid wheat. Try focusing more on grains like quinoa, amaranth and buckwheat.

Stretching

Proper stretching helps circulation and helps support muscle formation without injury. Start your day with 5 minutes of slow neck rolls and 5 minutes of making large circles with your wrists and ankles. Then, before you work out, take 5 - 10 minutes to stretch each arm across the chest, do some gentle twists and side bends, and stretch the large muscle groups in the legs. After your work out, lie on your back and bring the knees to the chest. Roll gently on your back until you go over to one side with the legs, keeping the upper body as close to flat on the floor as possible. Experiment with different stretches that feel good to you and avoid bouncing during stretching.

Aerobic Weight Lifting

You can combine your aerobic workout with muscle building at home or at the gym. This saves time and feels great. If you're at home, replace weight machines with free weights, soup cans, books and steps. Pick 10 muscle building exercises with at least one exercise for each muscle area. Between each exercise, do 5 minutes of either jogging in place, riding a stationery bike or jump roping. You can also work the lower abs in an aerobic way by lifting the knee to chest and bringing the opposite elbow across to meet that knee.

Weekly Schedule Choices

The body can handle some form of exercise every day, but the main goal is to do strenuous exercise at least 4 days a week. If you choose the whole body routine above, you can do that routine every other day. On the off days, you could just go on a long, brisk walk, or take a yoga class. Then one day a week could be reserved for light exercise such as stretching only or gentle movements in a pool.

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