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Fitness for All

By Nigel Cunnigham

Is it time to take a long hard look at yourself in the mirror and decide that it's time to make an improvement? Not by starting a fad diet that will only be effective for a few weeks and then will cause us to become even fatter than we previously were, but by trying to improve our bodies for our own health, not to line someone else's pocket.

Let's turn the tables and look at it from our point of view. In past generations life has been very different. We all work as hard, but it's not so physical now. We tend to sit for long periods with our computers and even the physical tasks in the home are now nothing compared with only a few decades ago. The net result is that we don't need the number of calories we used to consume and if we take anything like that number without substantial exercise we are going to put on weight.

It was quite common fifty years ago for an adult to consume and use at least 4000 calories a day. Now, because of our life style, we can find that 1500 calories will cause us to put on weight and so we end up starving ourselves. The result is our bodies demand the foods that it needs to keep going. We don't always interpret this in the right manner and often eat the wrong foods in belief that we're doing the right thing and so our weight billows.

For those of us who could be termed 'middle aged' and have had children, the problems seem to escalate. Our waists naturally thicken and we tend not to be as sexy and sylph- like as we once were. In contrast, however, we hear that fifty is the new thirty and there are great expectations on us to still appear sexy. Our goal, however, is not to be thinking 'sexy' but to be thinking about how we can extend our lives and enjoy a healthy and happy time. This can be achieved by taking full control over what we eat. Cut out the processed foods and start eating fruit, vegetables and nuts and our bodies will immediately begin to feel more Energized. Once your body starts to feel this buzz you'll be able to tackle some exercise, even if it's something as simple as making extra trips up the stairs at home and work.

In short, today is the day to decide that you want to live a long and healthy life for the sake of your children and their children. So, take your diet in hand. Base your diet on fresh fruits, vegetables and nuts and eliminate the 'dead' foods (anything that is literally dead or cooked to death by frying or over boiling). Processed products, however, good they may appear should be avoided at all costs.

Don't think that you are doing the right thing by eating foods that are labeled 'fat free' as they are usually full of sugar. Remember that your body needs good fats - almonds and avocados are often avoided because they have a lot of calories but they're great sources of fats for a healthy body and mind. Drink lots of water. Apart from being good for you it will help you to feel full.

Don't binge on huge meals but try to eat sensible items regularly throughout the day. Your stomach won't tell you that it's full until twenty minutes after you've finished eating so be aware.

Look at your body and decide where you need to lose the weight. Assess the exact changes you need to make and either buy yourself a book or go to exercise classes that will target the right exercises. If you can combine a new diet with exercise you will find that your body shape will change much faster.

Nigel Cunnigham is the editor of "Fitness For Us."

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