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Health and Happiness

Working at being fit and healthy is the best thing you can do for yourself. Of all things in your life this is the one aspect you should make a big effort for. The state of your health colours your whole world view and the way you see yourself. I cannot stress enough the importance of it; it is the difference between feeling lousy, mediocre or feeling great.

When you are healthy you are able to cope with life and everything it throws at you so much better. You have the energy to manage your world. If you are serious about changing your life, your existence, this is the one thing you can do to make a difference and it doesnít have to cost you anything in fact it could save you money.

How could it save you money? By changing your diet, fresh, unprocessed food is cheaper and doesnít take any longer to cook than fast, stodgy foods. If youíre overweight you can save money by eating a little less, especially by cutting back on the snacks. If you drink more than you should, cutting back on a few glasses will save a few pounds in weight and in sterling. Finally should you have the misfortune to be addicted to nicotine you can cut back as a start but set a date in the very near future for when you are going to give up and stick to it. See my articles on How to lose Weight and on How to Stop Smoking.

People become really enthusiastic about getting fit. They get all fired up, join a gym, buy all the gear, work hard at it and then give up. Getting fit, if you havenít tried for a while or have never tried should be looked on as a medium to long term plan i.e. 6 months to a year. Take it slowly, let your muscles learn, let yourself learn about your body. Listen to it. This way you wonít get injured and you are less likely to give up.

You can start with something as simple as walking a few extra miles a week and gradually putting more pace into it. Four half hour walks a week is a good start and we can all find time to do that just cut out some of the mind numbing TV in the evening. Just that little effort will start to have a positive effect; it will get the blood and oxygen flowing and remove some of the toxins in your body.

If you donít want to walk you can exercise at home. Put an exercise video on, one that gets your heart going a little, or better still put some music on and dance around your living room. There is no excuse for not getting your heart rate up at least four times a week. You can do sit ups, press ups, running on the spot, arm rotations, step ups etc, etc, just devise your own routine. You can intersperse it with a bit of yoga for flexibility, just get a book that shows you the positions.

Getting fit doesnít have to be expensive, you donít have to join a gym or have a personal trainer, all you need is a little willpower, a little commitment. Once you start and get into a routine youíll enjoy it. Youíll want to go on and do more but only if you start gently and build up slowly.

Keep a record of what you are doing and for how long and gradually increase it. It is always good to see your progress as well as feel it. The other thing about exercise is that it gets you to forget your problems for a while, if you have problems that is, and most of us do. Exercise is a form of meditation where you are concentrating on your body, on action and motion not thought and emotion. This is another reason for the sense of wellbeing you get from exercise.

There are some things in life you donít have total control over but your fitness and health (outside of serious illness) is one area you do have power over. Make it count in your favour. If you do nothing to try and improve yourself in this area then you have no right to complain about other areas of your life. With a little bit of effort you can make a big difference in your life, you will feel better, look better and be more in control of your world. Donít analyse it just do it. Make a start today and change your life for a better tomorrow.

NB Ė If you have a medical condition or are excessively overweight, you must consult your doctor before doing exercise. They will be able to advise on the best methods for you to become fit and healthy.