Wouldn't you agree that over the next couple of months, most Americans will evaluate their physical status and at least think about improving their health? Some people will begin their programs.

Wouldn’t you agree that over the next couple of months, most Americans will evaluate their physical status and at least think about improving their health?  Some people will  begin their programs. Others will have great intentions but never get started, many will start but discontinue before attaining their goal, a smaller percentage will develop a new found love for taking care of themselves, looking better, feeling better, performing better and will continue with their programs as a way of life.  And that is what I would like to challenge and inspire each of you to do today! As soon as possible, start thinking about and adding healthy exercise and nutrition habits into your day conveniently as a way of life.  That is a wonderful goal for any of us to strive for because the benefits will be endless! My desire is to help increase the number of people who start and continue their exercise programs as a way of life. Let’s strive to spread this vision of better health to all of our friends, family, and co-workers. Together, I truly believe we can make a difference. I just don’t think it’s unrealistic to ask everyone to take their improved health and active lifestyle more serious. Especially since all the benefits of increased mental and physical performance will be your own. Please don’t let yourself down, you can make solid health choices every day and with a little planning and effort, can definitely win this challenge!

The first step in helping you win is providing a list of components that should not be left out of your balanced health and fitness program.  Cardio respiratory endurance is our first component and consists of activity that involves large-muscle, rhythmic, continuous movement that increases your heart rate and blood flow back to your heart.  This is important because this type of conditioning can decrease the risk factors associated with heart disease, increase endurance, vitality, and help those whose goals include weight maintenance or loss. This is commonly referred to as “cardio” and some examples would be running, walking, biking, swimming, elliptical gliders etc… This is very important so please don’t forget to get your “cardio” three to five times per week. 

The second component to include is muscular strength and endurance conditioning.  Most people should engage in strength training two to four times a week.  Proper strength training can boost metabolism, help decrease fat mass, or maintain your ideal weight, decrease the risk of osteoporosis, increases self esteem, increases strength, and last but certainly not least, preserves our personal physical independence. You can effectively improve muscular strength and endurance by using a progressive resistance over time that challenges all muscles movements of the body.  This aspect is commonly referred to as “weightlifting or strength training”.  Resistance can be created by using your own body weight, strength machines, dumbbells, or other small objects like soup cans conveniently found in the home.

The third basic component of a good program must definitely include flexibility training.  This is commonly referred to as range of motion available to your joint or joints, and we should be continuously trying to maintain and improve it.  Decreased range of motion not only drastically affects your ability to perform normal day to day functions, but it can limit athletic performance and output.  Improving flexibility can be done by actively performing stretches regularly for all the muscles of the entire body five to six days a week.  Remember that prior to your pre-workout stretches always include a brief warm up. It is also a good idea to stretch during, and after your physical activity sessions. With consistency and time, increased flexibility may allow you to participate more effectively in daily activities and recreational pursuits with less potential of injury.

The final basic components that must be included in any well balanced health and fitness program is drinking 64-96 ounces of water, other healthy fluids, proper nutrition, vitamins, and plenty of rest every day.  As you set your health and fitness goals please include the basics discussed today to get you started and keep you going. Everyone has strong or weak points when it comes to their health.  To make improvements evaluate your individual status and set the goals most important for you. Whatever your goal, I want to encourage you not to settle for mediocrity. 

After all, we are talking about a very important issue right? We have the health of our loved ones and ourselves at stake.  Challenge yourself, set your goals very high, and go for them with all of your might.  You can do this!

Until next week please go out and make it a healthy and nutritious day!  To get started on healthy nutrition products for weight loss, wellness, active energy, and sports performance call Reggies Personal Training and Nutrition, (405) 613-0237, 104 E. Main, Downtown Shawnee, or message me on facebook at Reggie’s personal training and nutrition. 

Reggie Grovey is a local 21-year fitness professional and nationally certified personal trainer and Advocare Nutrition independent distributor.