Wednesday, January 04, 2006

1. Forget "No Pain, No Gain" mantra. Instead, strive for consistency and patience.

Many people jump into their New Year exercise program with TOO much fervor. The "no pain, no gain" mantra has conditioned people to think that a work-out session isn't useful unless it hurts. Don't fall for that!

I've learned over the years that loads of low to moderate intensity workouts have better long-term benefits. Why? First, I'm much more inclined to workout. I don't mind a moderate workout. In fact, I rather like it. It's refreshing and makes me feel more alive. When I was younger, I tried to workout hard every time. But, I didn't look forward to such strenuous exercise and I would eventually find excuses not to work out. So, rule #1, doing something, even if it is low to moderate is much better than doing nothing (unless you are resting by design).

Second, tough workouts weaken your immune system and this isn't a good time of year to do that. People often get sick after pushing their body hard. And, if you're sick, then you aren't working out. Refer to rule #1.

Finally, strenuous workouts also mean your pushing your body to the limit, which strains on your joints, muscles and bones and can lead to injury. And, when you're injured your...what?..that's right, you're not working out. Again, refer to rule #1.

I recommend exercising 3 - 5 days each week. If you are exercising five days a week, then I recommend one day be an "active rest" day where you workout for about 2/3rd your normal time at put out very little effort.

Just having the patience to workout at moderate levels and to get your rest in and striving to be consistent so that you don't miss many workouts will have you in much better shape by March or April. Once you've established that fitness base, you'll be ready to start ramping up your intensity ever so slightly.

My workout goal is to burn calories and maintain my fitness and I've found patience and consistency are the best way for me to meet that goal.

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