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      FITNESS TIPS FOR 11/27/2002 

Exercise & Self Esteem
by Zaak Fresh

     Self-esteem is defined as " The experience of being capable of meeting
life's challenges and being worthy of happiness. " 1. Exercising greatly
enhances a person's self esteem and mental outlook while reducing stress.
Self-esteem is a critical component of any program aimed at
self-improvement program. It offers hope to correcting these problems. A
close relationship has been documented between low self-esteem and such
problems as violence, alcoholism, drug abuse, eating disorders, school
dropouts, teenage pregnancy, suicide, and low academic achievement.2 It is
never too late to start a work out program as a way to best build toward
the goal of improved self image, and always too early to stop exercising.
Early on in the attitude adjustment process periodic exercise is necessary
for good physical and mental health. The focus of this article is to
explain how exercise improves a person's self image.
     Sudden, seasonal, bursts of energy towards getting in shape come and go
with the ever-changing weather. What is important is that maintaining some
form of physical exercising, beyond ones every day cycle, helps reduce
anxiety while building emotional strength. How? Physical strain weakens
pent-up, nervous, energy; that would otherwise fester and brew harshly
within a person's psyche. One theory is that endorphins, a chemical the
pituitary gland produced during vigorous exercise improves one's mood.
Regular exercise also decreases the risk for chronic health conditions such
as heart disease and cancer, and there seems to be a connection between
these illnesses and depression.3 Most people agree that even though they
may not look forward to doing a workout, they tend to feel better after
they do, and equally better to assume their rightful place at work.4
     It should never bother someone to take the relatively minor steps necessary
to improve their own health; especially when doing so can only upgrade that
person's self esteem along the way. In this post 911 day feeling good about
ones self should be very high on the Must Do List. Even people in their
nineties who have not been active for many years can strengthen bones,
muscle, heart and lung capacity when they start and maintain a steady
exercise program. You don't have to exercise every day to achieve goals for
good health. Initially, aim for every other day.
     "I get bored doing exercises. Besides, there never seems to be enough time.
"How many of us have said that in the past week alone? Pry a crowbar into
that not-as-hectic-as-you-say-it-is schedule of yours, and rush to find
time to save your own life. Walking, or running if you're better able for
fifteen minutes is a terrific start. The average length of time spent by
those considered in good shape is about twenty minutes three times a week.
Whichever course you choose please maintain that physical pace for at least
thirty minutes.Eventually, you should want to work out at least 30 minutes
each day, but work up to that gradually. Moderate activity that gets your
heart pumping a little harder and causes you to break a sweat is what you
want to strive for. Strength training is also a good idea. Be sure to warm
your body up adequately before you begin your work out.
     When the weak excuses of avoidance matter less than attempts at self
improvement remember oxygen is the key to life. How well one performs
during periods of exercise in full depends upon their oxygen intake. The
only way physical recuperation can be achieved is after oxygen has reached
the blood stream. This is why it is paramount to breathe properly. Always
breathe through the nose and not through the mouth. Oxygen absorbed through
the nose reaches the blood many times faster than air absorbed through the
mouth. Of all the times to keep your mouth shut this is it. It is this
revised breathing pattern that greatly reduces one recovery time, while
reducing the likelihood of a heart attack caused form a lack of oxygen in
the blood barring any preexisting physical abnormalities.5 Pulmonary
rehabilitation can help you reach your physical potential. It can also help
you avoid heart attacks and keep you out of the hospital.
Health concerns:
     If you've had a heart attack, or other heart problems, chances are that you
would benefit from regular exercise, and you can probably safely start an
exercise program right in your own home. Eventually, you will begin to feel
better and want to do more. Being physically fit is good for your back,
especially your lower back. An exercise program that emphasizes
cardiovascular strength, flexibility, and strength training is good for the
health of your back. Activities that are least likely to cause the chronic
lower back pain that is so common include things such as biking, hiking and
or swimming. Activities with more moderate risks are: baseball, basketball,
bowling and golf.
     Be certain to warm up before you go, and cool down when you're finished.
Additionally, done properly stretching can prevent injuries such as
strains, sprains and shin splints; while increasing the range of motion in
the joints and increasing blood circulation. Hold stretches. Bouncing is
not beneficial, and may even be harmful. Overstretching can cause injury,
so if you're stretching to the point where you feel pain, stop. The neck,
shoulders, trunk, hips, leg and groin muscles all benefit from stretching.
Sudden overzealousness can lead to harmful excess. Do not overdo it. A
little bit of tightness is expected, but pain is another story altogether.
If you begin to feel pain in your joints or your muscles, give yourself
days of rest until the pain goes away. If pain continues, or if your legs
or feet become cool or pale, see your doctor.
     Pay attention to your body's response to heat. After 15 minutes of working
out in hot weather your body temperature can rise as much as 5 degrees.
Sweating has a cooling effect on your body, and sufficient fluid is needed
to produce enough sweat. Drink water before and after you work out, as well
as every 15-20 minutes during your exercise routine. If your body can't get
rid of heat effectively, the consequences can be as simple as an
uncomfortable workout or as serious as fatal heat stroke. An even cool-down
decline period is also important after the workout is finished. If, during
this time you experience shortness of breath, dizziness, cold or clammy
skin, nausea or chest pains while you are exercising, stop right away and
call your doctor.
     Where is the best place to work out? Many cannot afford the rising prices
of fitness clubs, or home fitness equipment. That is ok. In the home simple
chairs and the floor are excellent starting apparatus for use by the
beginner. And since saving money is a consideration staying home is a
superior way to minimizes costs. Keeping in mind, failure to do something
about one's weakening health will have tragic consequences.
     "I don't need a formal exercise program. I walk from desk to desk at least
three miles at my job every day. I don't need more exercise. "Here again,
the lazy rush to the forefront. Shuffling around the office hardly
substitutes for a prolonged, minute after minute, calorie burning program
that extended exercise offers. Office types can walk for the rest of their
indoor careers and never accumulate the needed time necessary to burn
calories and unmanageable fat buildup. "I'm running around so much anyway
that the stress of it all is probably just as good as exercising." Wrong.
Get off your duff. The excuses are failing you as fast as your inactivity.
     Losing weight seems to be high on the list of why people want to exercise.
While fat does nothing beyond sitting there; muscle tissue burns calories
much faster than fat. Calories only burn with the combination of exertion
and time allotted to that strain. Through it all a rapid heart rate, with
quickened breathing, to achieve sought after reductions. Also, strength
training can tone your muscles and increase bone mass especially important
for women, who are frequently at risk for osteoporosis. Weight reduction is
in direct relation to energy spent multiplied by time allotted. Here are
three shortcut exercise suggestions:
     a. Park your car farther away from your destination than you normally do to
         give yourself extra walking time.
     b. If possible, take just 15 minutes before or after you eat lunch to go
         for a quick walk
     c.Exercising with a group puts peer pressure on all of us not to quit.

     At work walk the halls briskly or go up and down the stairs to get your
blood pumping a little faster do it. Even though the weather is never
totally reliable you can still go to your nearest mall and walk briskly.
Add some fun to your routine try dancing, or dance classes. It's a great
way to socialize and exercise at the same time. According to the Women's
Sports Foundation. "Women who exercise report being happier than those who
do not exercise." Women who exercise miss fewer days of work. Regular
exercise can reduce high levels of fat in the blood. Women who exercise
weigh less than non-exercising women.
     The World Health Organization estimates that fewer than 30% of American
adults engage in some form of physical exercise on a daily basis. Whereas
nearly 60% of American youth manage to find the time for physical exertion;
to a sufficient level to constitute constructive physical activity helpful
to prolonged good health.6 Once the fitness routine is properly mapped out
and underway there is a new, healthier, addiction taking place. Doing well
with what is natural. By all accounts, it is far cheaper and easier to
manage than pills and expensive medical advice. Good medicine is not cheap.
Neither is bad medicine. Going through these quick moves a few times during
your work day will help your body release tension and make you feel better
than if you simply sit.
     a. Clasp your hands behind your head and pull your elbows together and
         shoulder blades back.
      b.Gently bend your wrists up and down, holding 3 to 5 seconds each time.
      c.Hug yourself tightly for 10 seconds, then change your arms (bottom to top) and
         do it again.
      d.Slowly tilt your head left, right, front, back.
      e.Raise your arms over your head, and stretch one hand higher, then the other.
      f.Stand in place and march using high knee responses.

     A 2002 study by The National Academy of Health showed teens were five times
more likely to engage in overuse of alcohol, drugs and crime than were
those who were already committed to a regular schedule of exercise.
Incidents of absenteeism at the work place decrease with programs of
employee fitness available.6
     It comes naturally to send kids outside to play during the warmer months.
In the winter, you have to make more of a conscious effort. Don't let the
kids veg-out watching bargain basement videos and tired, re-run television
shows complete with their own reality video games attached all day during
the weekends. Consider making exercise a family thing. Go skating, take a
winter hike or even a nice long walk. The cold fresh air will invigorate
everybody and make sleep come a little easier too. Exercising regularly in
amounts of time that add up to thirty minutes a day should help a troubled
person fall asleep at night. You might not be able to do it every day, but
using your lunch hour for physical exercise a few times a week can be a
real time-saver. Just getting out and walking for 30 minutes can be a great
energizer. If a longer lunch exercise session appeals to you, it might not
be a bad idea to talk to your supervisor about it. You might get permission
to do a serious workout at a health club if there's one nearby, a skating
rink, a basketball court, whatever if you're willing to make up the time at
the end of the day; not a bad idea considering you won't need to rush home
and exercise after work. See, I remembered how busy you are.
During holiday time people need to exercise as much as any other time of
year if not more considering the added mental stress that holidays tend to
bring. For those who stop exercising in the winter, and attempt to pick up
where they left off when it gets warm are exposing themselves to the risk
of injury. In bad weather, little daylight, or during holiday periods,
there's plenty of time for over indulgence; making it tempting to spend
free time under a blanket watching television and eating from a giant bowl
of chips. Staying active gives a person not only more energy but the desire
to want more. Remember exercise needs to feel a little bit like work.
Challenge yourself in the following ways:
     a. Perform your activity more quickly than usual, or double the amount of
         time you usually devote to exercise.
     b. Add weight training to your routine.

     " Are weights still heavy? " I heard a less than enthusiastic, rotund,
person ask; having responded to complaints about the over-size storage
trunk he refers to as his stomach. "Probably" I replied with an ounce of
sarcasm, knowing this conversation was spiraling. The chubby one added, "
Rather than risk a month after month work out routine doing the wrong thing
I'd rather not start at all. " What can be done with folks like this? The
lazy. Those who reason themselves out of a chance at improved health before
they begin are a sad lot indeed. They blindly conjure countless, air-tight,
reasons for doing nothing about their lasting problem of poor mental and
physical health. How tragic it is when laziness wins out over correctness.
Who then to listen to? Take a leisurely stroll through any hospital ward;
where the occupants are literally dying for a chance to do what the
perpetually lazy pass-up daily a real chance to succeed. Exercise helps
when people feel down in the dumps7. It is also very effective against
major depressive disorders. If, however, you take medication for depression
and you're interested in finding out whether exercise would benefit you,
talk with your doctor. Never stop taking prescription medicine without
talking with your doctor first.8
     Once the new you is exercising you will soon realize that exercise makes
you feel better. It is not your imagination. Make exercise a habit. As we
all know, habits are hard to break bad ones and good ones. That's why
you'll find it hard to get out of the habit of exercising once it has
become part of your routine. Tell yourself that for the next few months you
are going to exercise on specific days week after week. After three months,
you probably won't want to break this habit.

1. The National Association for Self-Esteem (2002)
2. The True Meaning of Self Esteem by Robert Reasoner
3. Journal of the American Medical Association (2001)
4. National Association of Labor Statistics (2002)
5. American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (2002)
6. The World Health Organization (2000)
7. National Institute of Mental Health (2002)
8. American Council on Exercise (2001)

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Neither trulyhuge.com nor the authors of this publication assume any liability for the information contained herein. The Information contained herein reflects only the opinion of the author and is in no way to be considered medical advice. Specific medical advice should be obtained from a licensed health care practitioner. Consult your physician before you begin any nutrition, exercise, or dietary supplement program.

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