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Turn Over a New Leaf

Posted October 24, 2012 in Altoona, Advice Column, Pleasant Hill

Fall is such a great time of year as it allows you to see the changes that take place in nature. It also reminds us that our bodies are changing right in front of us. It is important to acknowledge that these changes are real with lasting impact, especially given the daily choices you make.

So I implore you once again to forget the magazines and web-sites that parade around hard bodies and promote magic pills and videos. Stop beating yourself up over “not measuring up.” It is time to turn over a new leaf, and it starts with a whole new approach.

Did you know that aerobic (cardiovascular) exercise can increase your heart rate, which widens your blood vessels, allowing more oxygen to be delivered to your muscles and carry away toxins? Your brain releases endorphins (chemicals that enhance your mood), and you burn calories and fat.

While the actual increase in heart rate returns to normal at the end of your workout, the increase in blood circulation continues for several hours. If you do an aerobic workout too close to bedtime, it can interfere and/or disrupt your body’s natural sleep rhythm.

Women after age 40 are significantly more prone to contracting high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, arthritis and obesity. They are also more prone to losing muscle mass and bone density. This process aids in weight gain. Weight lifting will help strengthen your bones and increase your metabolism.  Additionally, exercise helps slow these unhealthy outcomes of your body’s natural aging process.

Committing to four 30-minute workouts per week will help lower your risk of contracting life threatening quality-of-life-diminishing diseases. You’ll increase your good cholesterol, reduce your bad cholesterol, boost your immune system, burn unhealthy fat, build healthy muscle, shed unwanted pounds and radiate a healthy glow.

Improved flexibility, core body strength and balance are keys to any workout. Stretching also helps your joints maintain their range of motion.

You can have a productive and sustainable fitness routine that will change your body and perspective. You can start today by addressing these fundamental principles:
•    Stop and realize that your life has value and you have a purpose.
•    Dedicate a time each day for spiritual and physical growth.
•    Don’t get squeezed by the stereotypes, magazine images, TV, Internet propaganda and “what the Joneses are doing”
•    Commit to change and get started.

Evaluate where you are by asking yourself these tough questions:
•    What has my focus been on lately?
•    What unresolved conflicts do I need to resolve now?
•    Why not start now or start again and embrace change?

Article by David Charleston, owner/founder, The Orange Planet Athletic Club, 5650 Metro Business Drive, Pleasant Hill,

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