copyright fitstop fitness for women 2010
Top Tips Number Three - Pump It Up
 The heart is a wonderful thing. It works away in a state of perpetual motion, so quietly and efficiently we are barely aware it's there, until something goes wrong that is!!!! It is a constant source of amazement to me that someone will regularly service their car, tune up their lawnmower, oil the chain of their bike, but will carelessly and shamefully neglect the power source of their own body!!!!

Lets be honest here, no heart = no you!!!

But don't panic!!! Not yet anyway. You have already started to get your heart in shape. Just by reading this page means you are aware of the problem and want to know what to do. Good start!

The most import route to a healthy heart involves, wait for it , wait for it...EXERCISE.

There now, I have said the E word. Sorry but there is no getting away from it. The heart, just like any other muscle, needs to be used. Now you know that waving your arm up and down for twenty minutes every day will just lead to a sore arm,( and curious neighbours) but wave it holding a tin of beans and the result is a little muscle definition!! The same applies to the heart. It must be used to a higher degree than just keeping you breathing!

What puts most people off is their idea of what exercise is.

You do NOT have to go to a sweaty gym, full of muscle bound blokes with sun tans and tight shorts. (not unless you really WANT to!) Neither are you under any obligation to go to aerobics classes three times a day. Start sensibly, a five minute walk round the block really is enough to get you started. Walk to the paper shop, or to the school when picking the kids up. Use the stairs, give the lift a rest. Take the dog for a long walk. Don't have a dog? Borrow one, your neighbour will love you for it.

Work your way up slowly. Grab a friend and take up squash or badminton or even table tennis! Don't laugh, you would be surprised how exhausting table tennis is!! This will have the added bonus of not only getting you fit while building up your confidence, it will also get you out of the house and away from the fridge. Don't put yourself under any undue pressure, for example, deciding to run a marathon three weeks before the event!!!
Most important point of all:

ALWAYS CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE STARTING ANY NEW EXERCISE PROGRAMME

YOU KNOW IT MAKES SENSE.

PART TWO ...DIET. Yes it gets worse. Not only are you going to have to get all sweaty, you are going to have to watch what you eat too!!!

There is no point getting your heart pumping merrily away if the blood is going to reach a road block!! For the heart to work efficiently it needs all its little tubes and pipes kept clear and wide. A poor diet, with a high fat content, will lead to blocked arteries and high cholesterol, and we all know what THAT leads too!!!

Cheerful little section this, isn't it?

Make it part of your new lifestyle to find out more about different foods and how they affect the body. A great big greasy fry, while absolutely delicious, is obviously bad for your heart, whereas a slightly smaller not so greasy grill, is marginally better for you.

Boiled eggs for breakfast everyday, though traditional, will greatly increase your cholesterol levels, while good old porridge, (no cream, no sugar of course) can actually lower cholesterol.
 

A high fibre content is good. Helps keep everything moving so to speak, but look out! Baked beans and sprouts three times a day for example would not be such a good idea, because, like everything else in life, you can overdo it, with adverse and very antisocial effects!! Keep your diet balanced and healthy. Eat lots of fruit, loads of vegetables and pasta. Keep any meat as lean as you can and throw your frying pan in the bin!!! Limit dessert to Sunday lunch, well you have to have the odd SMALL slice of double chocolate gateau....

Dietary content is an enormous subject, far to big for me to cover here. Go to your doctor and ask for advice on healthy eating. If you don't want to do that, visit the library and read up on it for yourself. You will be amazed at what you learn.

And as before:
Always check with your doctor before changing your eating habits.
 
By changing your eating habits to encourage a healthier heart you will find that you will lose weight without even thinking about it and, best of all, without missing meals. The body will use its stored fat to create energy, and because there is much less fat coming in to replace it, you will lose inches!!! 1
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