utorak, 30. rujna 2008.


When you exercise, your muscles contract and relax, contract and relax. The repeated contraction can lead to shortening up of the muscles. Stretching helps prevent this. Many injuries are caused by poor flexibility.

Stretching should become a regular routine for everyone, not just for professional athletes who already understand the benefits associated with performing a sequence of muscle stretches.

Some of these benefits are physically apparent, such as a greater range of movement; while others can't be seen, but are felt from within, such as an increased feeling of relaxation and general well being.

Once you can see and feel the benefits of something, it is much easier to stay motivated and to continue with it, stretching your muscles prior and after your workout / sport will assist you in greater performance and reduce injury.

Hold each stretch for a minimum of 20-30 seconds, breathing slowly through your nose, aiming to exhale out through your mouth as you ease into the stretch.

Remember the most important thing about stretching your muscles, especially prior to exercise, is the warm-up. Cold muscles simply don't stretch, you have spend time getting the blood flowing through your muscles by performing a minimum of 5 - 10 minutes aerobic work.

If possible try and make the warm up similiar to the activity your about to embark on, for example some light jogging prior to going for a run.

nedjelja, 21. rujna 2008.

You want to exercise? Get started in 6 steps!

You are dreaming of getting fit (again). But you don't know where to start.

You have a million questions, and not enough answers. You ask yourself: Can I really benefit from exercise? Which programme is best? How much exercise is too much? How slow should I start? What about my heart rate? Is resistance training really necessary? How do I stay motivated? Should I change my eating habits? What? Where? How? When?

Don't panic. Let's show you how to get started in six easy steps.

Make this your absolute guide to fitness and you'll be right on track toward becoming a healther, slimmer, fitter you.

01. Let`s convince you!

Yes, it's true, you can benefit from exercise. It's good for both body and soul.

Exercise and increased fitness levels are associated with better heart health, a lower risk for stroke and better control of hypertension and diabetes. It can counteract stress and sluggish brain activity, reduce cholesterol levels and help you to lose excess weight. It can increase your metabolism, your bone health and your energy levels. And it can act as a "Prozac" for life.

02. Let`s motivate you

Your body needs some exercise, you hate the way you look and you KNOW you need to get active.
But your mind just can't get you to pack your gym bag, collect your togs, and just do it. Or, when you get to the planning stages, other things just seem to sabotage every single effort you're making. Do you feel as if you're waiting for something to happen, something to motivate you to take action?

Let's help you to shift your mind (and body) into action.

If motivation levels are dwindling – why not invite a friend to train with you? You can catch up on all “the news” and will be amazed at how quickly the time passes.

03. Start planning

Should you concentrate on cardiovascular exercise or on weight training? Or should you do both? Where do stretches fit in? And what about heart rate? How far should you push yourself?
This is the time to assess how fit you really are.

You may be fitter than you think, or a bigger slob than you anticipated. Even if you fall into the latter category, things are soon going to change.

04. Set your goals

Do you want to get fit, build muscle, lose weight, improve your flexibility, tone your body, or do you want it all?

It's very important to set specific, realistic goals. If your goals are vague, and if you don't kick off with a clear idea of where you're heading, chances are that you'll soon hit a wall, or stop your exercise regime prematurely.

Set clear, realistic long-term goals (three to six months from now) to stay focused, but break it down into short-term (weekly) goals to keep motivated. Achieving your weekly goals can work wonders for your adrenalin levels and self-esteem.

05. Pick a programme

Now that you've established your fitness levels and have set your goals, all you need to do is choose a training programme to get you there.
Programmes to start running, walking, cycling, swimming.

But how would you know which programme on Health24 to choose, or which one to follow in a gym to reach your goals? This section will help you to make the right choice.

06. Stay focused

One of the hardest things about a training programme, is staying motivated and focused.
It will probably take several weeks, maybe months, to reach the long-term goals that you've set for yourself. During this time, it's important to keep reminding yourself of why you decided to embark on an exercise regime in the first place.

And even after you've reached your goal, you'll need to stay motivated in order to keep your body in top form.


Our lifestyles have changed dramatically. With ever-increasing advances in technology we have become physically less active. The most prevalent diseases we suffer from today, i.e. heart disease, stroke, cancer, are related to our lifestyles, of which physical activity is a major part. Physical activity should be part of our daily and weekly routine. It is as essential as sleep and nourishment. Although many of us know that exercising will reduce the risk of disease and illness, the thought of exercise can still be overwhelming. Myths that contribute to an inactive lifestyle are that exercise has to be difficult, it has to hurt and you have to do lots of it to be beneficial. These are all false. Exercise is about enjoying a physically active lifestyle (e.g. walking or cycling to the shops rather than driving) that includes increasing your heart rate (such as brisk walking) a few times a week.

This page aims to help you become physically active by telling you of the numerous ways in which you will feel the benefits of exercise, by increasing your understanding about exercise, giving you guidance on how to exercise, and to offer tips on how to start exercising and to stay motivated.