Feature Article:

Bolivia: A Geographic Portrait
South America's primary mountain range, the Andes, attains one of its widest points in Bolivia. Here the Andes are divided into two subranges, Cordillera Oriental and Cordillera Occidental. Peaks in these areas are in excess of 20,000 feet. Between...
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Why Some People Don't Take Investing in Their Health Seriously


What if a trusted friend were to tell you about an investment
where you could not possibly go wrong...what would be your
reaction? And what if there was a virtual mountain of credible
information that supported the investment claims...wouldn't you
be inclined to take advantage of the opportunity and not miss out
on the rewards? Although the answer to these questions seems
apparent, when it comes to investing in our health and quality of
life we often choose to ignore what obviously works. Take for
example, exercise...

Physical fitness may be the ultimate investment opportunity.
Think of it this way. If you are willing to make the commitment
(investment), you will feel and look healthier, have an abundance
of energy, be more self-confident, more productive and discover a
more joyous and fulfilling life. These are rewards that money
cannot buy and the substance of high quality living. And, the
investment of exercise becomes even more attractive when you
consider that there is absolutely no down-side risk. You have
everything to gain and nothing to lose. How much better can it
get? How many times can you remember ever having a better offer?
The honest answer is probably never, and yet many of us fail to
act on this extraordinary opportunity. We simply choose to
procrastinate or ignore the proven benefits of exercise!

Here are a few reasons that sometimes inhibit our willingness to
"step out" and make a change or take a chance:

- Sometimes our vision gets clouded. We lose tract of what is
really important. When this happens, it's time to forget the
trees and look at the forest. Try to focus on exactly what you
are trying to accomplish. Sometimes we get so caught up in the
detail that I forget where I'm going.

- If we look at the "big" picture, it can seem overwhelming. And
the bigger the task, the more overwhelming it can seem. Break the
task apart into smaller pieces. Want to lose 50 pounds? Go for 10
pounds, five at a time! Need to start an exercise program? Begin
with short, simple exercises and slowly expand your routine. The
absolute worse approach to exercise is to overdo it when first
starting the program. We seem to have this all or none mindset
where we end up killing ourselves the first few times out. We end
up stiff, tired, disillusioned, and then quit. Moderation is the

- Have you ever not wanted to start something for fear of
failure? Take the first step and acknowledge the fear, then the
next step will come easier. Fear of the unknown scares us so much
we don't want to even begin. Once fears are acknowledged, they
usually quiet down. Taking the first step allows us to go past
the fear and on to the next step.

- Sometimes we start to think that a task is unpleasant or
boring. Just like any other activity, this can also be true for
exercise. There are days when we just plain lack the enthusiasm
and motivation to continue. It's part of human nature. On days
like these focus on 'why' you are doing it. Think about all the
people you care about and who may need and rely on you. What
would happen if you became ill or disabled and was unable to work
for a period of time, or worse, if you were out of the picture
completely. How would things change? If something happened
tomorrow, how would your family or business manage without you?
What do you want your life to be like in the future? There are
many tasks or chores we do, that we may not like, but are
necessary to live a happen and productive life. Focus on the
bigger picture.

- Indecision can be defeating, but doing "anything" is better
than doing nothing. There are no wrong choices and very few
choices that can't be undone or done again. Can't decide on a
particular exercise program or routine? Pick a few exercises and
start with something simple. If you don't like it, go on to the
next exercise.

- When you lack the confidence to start something new, take a
deep breath and try to figure out why. Are you hesitating because
you really lack the skill or is it just imagined? If it's real,
try to find out where to gain the skills you need or find someone
with the right skills who can help. In the case of exercise,
finding a qualified personal fitness trainer can sometimes do the
trick, but be wary...some PFT's are overzealous and tend to start
newcomers on programs that are too strenuous.

- Life just seems too busy to find time for some activities.
Large, uninterrupted chunks of time are very hard to come by. And
if we're honest, when they do come, we'd rather do something
totally pleasurable! Exercise has to become part of your routine.
It can't be an option. Make it a high priority just the same as
your career, and other areas of interest. You will be surprised
at how easy exercise becomes when approached this way!

- Have you ever subconsciously (or otherwise) invited
distractions so that you have a "good" reason not to get
something done? Sometimes it's the simple things like answering
the phone or sitting down to watch that "one" TV program, that
distract us. When you find yourself doing this, take control of
the situation and make a conscious decision to do what you are

To reap the benefits of exercise, or any other health related
endeavor, you must agree to become a willing participant. This
will require due diligence on your part. And remember, as you
embark on your mission you are investing in something near and
dear to your own heart...your life and a future of healthy

The information contained in this article is for educational purposes
only and is not intended to medically diagnose, treat or cure any
disease. Consult a health care practitioner before beginning any
health care program.

About the Author

Emily Clark is editor at Lifestyle Health News and Medical Health News
where you can find the most up-to-date advice and information on
many medical, health and lifestyle topics.


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