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Every day we read in the newspapers and hear on the radio and television that the obesity rate is up all over the world. At the same time, we are also given the message that we have to look good and feel good. If you are one of those who think you have to do this, you need a realistic program to guide you. Follow this basic guide to get you started.

First, you need to set realistic goals for yourself. For a goal to succeed, you need to make sure that it is something that you want. For example, say you want to lose 5 kilograms. Now that you have a target in mind, you can then plan on what you will do every day to achieve that target. You should start with what you can do on a daily basis. A good idea would be to begin by writing down what to do every day. Start by writing what you want to achieve on a daily basis. Find a calendar where you can record what you do. Give yourself a star (you can buy these from children's bookshops) every time you achieve a goal. For example, you may want to start the day by doing some stretches while lying on the bed. Stretch your arms as far as you can above your head, then, stretch your legs. Do not forget to keep your limbs straight when you are doing these stretches. Next, you can get down from the bed and continue your stretches by touching your toes. After you have done this exercise, give yourself a star. You can start with 10 minutes a day and then build up your exercise from half an hour to one hour a day.

Another good way to stretch and to strengthen your core muscles is to do some strength training. Stomach crunches are good for this. Lie down on the floor (in front of the television, if you wish) and see how much of your body you can lift off the floor. Do this again the next day and in time you will be able to do more crunches. You will be rewarded in time with a strong, flat tummy!

Leg lifts are also good. Again you can lie on your back, on the carpet, and lift one leg five times, until you feel your leg is tired. Then do the other leg. Now roll on your front and lift your legs back.

After a few days you will feel your stomach and leg muscles working. You are burning calories. Do not panic if your weighing scale does not show instant weight loss. On the contrary, you might even gain a little weight, but what you are gaining is actually muscle development.

Want more ideas on building muscle? Take the stairs. It is great for building leg muscles and also for stretching legs which have been under an office desk all day long. Even walking downstairs can build leg muscle. Get into a habit of deliberately using your muscles to lower yourself to each step. Avoid using the lift or the elevator if you can climb stairs. A good idea is to take the lift some of the way up and then get out and climb the stairs the rest of the way. Some working people may not want to arrive at work all hot and sweaty. It is possible to consider using a T-shirt and changing into your office clothes in the washroom. Many offices nowadays have gymnasiums and workout areas for their employees. There are many other ways to exercise in and outside the home.

Body balance is also important to fitness. Stand on one foot for as long as you can. It helps if you stare at a spot directly in front of you. Change to the other foot after a while. Cleaning the house provides good exercise for every member of the family.

Housework such as sweeping and mopping the floor, washing and drying dishes, and scrubbing the bathroom provide opportunities to stretch and bend and twist and turn.

Gardening also provides opportunities to move the body. Fingers are exercised when weeding and pruning. There is a lot of bending and standing when repotting plants and cleaning water features such as water-lily pots and fish ponds.

Getting exercise need not be considered all work and no play. Many house 'managers' enjoy doing their housework with music. They put on their favorite music and 'dance' around. Some women enjoy working to hot bhangra music and dancing with the broom and the mop! An energetic, rather eccentric and totally lovable senior lady confided that she does belly dancing while dusting her shutters and curtains. She is flexible and fit.

Many retired people take up team sports. They play badminton in the park and lawn bowl. They get exercise and equally importantly, they get to meet new people. After vigorous exercise, they sit in the gazebo or walk to a coffee shop nearby for a cup of tea or cold lime juice. Some find walking partners and find new routes every day.

Some retired ladies go to the park near their homes and play with the children. The children really give them a good workout. Young children will not allow any excuse for not climbing up monkey bars and using swings and see-saws.

Finally, some of us who are determined to be fit may choose to buy a gym membership. This can be quite costly and can also use up a lot of time.


Based on the passage given, write a summary:

of how to start a fitness program and ways to exercise in and around the house


Your summary must:

be in continuous writing ( not in note form )

not be longer than 130 words, including the 10 words given below


Begin your summary as follow:

To start a fitness program, you must first set goals ...

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To start a fitness program, you must first set goals for yourself. It is good to start with short, simple exercises. Jot down what you do. Begin with stretches while still on the bed. Keep your limbs straight. Then continue your stretches by touching your toes. Do some strength training by lifting your legs and stomach crunches. Lie on your back and your front. Body balance is important. strengthen leg muscles by climbing stairs. Avoid using the lift or escalator. Doing housework provides valuable exercise. sweeping, mopping, dusting and scrubbing stretch muscles. Gardening also exercises fingers and legs. Add fun to the housework by listening to music and dancing. It is also a good idea to use exercising as an opportunity to socialize. Retirees meet their friends after their exercise. (130 words)

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