Fitness has come to mean many different things to people. No subject matter today is free from being bombarded by a never-ending supply of opinions. Fitness science is no exception, with bookstores and journals filled with a plethora of perspectives and exercise variation. Your exercise routine should be uniquely defined to fit you. It should be adaptable and evolving, patient and enduring. True fitness is a way of life, not a transient stopover along the way. Always remember there is no such thing as a bad workout except the one you didn't do.
Basics of all Exercise.
All exercise tend to fall into one of the basic ranges of motion; push, pull, bend, twist, lunge, squat. Sometimes a movement will be compound in nature and utilize more than one motion together. Range of motion (ROM), is vital for healthy muscle tissue. While basic stretching can offer some improvement of ROM, active stretches, or taking a joint through a full range of motion under resistance, will provide far more improvement in flexibility.
Every aspect of your work out is training your body to adapt to the patterns and stresses you place upon it, especially under a load or resistance. Short or incomplete movement patterns will often lead to tight muscles that are more susceptible to strains and injury. Full range of motion exercise has been around for thousands of years in methodologies like Yoga, Tai Chi and its precursors.
Americans have evolved into a nation of sitters, with horrible posture and eating habits. The result is a population suffering from obesity, low bone density, prematurely fused spines, worn knees and shoulders. More active cultures have avoided most, if not all of these pit-falls without specialized medical intervention, which in our nation usually serves to just treat symptoms and not truly address the root of the problem.
It does not need to be this way. Every day is a chance to start the process of reclaiming your body and your life. It took time to get the way you are and it will take time to recover, but "tomorrow" is just an excuse. You might have to crawl before you walk, but even that's great exercise!