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The fitness ladder

Convinced? Great! Not convinced?...please bear with me a little longer before skipping to the next chapter.

Since exercise seems, on the face of it, so distasteful and the time devoted to it stolen, perforce, from other more pleasant activities, I've designed this exercise program around the following goals.

The general outlines for this program were derived from the Royal Canadian Air Force ``5BX'' exercise program for men. I originally used that program, but found it unnecessarily complicated and confusing for people, like myself, interested simply in achieving a reasonable level of fitness and maintaining that level throughout their life. The RCAF programs for men and women are entirely different: I know of no reason this should be. My program is self-paced, relying on your own body to tell you how far and how fast to advance. Thus it should work fine for women as well as men. (Of course, I'm male and I may be missing something. Both men and women should feel free to modify the program as you like. It's your body!)

The program is organised around a ``fitness ladder'' with 48 rungs. Each rung prescribes a given number of repetitions of five exercises. The first 15 rungs constitute the Introductory Ladder and involve easier variants of the exercises in the Lifetime Ladder, rungs 16 through 48. The exercises are intended to be done every day. Completing all the exercises typically takes between 10 and 15 minutes.

By John Walker