So you have decided to drag yourself off of the couch, don a pair of runners, whack on your workout clothes and start exercising? Fantastic! However, there are a few fundamental fitness concepts you need to take into account before embarking on your journey.
Those that fail to plan, fail to succeed. The importance of an exercise program when embarking on any fitness regime is vastly underestimated, and if you don’t set out a plan of attack, then how are you to succeed. Firstly you need to sit down and tackle the big questions: when are you going to work out and how? You need to set up a workout routine that is regular, always at the same time and that includes rest periods for your muscles to recover. This will allow your body and mind to become used to working out, to establish a routine and to prepare for each and every session. Whether it is running, swimming, weight sessions or cross fit style sessions, you need to have a schedule and incorporate every muscle group. If you need assistance with this task, seek professional advice and speak to a personal trainer at your local gym.
Cardiovascular workouts are workouts or exercise that gets your heart pumping at a higher rate and burns mass calories. These types of workout sessions are especially good for shredding fat, building stamina and generally assisting in core strength. They burn calories, lower cholesterol and improve peak fitness. Typical examples of cardio workouts are running, rowing, swimming, skipping and boxing. It is important that no matter what end result you are seeking from your fitness regime, you need to include cardio sessions in your scheduled routine, even if it is a light jog before each and every session.
Weight training builds muscle, improves strength, increases fitness, burns fat and improves overall fitness. It is important that some degree of weight training is added into your fitness routine, preferably at least twice a week. When we speak of weight training, we don’t mean just lifting heavy weights, after all, if you are not looking to build mass muscle then heavy weights are probably not the way to go. Utilizing light weights with higher repetitions is a great way to build more strength, improve your cardio and to gain muscle tone. Using your own body weight as a lifting weight is a great way to improve core strength and develop better muscle tone. It is important that you decide what result you want to achieve from your fitness regime when working out your exercise program, and tailor your sessions to drive that result. Weight sessions build strength and muscle mass, but they also assist in preventing injuries due to greater muscle tone and overall strength.
You will hear many rumors about the pros and cons of regular stretching, some people will never stretch, and others will treat it as the integral part of your work out that it should be. Stretching allows your body to increase its flexibility, warm up tendons, joints, muscle groups and decreases risk of injury. Increased flexibility decreases the risk of muscle strains and can limit unnecessary injury, keeping you on track to achieve your fitness goals. Stretching should be conducted before any form of physical exercise and should be done on a regular basis to increase the impact of your stretching, leading to greater flexibility. So stretch out your muscles and get on board the fitness train.
Keeping in shape is an integral part of life for people of all ages, old, young or otherwise. Take care while you exercise and follow these simple strategies to maximize your results.
Creative Commons image by lululemon athletica
Isaac Sanger is a staff writer for Cascade Healthcare Solutions, an online reseller of thousands of medical supplies from crutches to portable oxygen concentrators.