Fitness & Exercise
Your diet and weight loss efforts will always benefit if you add some
basic exercise and fitness to your daily routine. However, if you have any existing medical conditions you should consult with your doctor before
beginning any exercise program.
Where do you begin? There are so many options available from joining a gym,
rec center, buying exercise DVD's, registering with the many different online programs, hiring a personal trainer
and the easiest of all... Start Walking !
Here are a few ideas to make walking part of your daily routine - click here for a
more comprehensive walking program.
- Walking to the local store instead of driving - if you have to drive, park
further away than usual from the entrance.
- Take a walk instead of watching TV
- Take the stairs instead of using the elevator
- If you work in an office, walk around your building during your lunch
- Walk the kids to school
- Walk the dog
- Walk the golf course instead of using a golf cart
- Remember to stay hydrated and drink lots of water.
Two other forms of exercise include aerobics and resistance exercises.
Aerobic exercise increases your heart rate and uses oxygen to facilitate muscle
building as it accelerates your metabolism. Aerobic exercises include brisk walking, jogging, running, hiking,
roller-skating, spinning, cycling, swimming, rowing, boxing, dancing, skiing, etc.
Resistance exercises help you burn stored fat, increases lean muscle, boosts
energy levels, increases your strength, improves your posture as well as fortifying your bones and strengthening
This form of training includes lifting free weights, using weight machines, using
resistance rubber bands, and doing gravity exercises such as chin-ups, sit-ups, lunges or squats, and also
aquarobics (water work outs).
You can easily begin resistance exercises by combining them with your daily walk.
Carry some very light hand weights as you walk and swing your arms back and forth, and above your head. You can
also wear light wrist weights which attach with velcro straps, leaving your hands free while still providing
resistance training for your arms.
The benefits of adopting an active liftstyle are enormous: from having more
energy, better sleep, improved moods and quicker results with your diet and weight loss efforts.
By alternating between aerobics and resistance training you won't become bored and
can keep your routines different. Remember, you not only burn calories during exercise, but continue to benefit
from a short term burst in your metabolic rate for a full 24 hours after exercising, as well as gaining the long
term metabolic rate increase that comes from building lean muscle.
One of the many online resources to help with your fitness goals is Fast Track to
Fat Loss (originally Gobal-Fitness). They have a free fat loss program, recipes, tips, exercises, community support
Making Time For Strength Training
This article is for those of you who have very limited time
to devote to exercise, but are serious about getting or staying in shape. Most fitness experts agree that even
devoting 30 minutes to strength training two or three times a week is sufficient for strength and muscle
development. Many people make the mistake of adding more exercises and sets to their program to make it harder. To
increase intensity, do not look for ways to do more exercise, look for ways to do the same or even less, by
efficiency. Try to increase the intensity and shorten your workout time by using the following
1. Make sure exercise is
convenient: Getting to your exercise equipment should be easy and
convenient. If you have to drive a half an hour to get to your gym, you will view working out as a chore. If you
spend more time traveling to the gym than you do in the gym, you might want to consider a program that you can do
in your home. Muscles do not care where the resistance comes from--they are going to respond. Resistance can be
from body weight (push-ups), Thera-band® (rubber resistance), free weights, machines, or a combination of any of
2. Work several muscles in one
exercise: Another way to fit weightlifting into your busy schedule is
to choose exercises that work several major muscle groups at the same time. Squats or the Leg Press (you can find
the instructions and video demonstrations for these and many other exercises on my site) works the quadriceps,
hamstrings, buttocks, and calves. Essentially, you will be training four muscle groups at the same time with these
3. Limit resting time: Skip the usual minute or so of resting time between exercises. You can do this by doing
Supersets, which involves doing two or more successive exercises for a given muscle group without rest in between.
This can be done one of two ways: The first is to do two or more exercises in a row for the same muscle group
without any rest in between. For example, do a set of the Shoulder Presses and follow them immediately with a set
of Lateral Raises. This saves time and forces a lot more blood into the shoulders and provides a more intense and
effective training stimulus for the shoulder muscles.
The second way to do supersets is to train two opposing
muscle groups without any rest in between. You can use this superset style of training for two different muscle
groups, but only if they have an agonist/antagonist relationship with each other. In other words, on any given lift
one muscle is contracting and the other muscle is relaxing (such as the biceps and triceps when performing a biceps
curl). Choose muscle groups that are physically close together such as biceps and triceps, or chest and back, or
quadriceps and hamstrings.
4. Have alternate exercises for each muscle
group: This is especially important for those who are pressed for
time. Often there will be someone working on the piece of equipment you want to use. You should always have a
back-up plan, an alternate exercise that trains the same muscle group.
I hope you found this information helpful. Your greatest
challenge is not learning new exercises or the proper technique; it's not learning how many sets or reps to do or
how much weight to use. Nor is it deciding when or how to change your routine. The greatest challenge facing you at
this moment is deciding whether you are willing to take action and make time for yourself and make strength
training a priority.
When you begin achieving great results, the excitement and
fun you experience will make the change and time you've spent well worth the effort. Action creates motivation!
Good luck: I hope you enjoy all the wonderful benefits of an effective strength training program.
This article written by: Chad Tackett - President of Global Health
& Fitness. Learn how you can have your own personal online trainer, dietician and motivator