Many people do retire to bed in the evening with the intention of heading to the gym in the morning for their daily workouts. Sometimes it so happens that this decision is reversed a mere eight hours later upon waking up just because the eagerness to hit the gym is no longer as compelling. This happens even to the fittest of athletes and as such it is nothing extraordinary. Though this happens every once in awhile it should not be the cue to abandon the quest for fitness altogether. It should be realized that prolonged wellness and health are made possible through an active lifestyle and proper eating habits. Undoubtedly, this is one avenue that leads to self-improvement and personal development.
It is a personal responsibility to be fully aware of how our bodies respond to our lifestyles since it is the only way that you can design a fitness and nutrition regimen that will work perfectly for your situation. The amount of fuel that you want your body to burn is subject to how well you eat, the degree of physical activity that you engage in, and the intensity of that physical activity. Having a grasp on such parameters definitely means that your body is efficiently supplied with energy courtesy of the fat that is burnt. In other words, one is able to sustain effective metabolism throughout each day. Proper metabolism ensures that increased physical work can be accomplished with little effort.
The fundamental role of engaging in physical exercise is to alert the body that it is required to bring about an increase in strength, aerobic capacity, metabolism, vitality and the general health, well-being, and fitness. Exercising regularly ensures that the body becomes more adept at burning fat be it during the day or at night. The exercises you do don’t have to be so intensive to be effective but the effort definitely has to be consistent.
It is suggested that cardiovascular exercises should be done regularly, say four times weekly, and that each of these sessions last for 20-30 minutes. It is also advisable to do resistance training for the same number of days weekly and to ensure that 20-25 minutes are spent on each session. Such a training method delivers a two-pronged approach to successful fitness. The aerobic training ensures that the body burns fat and is supplied with adequate amounts of oxygen. The resistance training ensures that calories are burnt and that one maintains a lean body mass.
A sample fitness and exercise program is detailed below:
§ Warm Up – Start off with light aerobic exercises for about 7-8 minutes. This is for the purpose of warming up and lubricating your joints and tendons as well as increasing the blood flow around the body.
§ Resistance training – While doing this, ensure that all the major groups of muscle are worked out. One or two sets of each work out should be sufficient. In between the sets you can rest for 45 seconds.
§ Aerobic exercise – There are quite a number of activities that you can choose from e.g. jogging, cross-country skiing, or rowing etc and you should select the two that suit you most. Do the first activity for roughly 12-15 minutes and then spend 10 minutes on the next activity. The last five minutes are sufficient to allow you to cool down.
§ Stretching – The right way to wind up your workout session is through a combination of deep breathing, stretching, meditation, and relaxation. Aromatherapy and going for a massage to relieve stress and headache is another great way to feel at ease. Smoking is a definite no-no.
Having followed such a program, the following are the expected changes depending on how fit you were upon starting on the fitness regimen:
§ Within 1-8 weeks one begins feeling better and having an increased amount of energy.
§ In 2-6 months one can start experiencing weight loss and becoming leaner. Loose clothes signify that you are indeed slimming and gaining muscle mass.
§ After 6 months weight loss becomes more rapid.
Once commitment to exercise is established it should be bolstered by a changed diet or improved eating habits. The calculation of calorie amounts and nutrition values is not quite effective; more practical guidelines are offered below:
§ One should make a point of eating a number of small meals well spread across the day. Four of such meals are quite ideal. You can throw in some small snacks in between these meals.
§ It is vital to ensure that each meal is well balanced i.e. the meals should contain the right amounts of proteins, fats, complex carbohydrates, and vitamins.
§ Your intake of fat should be limited to what is absolutely necessary in terms of flavor.
§ One should drink eight glasses of water daily.
§ A daily dose of multi-vitamin should be sufficient to ensure that the body is well supplied with the necessary minerals and vitamins.