When you are looking to lose weight and boost your health, diet alone is not sufficient. You need to also start a good exercise program. Too many people go their nearest gym and shell out tons of money without realizing that they can start an effective program right at home. The simple basics include aerobic exercise and strength training along with a sound diet and nutrition plan. Here is how you can get started today with the simple basics of a good exercise program.
Before you begin any exercise program, you need to speak with your doctor and get a full health check. The exercises that you do depend on your current cardio health, weight, and age. In other words, if a health check indicates that you are obese, you don’t want to begin your program by running because this could damage your knees. Swimming is a better option in this scenario. Your doctor will give you all of the advice you need.
Aerobic exercises are those that are intended to raise your heart rate. By raising your heart rate, you burn more calories which is crucial to losing weight. Aerobic exercises include running, treadmill, elliptical trainer, swimming, stair climber, and many more. Even walking at an increased pace will raise your heart rate.
Strength training is intended to build lean muscle tissue. This type of tissue always burns more calories than fatty tissue. You don’t need to invest in expensive weight machines either. Just some simple dumbbells will do. There are also resistance bands you can wear on your wrists and ankles and you can do exercises such as push-ups and pull-ups that combine your weight with gravity to create the resistance.
Alternating Your Routines
Exercises should be alternated so that your body does not get used to one type of routine. The body has this ability to adapt to the repeated stresses put on it. What happens is that it hits what is known as the plateau where a particular exercise routine no longer raises the heart rate. In other words, if you run 2 miles every day, as you get used to it your body no longer burns as many calories as it would have when first starting out. Your body becomes efficient at sustaining your current physical activity.
By alternating your exercise routines, you shake your body up a little and trigger it to meet the new challenges. With weight training, you do this by working different muscle groups such as chest and arms one day and legs another. With aerobic exercise, you push yourself a little farther and with more intensity as you get accustomed to one level.
Protecting from Injury
When beginning a regular program of exercise, it is important to take it easy at first. Obviously, you don’t want to injure yourself because if you do you won’t be getting any exercise at all.
For many, just start by walking. The very act of moving your weight around will increase your heart rate, get you breathing, plus build lean muscle in your lower body. Buy a pedometer to measure how much you walk each day. This way you can push for farther distances and avoid the walking plateau.
Look for ways to increase your walking throughout the day such as walking to the place where you have your lunch instead of driving your car or parking at the far end of the car park. Climbing stairs instead of taking the elevator is another good way to build up to more intense exercising.
Frequency of Exercise
How often you exercise depends on your current condition. If you do 20 minutes of either strength training or aerobic exercise each day you will begin to gain some benefit. Keep in mind however that aerobic exercise burns more calories than strength training exercises do.
Some people like to do aerobic exercise one day and do strength training the next and alternate between the two. This is good because it gives muscle groups a chance to heal.
Aerobic exercise should build the most important muscle of all and that is your heart. Thus, you want to keep adding to the duration that you do aerobic exercise because 20 minutes will not be enough for long.
Diet and Nutrition
It is important to maintain a healthy diet always–not just for exercising. However, it is even more important to do this in conjunction with regular exercise. Muscles depend on getting the vitamins and minerals they need to repair after a workout. If you deprive yourself of healthy food then it just works against building strong muscles. If you starve yourself, your body eats away at your muscles as well as the fat. Plus, without the proper nutrition, strenuous exercise could be downright dangerous.
Anyone can be part of a good exercise program and it doesn’t take joining a gym to do so. With a combination of aerobic and strength-building exercise routines plus the proper diet, anyone can keep their weight in check and avoid many of the diseases that are associated with being overweight and sedentary. Plus, it is just fun to get active.
Speak with your doctor and get recommendations about the best way for you to get started and say no to a sedentary lifestyle today.