Total Health & Fitness

There are any number of reasons to get in better shape, most of which vary by age – they range from getting in shape for a specific sporting competition to wanting to lose weight, to boosting confidence and physical appearance, even doctor’s orders for improving cardiovascular health. Look at the time you spend in the gym as an investment – the more time and sweat equity you spend there, the less you have to spend on things lie statins to drop your cholesterol levels later in life – provided you work out intelligently, working on overall body fitness, and keep track of the factors that impact your health in general.

A good total body workout is only part of the program; it takes planning and preparation to get the maximum benefits, and some significant lifestyle changes with regards to your attitude towards food. While an article of this length won’t be able to cover all the details, it’s enough to give you a high level overview of the core concepts.

First, you need to combine caloric restriction – cutting back your caloric intake a little bit – with increased cardiovascular training. The easiest way to cut back on calories is through portion control; this is the key lesson to Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig, that you learn to see a meal in terms of its caloric value. Next, you need to shift what you eat – move away from heavy carbohydrate foods to ones that involve more protein; don’t cut out fat completely, because fat is what tells you’re full.

Cardiovascular training can be comparatively simple to set up: Just emphasise walking more regularly as part of your daily routine. Park farther away from work or the store, take the stairs rather than the elevator whenever possible. These steps may seem simple, but they’re enough to get you started on roughly 20 minutes of semi-regular exercise per day.

Once you’ve gotten that part of your routine set, it’s time to build on that foundation for total body fitness. You’ll want a program that you can live with; this is a program that does exercises you enjoy. Any specific activity we list should be substituted with something you find enjoyable – if you don’t enjoy it, exercise becomes a chore, and as soon as you can, you’ll skip out on going to the gym.

First, a typical schedule for resistance and weight training tries to go three days a week, regular as clockwork, with a day off in between each of them. On the weight training days, start with about five minutes of moderate cardio workout – run a few laps, or spend some time on the treadmill. After that, stretch to release fatigue toxins for your body to process and break down. You’ll find that doing this will greatly reduce the muscle aches from a good workout.

Next, do core body strength exercises as your first layer of strength building. Core body exercises work your abdominal muscles and your lower and middle back muscles; take them slowly and take them carefully. Because these are muscles that are constantly in use, you tend to not notice how hard you’re working until you’ve somewhat overdone them. The goal here isn’t to get ripped abs; the goal here is to build a foundation of strength, because your abdominals are the muscles that all of your other workouts will transmit their workload to.

Exercises that will build this core body strength include crunches (both with and without a weight held on your chest) and back lifts, as well as high rep count sitting squat presses. When you’re doing 30 to 40 reps on this without feeling much of a burn, you’ve built yourself up to the minimum strength standards.

Once this foundation is set, it’s time to start working on specific muscle groups, usually working with upper body strength first, then lower body strength on the alternating days. The reason for this alternation is because when you’re lifting, you’re breaking down muscle fibers, and you want to give your body time to knit newer, higher density muscle fibers in return. Similarly, when you work out, you should try to eat something heavy in digestible protein within half an hour to an hour after the workout, to help you achieve maximum fitness and health – this gives your body the raw materials it needs to build new muscle tissue, right when it’s looking for it.

Building muscle, weight loss, skin care and acne treatment can improve your overall health- even doctor’s orders for improving cardiovascular health can improve your chances of having a healthy heart and prevent the risk of cancer and diabetes.

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