A combination of aerobic fitness and strength training can help you tone your muscles and improve your appearance. By implementing a regular strength training and aerobic fitness program, you can increase your lean muscle mass, burn calories more efficiently, and reduce body fat.
Starting a workout program is a very important decision, but it doesn’t have to be stressful or overwhelming. By carefully planning and pacing yourself, you can create a healthy habit that you can stick with. Here are some useful tips to keep you on track to meet your fitness goals:
Tip #1: Warm Up and Cool Down
With any fitness routine, it is important how you start and end your workout. To decrease the chance of injury, try 10 minutes of low-intensity exercise, such as on a stationary bike or treadmill, before you begin, as well as a similar cool down after your fitness routine.
Tip #2: Remember to Stretch
Stretching is an important part of an exercise program, especially an aerobic and strength training one that causes your muscles to contract and flex. Stretching after exercise promotes balance, increases flexibility, improves range of motion of your joints, and boosts circulation. Stretch every time after your exercise, and remember to keep it gentle. Don’t bounce when stretching or hold a painful stretch; expect to feel some tension, but if there is pain you have gone too far.
Tip #3: Vary Your Workout
For many people, walking is a great aerobic workout because it is safe, simple, and only requires a good pair of walking shoes. However, there are many options that can keep you motivated and happy to be working out. Try swimming, biking, jogging, dancing, or jumping rope. Be creative and enjoy your workout.
Tip #4: A Little Strength Training Goes a Long Way
Strength training is the best way to improve your muscle tone, and it doesn’t take as long as you may think – just two to three sessions a week, for 20 to 30 minutes, is enough. You can do it at home or at the gym, and it can be done using weight machines, free weights, inexpensive resistance tubing, or your own body weight.
Tip #5: Don’t be a Workoutaholic
Many people train feverishly thinking that more is better. However, you are much better off easing into the process than trying to do too much at once (and then falling off your routine). Create a plan that you can stick with and feels good to you. The morning after you workout, you want to feel like you trained, but you also want to be able to walk.
Tip #6: Recovery is Just as Important as Working Out
When doing strength training, you are tearing your muscle fibers. Only after you complete working out do they begin to heal, so it is important that you don’t overdo it. Maintaining optimal nutrition to help your body heal, and getting plenty of sleep, also contributes to your body’s healing. Make sure that you are treating your body right.
By following these tips, you will decrease your chance of injury and put your workout on the right path to success. By setting reasonable goals and working hard to reach them, you will get the body you want.