Getting started is the most important part of a fitness routine. So many people don't bother to get the seventy-five minutes a day, five days a week that they need to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Of course, everyone is different so what makes a good workout schedule?
Easing into the routine
More important than any other part of the routine is to make sure to go slow. Overworking the heart and other major muscles during the first few days is likely to wear a person out faster than anything. This is a lifestyle change, not a quick fix. The routine should start off slowly, doing only a little bit more than is normally comfortable for a person and then adding on as time passes. Lifting light weights and jogging should be the baseline in the beginning weeks. As the body changes, gaining muscle and endurance, it is crucial to the fitness goal to add heavier weights and a more taxing cardiovascular exercise.
Knowing how much is enough
To see optimum change in the body, how much is enough physical exercise? This can be determined one of two ways. First, if it is desired to have weekends off, a five day exercise routine can be used. This would consist of twenty minutes of walking or jogging, thirty minutes on the elliptical and twenty minutes using free weights or machines. This would be followed up with five minutes of serious stretching. The body gains muscle twenty percent faster if stretching is done really well after the workout. The second option involves a shorter overall workout done over one more day a week. This would include twenty minutes of walking or jogging, twenty minutes on the elliptical, fifteen minutes with weights, and five minute stretching and cooling off period.
Set goals to attain them faster
On average it will take about three weeks for a change in the body to be seen. This is mostly easily shown by before and after pictures. Taking pictures of the front, side, and back of the body once a week will surely show results the easiest. Also, instead of using the scale to gauge weight loss, use clothes. A scale is going to fluctuate as the body goes through it's initial change. First the weight will seem to fall right off. But after a while a "plateau" will hit and it will seem like no fat is being lost at all, or even that the body is gaining weight. This is because the body is replacing fat with muscle and muscle weighs a lot more than fat does.
Once attained, a physically fit body does not need to work out nearly as hard as a flabby body does to maintain its condition. Studies have shown that even just one day a week in the gym was enough for a physically fit individual to hold on to past strength gains. It is encouraging news to those in a sedentary lifestyle, after three short months of a disciplined workout routine, the gains may be maintained with just one day a week in the gym.
As always, it is important for a doctor to be advised before any type of workout routine is started, as not all routines will work for every person.
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