These 16 strategies will help you get the body you’ve always wanted:
1. In the beginning, your fitness plan should not be overly aggressive. One of the biggest problems most people encounter when starting a fitness program is rapidly depleted motivation after only a few weeks; this is due to an overly ambitious fitness plan.
Two days per week of 20-minute low-intensity cardiovascular exercise (walking, jogging, biking, swimming) and two days per week of 30-minute light resistance training (using weights or resistance machines) is adequate in the beginning. As you adapt to the lifestyle shift, you can add more days and get improved results. But beware: If you try to do too much too fast, you may end up quitting altogether.
If you’ve tried and failed doing it alone, then I suggest you get a training partner or personal trainer who will help you sustain your motivation.
2. If your goal is fat loss, then your cardiovascular exercise should be low intensity. Your heart rate during cardio exercise should not exceed 50 percent to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate. The simple formula for calculating your 100 percent maximum heart rate is 220 minus your age.
If the intensity of your exercise increases your heart rate beyond 70 percent (which can occur very easily if you are in poor shape), you start shifting from using body fat as your energy source to relying on glucose metabolism. Your personal trainer can supply you with a simple heart-rate monitor you can wear during exercise. That way, you always stay in your peak fat-burning range.
3. Don’t waste your time working small muscles with isolated movements. If you don’t enjoy doing resistance training or are pressed for time, concentrate on working the largest muscle groups with compound resistance movements.
When I see overweight people doing wrist curls or lateral raises, I wonder why. It’s generally just a lack of understanding of how their bodies work. Most people want to lose fat and tone and firm their bodies. The way to do that is to use resistance (weights or machines) to train the large muscle groups.
(To be continued…)
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