“What exercise routine will get me the body I want,” is one of the most frequent questions posed by discouraged exercisers. Over the last three decades, there have been tremendous changes in our macronutrient combinations in our mission for the perfect body. Understanding how our muscles use the calories we ingest as energy for muscle contraction is our first step in knowing what to do and what not to do.
What kind of exercise should you do, though? Some types of workouts are aerobic, and others are anaerobic, and you need both varieties of training because they help your body in different ways. Aerobic exercise uses oxygen to burn fuel like fats, carbohydrates and proteins. Anaerobic exercise uses fuel sources stored in the muscle. Both types of exercise, aerobic and anaerobic, are important for complete fitness.
Cardio training is a form of aerobic exercise, and it entails any activity that uses large muscle groups in an unbroken, rhythmic manner for sustained periods of time. Frequent cardio training helps avert an assortment of illnesses including heart attack, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and obesity. The American College of Sports Medicine advocates 30-45 minutes of aerobic training 3-5 days a week if you’re strictly interested in making health improvements.
Walking is one of the simplest and safest forms of aerobic exercise you can do. The following are some quick facts about walking:
- Each minute of walking can lengthen your life by about 1.5 to 2 minutes, on average.
- Walking an additional 20 minutes every day will burn off about 7 lbs of body fat per year.
- You need to walk the full length of a football field to burn off one plain M&M.
- Moderately paced, longer daily walks are best for losing weight.
- Shorter, faster walks are best for conditioning your heart and lungs.
Walking, particularly brisk walking is a great cardio exercise. However, to get specific results, you must get specific – exercise isn’t a hit-and-miss endeavor. Resistance training with weights – either dumbbells or barbells or weight machines at the gym is what will give you muscle tone, not cardio. So does this mean that you should ditch walking altogether? Not at all – walking has too many health benefits.
A lot of us are bewildered about what to do since so many contradictory views exist on how much cardio we really need. Here are some of the benefits of cardio exercise:
- Weight loss
- Stronger heart and lungs
- Increased bone density
- Reduced stress
- Reduced risk of heart disease and some types of cancer
- Short-term reprieve from depression and anxiety
- More confidence about how you feel and how you look
- Better sleep
- More energy
A lot of bodybuilders see cardio as a necessary evil, and though they get psyched to train, they never get psyched for cardio. They tend to see it as something they’ve got to do, and not as something they want to do. Cardio is what allows them to eat massive amounts of food while staying huge. But cardio is time-consuming, and there are no shortcuts.
Over 50% of the people who do cardio in an effort to burn fat are wasting their time … hours and hours of it. If you want your cardio to be successful you must do two things:
- Know what you’re doing; be well informed.
- Have a plan.
It’s important that you know how your body works and what happens when you exercise.
Losing weight is not rocket science. Exercise = Calories Burned = Slim Body. In the long run bad eating habits and poor exercise can lead to many different illnesses. Set aside the ideal time to exercise, and fit it into your everyday life. Put aside at least an hour, three to four days per week. Early morning, mid-afternoon or late at night, it doesn’t really matter, as long as you get to it.
Part of the reason why so many people hate cardio is that they do the same type of exercise each time. One solution to this would be to give circuit training a go. Other forms of cardio include speed walking, which is just walking at a faster pace than usual; swimming, which gives you a full-body workout and skipping, which is good for overall body toning.
A 90-day warranty is pretty common with lower-grade cardio equipment. You may be able to take the equipment home from the store yourself if you have a truck or large SUV. The end of the year is the best time to buy equipment. Most stores will price match or pay the cost of delivery and assembly to get the sale but be aware that you are paying for customer service as well, so make sure you get that.
Movie stars, sportspeople and executives were once the only ones employing personal trainers for their fitness needs. Fitness consultants and trainers have the required credentials and training experience to help you get speedy results. They can examine your medical history, fitness level, postural imbalances, flexibility and lifestyle to design a program that is unique and tailored to your needs.
Tired of one-size-fits-all workouts? There’s almost certainly some room in your life for an exercise tune-up, whether you’re a confirmed outdoors type, hard-core gym bunny or world-class channel surfer. There’s no good reason not to do some form of cardiovascular exercise on a regular basis, just as there is no good reason to smoke.