EXERCISE 101: The Basics
The decision to begin exercising — or to become more serious about it — is a big one. It may improve your life in a variety of ways, including making you feel healthier, look better, and feel AMAZING. It’s an excellent method to expend excess energy or irritation after a hard day at the office. Exercise is time well spent, even if you have a hectic schedule.
It’s a great idea to remind yourself of all the wonderful things that exercise can do for you, both physically and psychologically, on a regular basis. It not only motivates you to remember why it’s so essential, but it also helps you maintain the dedication you need to get up and exercise your body every day.
The great thing about exercising is that it doesn’t take much to get the rewards. Even a few minutes a day may make a difference in your health and happiness. Here are a few things that exercise can assist you with:
- Weight reduction and maintaining a healthy weight
- Lowering blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels
- increasing energy
- reducing stress
- boosting mood
- Preserving Bone mass
- Improving the quality of your sleep
- Increasing your strength, endurance, and flexibility to improve your quality of life.
- Promoting a healthy aging process.
There are many various forms of exercise, as you are undoubtedly aware. Here is some information to assist you in getting off to a good start.
Consider that for a moment. Exercise is the one thing you can do on a daily basis that will make you feel wonderful. You’ll enhance your health and accomplish something beneficial for your body and mind even if it’s only a 5-minute stroll.
Exercise Principles & Philophies
When it comes to exercise, there are several schools of thought. Here are some of the main concepts that underpin various training regimens.
Everyone from Personal Trainers to Strength Coaches must learn the FITT Principle. It’s the foundation of any training protocol that is or will be created.
What Is FITT and How Does It Work?
The FITT Principle is a set of guidelines for determining whether or not to implement certain exercises for the desired effect. Understanding them may help you set up and manage different aspects of your workout.
To recall the workout factors you may modify to prevent plateaus and keep your body challenged, use the FITT acronym:
- Frequency (How often you should workout)
- Intensity ( How hard/difficult you should train)
- Time (How much time you spend exercising)
- Type (The type of exercising you are performing)
Your body will improve (also known as the Training Effect)4 when you exercise at a suitable intensity, time, and frequency, and you’ll see improvements in your weight, body fat percentage, cardio endurance, and strength. It’s time to alter one or more of your FITT levels after your body has adjusted to them
An example of applyig this principle would be, if you’ve been walking for 20 minutes three times a week and haven’t seen any progress, you may modify your routine in one or more of the following ways:
- Add one additional day of walking to your routine.
- Add brief bursts of running, speed walking, or hill training to increase the intensity.
- Time: Increase your training time by 10 to 15 minutes.
- Type: Try something new, like cycling, swimming, or aerobics.
Changing any of these factors every four to six weeks can assist you in maintaining the training impact.
The Principle of OVERLOAD
The overload principle argues that in order to continue producing benefits, an activity must grow more difficult throughout the duration of a training program. This is accomplished in the context of strength training by adding weight to the bar. A program that employs the overload principle could suggest squatting a given weight for five sets for one week, then squatting a slightly larger load for five sets the following week, and gradually increasing the weights each subsequent week. This is potentially useful programming, however the same effect may be achieved by changing the volume accumulation rather than just the weight.
Following the progressive overload concept can help you develop your muscular strength, size, and endurance. It must be understood that in order to get bigger and stronger, you must force your muscles to work more than they are accustomed to.
This idea is exactly what it says on the tin. It implies that your exercises should be tailored to your objectives. You should concentrate on speed exercises if you want to enhance your racing times. If your primary objective is just to improve your health, fitness, and weight reduction, you should concentrate on complete body strength, cardio, and a well-balanced diet. Make sure your training is tailored to your objectives.
Types of Workout
The FITT Principle might provide you with a wide picture of exercise, but there are three key components to getting that strong, fit physique. Cardio, strength training, and flexibility training are examples of these. With all of these components, you can create a well-balanced workout routine that will help you increase strength and endurance while also improving flexibility, balance, and stability. 6 Knowing the rules for each component can aid you in creating the ideal workout routine.
Cardio (also known as aerobic exercise) is a type of exercise that gets your heart beating, increases your endurance, and helps you lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. Cardio exercises are any continuous rhythmic action, such as walking, jogging, aerobics, cycling, swimming, or dancing. Cardio exercises improve the heart and lungs, enhance stamina, and burn calories, all of which aid weight loss. While you should always use a cardio program that is appropriate for your fitness level, there are some basic suggestions for cardio programs depending on your objectives.
Exercising multiple times a week can help you get the most out of your time. Continue to exercise, even if you have to split it up into small periods. It has been shown that even ten-minute sessions can enhance health.
You could participate in 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise five days a week OR 20 minutes of intense cardio activity three days a week to receive overall health advantages. Physical exercise of 60 to 90 minutes per day is advised for weight reduction.
Working at a moderate intensity implies you’re working but can still chat, which corresponds to a Level 5 on the perceived effort scale. Keep in mind that you may do your workouts at different times of the day and still receive the same benefits.
Another variation to Cardio is Interval training is an aerobic workout that has recently gained a lot of popularity. Burning more calories in less time while boosting your aerobic capacity are two of the advantages. Essentially, you alternate between strenuous training parts and slower, more relaxing exercise phases. Interval training may be an excellent choice to explore with standard cardio methods, depending on your fitness needs.
Get on your bike or put on your running shoes to get started. Before you begin, remember to warm up for a few minutes. Begin at a pace that is both challenging and manageable. Make the best decision you can. Don’t be disheartened if all you can do is walk; walking is an excellent cardio workout. Set simple objectives for yourself so you can see your progress and avoid being overwhelmed. You will be extremely happy with the outcomes when you look back in time.
REMEMBER: A Healthy individual should aim for 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of intense aerobic activity each week in their workout routines.
Strength training is another popular kind of exercise. Strength exercise boosts your metabolism, aids weight loss, and maintains healthy bones in addition to creating stronger muscles. Strength training does not have to take up a lot of time. Although some individuals spend hours at the gym every day, most people only need 2 to 3 hour-long sessions each week.
Strength training is different from cardio in that it works the body in a different way, yet it is just as vital for overall health and weight reduction. Lifting weights (dumbbells, barbells, resistance bands, machines, etc.) to develop muscles, bones, and connective tissue is known as strength training.
What are the Benefits to Strength Training?
- Strength exercise increases lean muscle tissue
- increases metabolism
- helps you lose body fat
Many people connect strength training with the gym, but there are a variety of methods you can perform at home. However with having access to the internet, you can buy many types of equipment, such as free weights, small machines, exercise bands, or kettle bells. There are even some exercises that require little to no equipment, like Pilates or bodyweight exercises. While many gyms offer classes for these types of exercises, you can easily purchases videos and follow along at home. The internet is a great resource as well. If you choose not go that route, the next best method is Bodyweight Training.
Bodyweight Training uses exercises like squats, pushups, and planks to supply your body with te necessary resistance to become stronger. It is a fantastic place to start if you’re new to resistance exercise and don’t want to use weights.
The following are some general strength-training guidelines:
- Select eight to twelve workouts that target the major muscle groups (lower body, chest, back, shoulders, biceps, triceps, and abs).
- Perform one set of eight to sixteen reps of each exercise until exhaustion for beginners. Two to three sets are possible for more skilled exercisers.
- Train each muscle group two to three times a week on non-consecutive days.
- Work each exercise over its whole range of motion while maintaining proper form
To get started, get to know the equipment you will be using. Read the equipment’s instructions, ask a gym employee, or follow along with a video. Remember, you can learn a lot from the people around you and most will be more than happy to share their knowledge.
Now while so many focus on strength and being aesthetically pleasing, many overlook stretching and improving their flexibility. While being frequently the most underappreciated exercise, stretching is critical for maintaining our agility as we age.
It is important for many reasons. Stretching improves and maintains your range of motion; this is important because strength and aerobic training cause your muscles to tighten up. While it is no longer recommended to stretch before a workout, stretching after a workout will help maintain flexibility. Stretching will keep you flexible and agile as you age. As a bonus, it also boosts circulation and can promote better posture and relieve stress.
It’s also soothing and enjoyable, unlike the rigors of cardio and weight training. Stretching may be done at any time during the day, but it’s especially vital after a workout if you have any persistently tight regions. Stretching instructions are as follows:
Static stretches should be performed with a focus on tight regions like the hamstrings and lower back.
- Hold each stretch for 15 to 30 seconds before repeating two to four times.
- Stretch at least two to three times per week. Every day would be even wonderful.
- Stretch as much as you can within your range of motion. Stretching isn’t going to damage you.
- When your muscles are heated, stretch them (after your warm-up or, even better, after your workout).
- When stretching, do not bounce or extend a stretch so far that it hurts. Stay still and keep breathing freely as you hold the stretch.
Yoga practices are a fantastic method to stretch your body while also increasing your endurance and promoting relaxation and stress reduction. Pilates also develops core strength and stability, as well as flexibility. Both of these exercises are excellent complements to a typical cardio and strength training program.
You can learn more about how to stretch from websites or fitness books. Most gyms also have posters demonstrating different types of stretches. Or better yet, you could ask someone who knows.
REMEMBER: The best way to get started stretching is simple: do it after your workout. The extra time you take to stretch after exercising will be a great benefit to you. It will give your body a chance to cool down and will help you relax. Remembering to do it will pay off, as you will maintain better flexibility, movement, and balance.
Nutrition and Rest
With all this being said, one thing is important for us to remember. We need to take a holistic approach to our health. There is no cure-all in living a healthy life, but there are several healthy practices that are connected and affect each other. Beginning an exercise regimen is a big step, but there are other pieces to the puzzle. While we often focus on getting in as much exercise as possible, rest and recovery are also essential for reaching your fitness and weightloss goals. While you can often do cardio every day (though you may want to rest after very intense workouts), you should have at least a day of rest between strength training workouts. Make sure you don’t work the same muscles two days in a row to give your body the time it needs to rest and recover.
Diet is very important. Besides being a major part of weight loss process, the nutrition you receive from a balanced diet will give you the energy and strength you need for a successful workout. A proper diet will also help you feel and perform your best, every day.
Rest is another issue that is often overlooked. It sounds simple, but some of us get so focused on exercising that we forget to let our bodies recover. We need to remember to schedule a day or two for rest in our exercise schedules. It gives your body a chance to repair itself and build muscle.
LET’S PUT IT ALL TOGETHER
EXAMPLE OF WORKOUT WEEK1
There are plenty of other ways to go about it as well. The important thing is to set up a complete, well-rounded program that you can make work for your life and fitness goals.
One of the most difficult areas I find that beginners deal with is Motivation. While it’s important to know basic exercise guidelines and principles, the most important step in starting an exercise routine is exploring the idea of motivation. Without that, all the advice in the world won’t do you any good.
It’s important to remember that motivation doesn’t just happen. It’s something you make happen each and every day. If you have multiple reasons to exercise, you’ll always have something to get you moving, even when motivation is hard to come by. The hardest part of exercise is getting started. If you can get that far, you’ve won half the battle. Some ideas:
- Consider how much energy you’ll have to get more things done.
- Imagine how relaxed you’ll feel after a workout.
- Promise yourself a reward for completing your workout.
- Remind yourself how good you’ll feel by following through.
- Remind yourself of your weight-loss goals.
- Remind yourself that this workout is necessary to reach your goal
- Think of a future event to get ready for (a wedding, a vacation, etc.).
- Think of all the diseases and illnesses your workout could protect you from.
- Think of your exercise time as the only time you may get to yourself all day.
THE TAKE AWAY!
Find something you can do and do it. Over time, try to add different exercises to your regimen. Work all parts of your body through a combination of different exercises. If you can get a good mix of aerobic exercise, strength training, and stretching you will be well on your way to improving your health and feeling better about yourself.
Think about this: it’s been shown that for every minute you exercise, you gain two minutes of longevity. So get started today, you don’t have to dive off the deep end, but start at a level you can handle. That way, you’ll avoid burning out after a few weeks. It’s also good to remember that household chores, yard work, home repairs, cleaning, or playing with children count as exercise too. Remember, starting anything new is difficult at first, but it will get easier, and your improvements will continue to motivate you.