Monday, March 17, 2008

Basic Fitness Training - Beginner's Guide

We are slammed with so much information on fitness that we've completely forgotten how simple exercise can be. Here's a guide to the fundamentals.

Much as love the conveniences that technology has given us, the fact is that they have severely cut down our physical activity. Cars mean we don't walk much any more. Lifts mean we don't take the stairs any more. TVs mean we don't have to go out for entertainment. This has led to what is called lifestyle diseases. There is only one way to combat such diseases, and that is to make physical exercise part of your routine, along with a controlled diet. That's why gyms and health clubs have become so popular. Some people even set up gyms at home. But since, so far,
there is no accreditation of gyms or equipment, no one really knows the basics of what is required to stay fit.

I feel it is time for us to go back to basics and understand what exactly is meant by exercise.

What is Exercise?

Any physical movement can be called exercise. But here's a tighter definition; "Exercise is a set of defined physical movements done by an individual with or without the help of a physical trainer in a stipulated time to achieve a goal, or just for fun". Exercise includes outdoor games, all kind of dance, weight training, martial arts, aerobics, yoga, meditation, pranayam and so on.

Why Exercise At All?
  • It improves mind-body coordination
  • Improves skin
  • Improves the workings of your body's defense mechanism
  • Increases the oxygen carrying capacity of blood
  • Reduces depression and anxiety
  • Helps in excretion of waste products from the body
  • Helps in weight loss by reducing the level of body fat
  • Helps in healthy weight gain by increasing muscle mass
  • Tones the body
  • Improves digestion
  • Improves your sleeping pattern
  • Gives you a better sex life
  • Slows the ageing process
Plan Your Routine

You must get at least 30-60 minutes of exercise three to five times a week. All exercise sessions should be conducted in the following manner: First, stretches, next, warm-ups and stamina building, third, strengthening and endurance exercises and finally, a cool down. But you can personalize your exercise routine by factoring in your age, sex, medical history, physiological condition (such as pregnancy or puberty), family medical history, body mass index, availability of time, type of profession, diet habits, personal target, heart rate and blood pressure. You must give your trainer this information, so he or she can make the best routine for you. Keep in mind however, that you also need to follow a healthy diet for best results.

Gadgets Not Vital

Physical exercise can be done with or without equipment. There are many gadgets to help you work out more correctly and efficiently, but equipment is not vital. If you prefer to use equipment, studies have shown that motorized treadmills offer more benefits than any other fitness device. And it is the most popular fitness devices in India, both at home and at gyms. This is because most of us are fonder of walking, jogging or running than any of exercise, and it is believed that a treadmill helps us burn calories faster.

Selecting A Treadmill

Before you rush off to buy a treadmill, do keep these points in mind so you can make the best of it.

  • Its motor should be heavy and large, preferably of 1.5 to 2.5 horsepower. An AC motor is better for India. The motor should have a year warranty. The more power a treadmill offers, the cooler it will run and the longer it will last.
  • Its deck should be as thick as possible as that is what cushions your feet when you walk/run.
  • The walking deck needs to have a proper suspension that will act as a shock absorber and prevent injury to weight-bearing joints like the ankle, knee and hip.
  • The treadmill's console shou1d tell you details like speed, distance, incline, time and calories burned. A heart rate feature is optional.
  • There should be a safety key for emergency stops.
  • The belt speed should start and stop in small gradual increments.
  • The machine should have handrails or console grips.

How to use it

  • Wear branded jogging shoes, track pants and well fitting undergarments.
  • Have a medical check up before starting a treadmill routine as it's not recommended for those who suffer aches in their weigh-bearing joints.
  • Incline it by one to one and a half per cent for better results.
  • Start slow (walking), then go to your peak speed (jogging or running), then cool down by walking.
Steps ahead

If you are amongst those who have been aspiring to flaunt those head turning rock hard muscles and want a body to die for, here's a body building regime for you with all sure shot secrets and most effective tips.

1 comment:

miguel said...

Nice post! Your site looks neat, clean, etc. Solid tips for any beginner out there.