For most people, working out is thought to be a very implicit task. You just go to the gym, start lifting as many weights as you can and do a lot of cardio. However, it isn’t so simple a task. There’s a lot that has to be thought of to make your time as much efficient as possible. And whether you believe it or not, not taking some of these steps can actually do more harm than good. Contrary to popular belief, one doesn’t always have to go to the gym to exercise. The same routine can be done at home as well, often in a much better way.
The hardest part of fitness is getting started. Trust me on this, I’m saying this with years of personal experience. Once you’ve been in the habit for a few months, it just gets easier and easier. Your body develops strength in various places and builds a stronger heart. Also when you keep fit, chemicals called endorphins are released. They reduce the perception of pain in the body and trigger positive feelings. Eventually, a time comes when you feel incomplete without getting your regular dose of fitness.
So let’s get started with how the process of exercising should be, to attain maximum benefits in the shortest time possible.
1. Change is constant
As mentioned before, doing a particular workout gets much easier with time. Then, your body gradually gets resistant to some specific exercises. Thus, performing those set of exercises becomes less beneficial. So your routine should be changed often enough to avoid encountering this problem. There are two options for changing your routine, namely doing a different mix of sets each time or changing your whole regime after some time. If you’re following the latter, as a general rule of thumb, it’s advised to substitute them every 4-8 weeks.
2. Diversity is key
This is somewhat related to the former point. Carrying out the same exercise in a multitude number of times is getting you absolutely nowhere. No matter what you wish to achieve, moderation is key. The majority of individuals should include some cardio (or HIIT-High Intensity Interval Training) and strength training. Now the proportions of each of these can be decided by taking into consideration each person’s personal situation.
Most experts on this subject agree on the fact that long breaks between exercises is a waste of time and makes everything less intensive or effective. Taking a minute or two to sip on some water, lay down and take a deep breath is absolutely necessary. However, after that, you should dive in straight to your next activity. If you’re a beginner who’s finding it hard to sustain your workout, then initially you can take long breaks of a few minutes. However, get rid of the practice as soon as possible.
If you’re wondering why you’ve suddenly hit a plateau, then this may be the most valid reason.
In most strength training programs and some cardio, apart from just completing the exercise, it is crucial to keep breathing in and out well and engaging body parts. For instance, while doing crunches, make sure pull in the stomach the whole time.
Ideally, every fitness freak must take a good thorough pre and post-workout stretch. But doing either one of them will also do perfectly fine. Stretching keeps the muscles strong, flexible, healthy and maintains the range of motion in our build. A lack of cooldown results in the body muscles getting short, tight and even damaged. Abundant exercise often stresses out our physiques. While stretches, on the other hand, have the ability to relax and calm the whole figure. If you’re not into them, try adding some yoga (which is proven to be equally productive). At the same time, our whole form also gets more flexile and toned.