In order to achieve the best possible results, a good fitness regimen must be well rounded, with exercises that produce cardio-respiratory endurance, develop muscular strength combined with muscular endurance and improve flexibility.
By incorporating cardio-respiratory endurance exercises (also called cardiovascular workout) into fitness routine, you improve the heart and lungs ability to deliver oxygen to the body, allowing your muscles to contract efficiently. Activities that elevate the heart rate such as swimming, brisk walking, jogging, running and cycling will help you accomplish this.
Muscular strength training, also known as resistance training involves strengthening of the muscles. This can be achieved by weight lifting or exercises using your own body weight such as push ups, pull ups and squats. Muscular endurance is the ability of the muscles to continue to exert force without tiring out. Activities like jogging, dancing and cycling can help you achieve this.
Flexibility, which is the smooth movement across the joints, is also very important as it improves link movement and helps prevent injuries. It is often overlooked but is the key to avoiding injury during exercise. Swimming, yoga and tai chi can help improve flexibility.
Often our busy schedule gets in the way of us including fitness into our lifestyle. It helps to put things in perspective- being fit and healthy improves your body’s functionality and allows you to better handle the physical challenges of a busy life. It also has the added bonuses of disease prevention and improved mental alertness. In order to accomplish fitness goals you must first see fitness as a way of life. Following these simple steps can help you make changes o easily:
- Waking up 20 – 30 minutes earlier to exercise before going to work
- Getting off the bus 15 minutes before your office and 15 minutes before your house and walking the rest of the way.
- Parking in the farthest area of the parking lot from where you’re going
Many of us have sedentary jobs so it is important also to finding ways to be active at work:
- Wear a pedometer at work and set a goal for how many steps a day you want to achieve (10,000 steps a day is recommended)
- Get up and walk around the office every hour
- Walk around the building
- Walk up (and down) stairs
- Walk around the streets around your office during your lunch break
- Walk over to talk with a colleague instead of using the phone
- Run an errand yourself at work instead of sending a junior colleague
- Lift light weights while you talk on the phone
- Stretch your arms and legs while at your desk
There are no short cuts to fitness; the only way to be fit is to exercise regularly. Most people cannot afford a gym membership or a personal trainer but there are many helpful websites that show you how to achieve maximum fitness results at home and at work.
Fitness and pregnancy
Pregnancy is the number one cause of weight gain for women and if proper effort isn’t made to maintain a healthy weight, the weight adds up with each additional pregnancy. Eating right while pregnant and regular exercise is very important, women should gain no more than 25 – 35lbs (11-16kg). It is recommended that they gain less (7-11kg) if already overweight when they conceive.
Engaging in light exercises while pregnant is a way to start watching your weight gain while pregnant. Brisk walking, swimming and strength training when done properly and lightly are ways to improve your health while pregnant. It is advised that during pregnancy the best time to start exercising is in the second trimester.
It is important that you make a commitment to fitness. Start today. It could save your life!!