So you`ve at last convinced yourself about a daily workout. It has taken you ages to start, but now that you have begun exercising, you want to make the most of your fitness regimen and reap the maximum benefits. A discussion with some fitness experts helped us to note down these tips which we are passing on to you.
Just tweak your regular exercise programs
- A warm up is essential before beginning any exercise, however mild it may be. But the important thing is to start your exercise in full steam as soon as you complete the warm up. Don`t relax the pace, but start off with vigorous exercise even when your body is in an elastic state thanks to the warm up. Your joints are full of fluids, your muscles and tendons are warm and your body is in the right state for a good workout. You will find that your stamina is far better and you are able to handle weights with much less effort.
- Instead of plain aerobics, you could sign up for a Dancercise class. This way you will surprise your body with some unfamiliar movements which forces it to work harder " especially if you have to keep pace with a group. You will also be using your muscles in many different ways and will end up burning more calories than by following the same routine every day.
- If you are a jogger or if cycling is your preferred form of exercise, remember to get into the intensive mode as quickly as possible. This way you will burn up at least 10% more calories than if you start slow and then pick up speed.
- Try jogging in water. You will find that it is much more strenuous, as water is more than 15 times resistant as compared to air. At your most vigorous pace, you will find that you have burnt up more than 17 calories/minute " at least twice as much as running on level ground.
- Similarly, walking or jogging on sand is tougher than on level ground " so you end up burning more calories too.
- Always try to workout in the mornings. Any exercise, when done in the morning, will help to keep your metabolism on a high for hours, giving you a better chance of burning those unwanted calories. You will also find that you are better stimulated and thus have a good chance of sticking to your programs for a longer period.
- It is important that you eat at least a banana before you enter the gym. Other foods you could eat are yogurt, some fruit, cream crackers or some peanut butter. These foods may actually help you to cut off more calories in the long run.
- Try to vary the pace of your exercise. Instead of adopting a steady pace, be a little more vigorous, but in short takes, and then slow down to a more moderate pace in order to recover. At the end, you will find that the calorie tally is far higher than if you had maintained a steady pace.
- When you are at the gym, work out on different machines " you can split your time into 3 segments and vary your machines. You could begin with a treadmill, go on to a stationary bike and finally end up on an elliptical " all continuously and with no breaks in between. You will find that your heart rate is maintained even while the calorie burn is more.
- And then, of course your posture is very important. Don`t prop up your elbows while you are exercising " you will only reduce the benefits of the exercise. Keep your back erect, tighten your abs and stop using the handrails too often. Remember, no slouching!
- Make free use of your arms. Select free total-body activities like rowing or swimming. You can also swing your arms vigorously while you are walking.
- Remember that you have to power up your walk. Use your muscles well. You have to concentrate on the abs, hips and quadriceps. Focus your mind on your body and don`t let it wander with unnecessary thoughts. Contract your abs and move your ribs closer to the hipbones.