I would like to start by pointing out that I am not a nutritionist or a trainer, nor do I have a degree in anything health or fitness related.
Nevertheless, I have always been interested in the workings of the body, especially when it comes to fitness. I do a lot of research about it in my free time and so far all the methods I am about to explain have worked very well for me.
I sometimes wondered why some people put on weight faster than others and why some lost weight much more easily. There is one very simple answer to that – they are eating more than they are burning (relative to their metabolism, of course).
So how can you help your body use more energy and burn more fat?
The answer lies in three essentials: the way you exercise, eat and sleep.
The first essential: Exercise is very important and when starting a workout you need to always warm up and cool down. Your muscles need to be awakened first. This is why the first 20 minutes of a workout are usually awkward and slow. Once your heart starts pumping the blood around your body and your brain receives the message of “move,” you can increase the rhythm of your workout and you will start enjoying it.
There are two different types of exercise – cardio and weights.
Both are equally as important. Cardio involves activities such as running, cycling, swimming, skiing, snowshoeing, walking or jumping about in a gym class with a bunch of other people while listening to music. The trick is to do any of the above, but regularly. By regularly, I mean whatever is good for you. If twice a week is all you can manage, then fine, do that and stick to it. You actually need 12 weeks to start seeing results. Ideally, one should exercise for one hour for six out of seven days. But one should always start with realistic goals and increase them gradually to fit into one’s lifestyle.
A one-hour workout of any kind consists of 4 percent of your day. That is not a lot considering the time you can spend on your phone or surfing the Internet. You will not only feel happier, you will get sick less, you will feel stronger and have more energy. It takes three weeks to get into a habit. If you can stick to something for three weeks, consider that you have nailed it.
The other way to burn energy is to lift weights. It is a fallacy that women can develop the muscles of a man. If you are heavy boned by nature it would be best that you stick to light weights and do many repetitions, as opposed to if you are more slender, when you can actually train your body to lift heavier weights by doing less repetitions in order to sculpt and tone your body. Women’s bodies are not built like men’s so there is no way you can bulk up like one.
Furthermore, it would take one entire year to put on a pound or two of muscle. So do not fear weights, just two weight lifting sessions a week can reduce overall body fat by about 3 percent in just 10 weeks, even if you don’t cut a single calorie. But as a rule of thumb, slender women should do more weights and heavier women should do more cardio. People tend to think if you just exercise it is enough. It isn’t.
Did you know that the first 15 minutes of your workout your body burns only sugars and carbs, but at 30 minutes your body enters the fat burning zone? So keep pushing!
Now we come to number two of the three essentials: eating.
Eating proper foods is necessary to having a beautiful body.
I am always amazed by the amount of time and money women and men are willing to spend on clothes, beauty products and hair salons, but when it comes to feeding their body they tend to eat rubbish.
If you work out and do not eat, or rather eat all the wrong types of foods, you will not lose weight and you will not feel good and by consequence you will not look good. If your body was a car, would you fuel it with anything other than gasoline? The idea is preposterous. However, I know so many people who abuse their bodies constantly. There are a lot of misconceptions out there about food. First, you do not need to go on a diet, but you do need to fuel your body properly. Plan your meals. If every time you open your fridge it is empty or has the wrong kind of food in it you are going to go for the wrong ones. You need good carbohydrates, good fats and good protein.
Do not skip breakfast. It is like trying to drive a car with three wheels and no gas. Eventually you will get hungry and eat the wrong foods. You need to constantly replace the glycogen in your muscles to be able to move without being fatigued and hungry. Stop eating CRAP: Carbonated beverages, Refined sugars, Artificial food, Processed food.
Keep away from alcohol, it dehydrates you and is not a source of energy. Your body does not assimilate alcohol. It is processed by your liver and evacuated from your body.
Drink lots of water.
The third essential to looking good and feeling good is: having proper sleeping habits. One must have good quality, regular sleep of about seven or eight hours a night in order for your cells to replenish themselves for the next day.
It might be difficult to get started and to stick to maintaining all three essentials, but the results are by far worth it. You will find yourself looking forward to your workout to let out all that frustration and energy that comes from a long day at work and all the other stresses that life throws your way.
Be healthy, it will keep you sane and help you live longer and better. Remember to stay positive, to know your limits and to do your best. Exercise well, eat well and sleep well.
The rest will follow.