Getting Fit: What You Need to Know
Anyone thinking of starting an exercise programme to get fit usually has a number of questions they'd like answered. What exercise or activity should I take up to get fit?How long do I need to train for? How do I get the best benefits from exercise?
Let's look at the options! Firstly you should find an activity that you are comfortable doing and one that you think you will enjoy. Beginners should think about exercising 2-3 times a week at the most to start with. To get any benefit from exercise you need to work the body harder than normal, by increasing your heart rate, this can be done by walking or jogging, by lifting weights, by swimming, or by many other forms of activity.
As your body becomes accustomed to exercise you need to increase the number of times you exercise, the intensity of the workout and the length of time of your session, to continue to improve your fitness levels. A combination of the three types of exercise here will give you a good overall workout.
Aerobic ExerciseAerobic exercise mainly involves exercising the large muscle groups. Walking, aerobic dance, cycling and jogging are good examples of aerobic exercise.Rowing, swimming and other activities that combine both upper and lower body movements can help increase your aerobic capacity.
Strength TrainingStrength training involves exercises where resistance is used to build or maintain muscle. Training with weights or dumbbells is a good way to build up strength, but exercises like sit-ups, abdominal crunches, and circuit training at the gym are equally effective.
FlexibilityFlexibility is an important part of any exercise regime. Increasing flexibility can reduce the risks of strains, twists, and other injuries, especially for beginners.Stretching is an important factor in increasing flexibility, it increases blood supply to joints and muscles, can increase physical performance, reduces soreness, reduces the risk of injury and reduces stress in muscles.
Try different forms of activity, you don't need to do only one. You can combine new activities with your favourite activities to help keep your enthusiasm and motivation high.
When starting to exercise it's not uncommon for you to make mistakes that cause your workout to be ineffective or even worse causing you injury. Some of the mistakes to look out for are: