We all understand that exercise is good for us. It will reduce your risk of cancer, coronary heart disease and stroke, alleviate depression, make you feel good, and make you look good, too. If it were a pill, as has often been said, it would be the most brilliant and valuable commodity in the history of the world. If you’re going to get the most from an exercise program, it’s important to set the right goals from the outset. This will help to provide you with motivation, and help you to stick with the plan once the initial novelty of your programme has worn off.
Realistic Weight Loss
The most common mistake among those who want to lose weight is to try to lose it too quickly. The fact is that if you lose more than a pound or so each week, the chances are that most of the loss will come from things other than your body fat reserves.
You can’t lose fat from a particular area of your body – it’s always going to be spread evenly, no matter how many crunches you do. That’s how it works. Bear in mind also that no amount of exercise will alleviate loose skin around your abdomen – for that you might need to look into cosmetic surgery.
You’re going to gain strength in small increments over time. Don’t lift more than you can really handle, and have a spotter there if you’re going to be pushing things really far. Bear in mind also that you need to eat the right things if you want to build those personal bests every week. For beginners, something like the Stronglifts 5×5 program is difficult to beat.
Don’t Forget Diet
If you aren’t eating the right things, then no amount of exercise is going to produce the right results. To lose weight, you need to eat fewer calories than you expend; to gain it, you need to eat more. Of course, eating is a habit that’s difficult to get out of, especially if your level of dietary fibre isn’t sufficient to absorb all of those sugar crashes, which can interfere your ghrelin and leptin (these are hormones which regulate satiety and appetite). While you learn about nutrition, you can simply abide by simple rules of thumb – don’t shop in the middle aisles, where all the processed stuff is, and make sure that you have plenty of veg piled onto every plate.
Don’t Forget Recovery
Your body needs time to recover if it’s going get the best from exercise. That means getting adequate sleep each evening, and it also means taking the occasional break from training, especially after heavy sessions. This should be factored into your long-term plan, but it’s also something that can be adjusted as you go. If you listen to your body and take a break, then you might avoid injury.
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