How to Make Fitness a Way of Life?

Blog By: Kavitha Iyer.

Just three hours of exercise in a week can give us tremendous benefits for the rest of 165 hours

“We do not stop exercising because we grow old.  We grow old because we stop exercise.”  Most of us think we don’t have enough time to exercise. We’re only talking about three to six hours a week – or a minimum of 30 minutes a day, every other day. That hardly seems much considering the tremendous benefits in terms of the impact on the other 162-165 hours of the week.  Your body right now is a reflection of the choices you have made up to this point. Want a better body? Want to start feeling healthier?  You’re going to have to start making better choices. We all know what those better choices are. The hard part is implementing and maintaining discipline. Key points to keep in mind along with your daily fitness regime.

Hydrate yourself

Hydration affects energy levels and is essential to your workout performance. Proper hydration regulates body temperature and heart rate. In one hour of exercise, you could lose more than a 250 (ml) of water, depending on exercise intensity and air temperature. Without enough water for the body to cool itself through perspiration, you could become dehydrated you will lose energy, and your muscles may cramp.

Pre and post workout fuel

Keep your metabolism stoked all the time. Before your workout have protein and slow burning carbohydrates together, ideally you have to eat one to two hours before a workout, but if you workout first thing in the morning, grab at least a glass of juice or a fruit first. Do not work out on an empty stomach. After workout, refuel quickly. There is a 30-minute window post-workout when you want to consume a certain amount of carbohydrates and protein to fuel your muscle

Cardio respiratory fitness

When you perform cardio-respiratory activity, your heart, lungs and circulatory system work hard to deliver oxygen-rich blood to your muscles. You can choose from a wide variety of cardio activities like swimming, biking, running, dancing, stair climbing, circuit training and interval training all fall under the cardio category. Chose something you enjoy. 

Weight training

As we age we lose muscle mass, and it is imperative to replace it. Do weight training two to three times a week and target all major muscle groups. A big motivations for weight training is that it increases muscle mass of the body.  Whether you are using weights, resistance bands or your own body, having more muscle mass generally means you have a higher resting metabolic rate, so you’ll burn more calories even when you’re not working out. Beyond looking fitter and trimmer, resistance training can help you reduce fat mass (and abdominal mass), which can increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Physical and mental health benefits that can be achieved through resistance training include: Improved muscle strength and tone – to protect your joints from injury. It also helps you maintain flexibility and balance and helps you remain independent as you age. Weight management and increased muscle-to-fat ratio – as you gain muscle, your body burns more kilojoules when at rest. Greater stamina – as you grow stronger, you won’t get tired as easily Prevention or control of chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, back pain, depression and obesity.

Pain management.

  • Improved mobility and balance.
  • Improved posture.
  • Decreased risk of injury.
  • Increased bone density and strength and reduced risk of osteoporosis.
  • Improved sense of wellbeing – resistance training may boost your self-confidence, improve your body image and your mood.
  • A better night’s sleep and avoidance of insomnia.
  • Increased self-esteem.
  • Enhanced performance of everyday tasks.

Stretching

Many people think stretching is not necessary for an exercise routine. Although studies about the benefits of stretching are mixed, stretching may help you improve your joint range of motion, which in turn may help improve your athletic performance and decrease your risk of injury. Understand why stretching can help and how to stretch correctly. Stretching can help improve flexibility, and, consequently, range of motion in your joints. Better flexibility may improve your performance in physical activities or decrease your risk of injuries by helping your joints move through their full range of motion and enabling your muscles to work most effectively.

Protein intake

Protein is a major building block for muscle, and is broken down and used to fuel muscle recovery after your workout. “You actually get stronger after the workout. While working out, you break down muscles, and rebuilding occurs in the recovery stage 24 to 36 hours later, which is why protein after a workout is essential. If you’re working out regularly, try to get protein with every meal or snack. “It’s slow to digest, and will keep you full for longer, It’s important to get protein from a variety of plant and animal sources

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