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Top 4 Ways to Ensure You are Exercising Smart
As you begin to incorporate fitness into your healthier lifestyle, be sure you are exercising smart. People seldom know what to do when it comes to frequency of exercise, intensity of exercise or the type of exercise they should perform and often don’t get the best results they want from the effort they put in. If you’re ever in doubt then a trained professional will be able to provide recommendations suited to you and your goals.
Cardiovascular Training vs. Resistance Training: Which should you be doing?
- Make Sure You Get the Heart Pumping
Cardiovascular fitness is the first and most important type of exercise to do. Experts in Sports Medicine recommend cardio exercise three to five times per week with a duration of at least 20 continuous minutes per bout. This will keep the heart and lungs working at their optimum and the circulatory system healthy. Some examples of cardiovascular exercise include: brisk walking, jogging, swimming, dancing, cycling and cardio kickboxing. Your heart must be pumping, you should be mildly out of breath and definitely sweating.
- It’s time to work the muscles
Resistance training is just as important to your muscles as cardiovascular training is for your heart. According to Sports Medicine, a routine to condition and strengthen your muscles should be done two to three times per week. Each session of training should include working most major muscle groups i.e. biceps, triceps, chest, back, shoulders, quadriceps, hamstrings, calves and abdominal muscles. To prevent any muscular imbalances, exercising should include strengthening the lower and upper body muscles as well as the anterior and posterior muscles. As you continue to perform your designed program, be sure to include a progressive overload—slow challenge over time—to your routine. For example, if you begin performing bicep curls with two kg dumbbells, as time progresses and you are no longer challenged, increase to three kg dumbbells.
So, when it comes to exercising smart it’s really important to incorporate both cardio training and resistance training into your fitness regime.
- Never Forget to Stretch
After cardio or resistance training is completed, you must always include a post-workout stretch for flexibility. This ensures the muscles will be returned to original length and you will minimize the dreaded soreness most people experience after exercising. Sports Medicine recommends one stretch per muscle group performed three to five times held for ten to thirty seconds. Stretching should not be painful, but the muscle should be lengthened to a point of mild discomfort. When done properly, the muscles will begin to experience increased flexibility and this will transfer not only to a better ability to exercise, but also in performing activities of daily living and improved posture.
- Put a plan in place
Engaging in a routine exercise program offers many benefits to the body. The key to not doing too much or too little is to exercise smart. Effective designing, planning and implementing of an exercise program is easy when you follow the simple guidelines offered by trained Sports Medicine professionals. Remember, it is always important to reassess your routine to continue to achieve maximum results. If you need assistance, speak with a physiotherapist or exercise physiologist.
9 tips which will keep you exercising smart, and optimising your training regime by eating well.
- Exercise daily.
- Talk with you health care provider first, start slowly, and build gradually.
- Schedule your physical activity and use a diary to record your times. Try to set aside a specific & regular time of the day for exercise, if possible.
- Eat smart by eating reasonable meal portions.
- Start your day with a healthy breakfast.
- Shop smart.
- Plan all your meals.
- Manage cravings.
- Eat slowly.