Simple steps to take at home or at a gym to lose weight and boost body strength
Everyone wants to stay fit and fine. That’s why so many of us make ambitious resolutions about weight loss or increased exercise that we find hard to abide by. But it doesn’t have to be this way! Here are some suggestions for simple strategies to lose weight and gain and maintain optimum strength levels. Although these tips are geared toward people who may be new to developing an exercise regimen, they apply to anyone who wants to lose weight or add body strength.
It is said that losing weight is not as difficult as gaining weight. I’m not sure if this is true, but I do know that weight-loss is not such a difficult task if you manage to stick to the schedule you or your doctor have planned. Here are a few suggestions to help you lose your weight in an efficient manner:
- Utilization of Good Fat: Most people have a common misconception that they will lose weight if they reduce their diet intake. In fact, the best way to burn your body fat is to consume fat. There are two types of fats in our bodies: bad fat and good fat. The white fat is the ‘bad fat’ and, while it is essential to our physiology, excessive amounts should be reduced from our body because it has many undesirable effects. Reducing consumption of refined and processed foods and increasing your metabolic activity through exercise will help. The brown fat is the ‘good fat’ that is powerful because it consists of mitochondria, a component of cells that burns calories to generate heat. This good fat helps to reduce 20% of your caloric intake, thereby reducing your overall fat. Brown fat generation is increased by exercising, getting quality sleep, and subjecting yourself to cold weather (i.e., a walk outside on a winter day). The basic idea, therefore, is to control your white fat levels while increasing brown fat.
- Consumption of Vitamin D: Vitamin D is vitally useful in losing weight, hence it should be consumed whenever possible. A scientific study proves that the people who commence their weight-loss programs by consuming vitamin D lose more weight compared to those who don’t consume it. Vitamin D is not easily available in food products, so another way to gain this nutrition is to opt for vitamin D3 supplements.
- Green Tea: Consuming green tea regularly can help you lose pounds effectively without negative side effects. Since green tea helps to burn fat and reduce fat absorption, a daily intake of 4-5 cups of green tea will surely help you achieve weight-loss.
People typically believe a strength-building program means working out at the gym. But this is not your only option if you want to increase your strength and tone-up your body. You can elevate your fitness level by performing the following simple workouts at home or at a gym:
Before starting your workout, be sure to loosen up your muscles with some primary stretching exercises and increasing your heart rate with a few jumping jacks or knee raises.
- Beginner Level: Exercises at this level utilize your body weight and incorporate familiar calisthenics routines including push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups, crunches, squats, dips, etc.
- Advanced Level: Along with the above exercises, you can also opt for running, cycling or swimming — three excellent ways to strengthen and tone your body. Work your way up to running 3-5 miles, cycling 8-10 miles or swimming for 30-60 minutes daily.
Exercising at the gym under the guidance of a trainer is always the best way to start a fitness program. Many gyms offer free training sessions when you become a member if you can’t afford regular sessions with a private trainer. Either alone or with a trainer, here are some good exercises to build up your strength.
- Barbells and Dumbbells: Using barbells is an effective way to isolate and build specific muscles. Once you are comfortable lifting heavier weights using a barbell, you can move forward to dumbbells and other weight training techniques such as deadlift, bench-press, and shoulder-press. Dumbbells are preferred to barbells and machines, because they engage the stabilizing muscles around the primary muscles, providing a more ‘functional’ training regimen.
- Keep It Simple: Try to keep your workout as simple as possible. Some gym trainers tell you to follow a specific rep cycle that might or might not suit your weight lifting capacity. At a beginner level, just focus on lifting and lowering lighter weights at a slow, controlled pace with good, disciplined form. Once you are comfortable and used to the workout, you can advance to more reps and/or more weight.
- Chart Your Progress: It is important to keep a track of your workout plan by making sure that you note down the sets, reps, weight amounts, and workout methods you perform at the gym every day. Keeping a daily track of all this can help you increase the number of sets as well as your weight lifting capacity — and it is a great way to keep you motivated once you see how much progress you have made!
In conclusion, a mindful weight loss and strength training program can be simple and performed anywhere. The only requirement is a commitment to start!
You may also enjoy reading Fun And Games: Getting Back to Your Fitness Roots, by Dave Gleason