Fitness, as we discussed in my previous article, means different things to different people. For any fitness program to be effective and successful a person should have very clear goals in mind. Weight loss and toned bodies are very common goals but may not happen with a single fitness program.
Generally people want the shortest and easiest route in life to achieve their goals. If one can drink green tea all day and lose weight, then why work out? If ingesting pills made from the liver of the Tibetan yak can help you lose weight then why not take it? People are even looking for a molecular reset switch which can make them slimmer, healthier and younger person. Let me tell you that there are no shortcuts!! In fitness and weight loss there is no easy path which can make it happen. The path is tough and requires a changed mindset and discipline. It will be a daily struggle and will require motivation at a personal level. If you can join a fitness group, a conveniently located gym or get some friends to accompany you on this journey then the workouts will be much easier.
And how much exercise should you do? For most people exercise is usually walking from their car to the elevator. This doesn’t count! An hour of walking or 30 minutes of jog / run should be an important part of your daily routine. This much effort is very basic and should not feel like a huge task.
Since our goal is long term fitness we should think long term and not weigh ourselves after coming back from our workout on the first day. A good weight loss program will see a person losing 2 to 3 kgs per month. A goal of losing 10 kgs will require 3 to 4 months as per my math calculations! This means a weight loss program requires 75 to 100 days of 1 hour workouts at the least.
Take it easy right from the start and don’t be aggressive or you will get tired and give up in a few days. To mention a cliché – “Rome wasn’t built in a day”.
I am proposing a workout routine consisting of three stages for you.
1. Warm Up – This is the first and most important part of any workout routine. Players playing at the international level also give a lot of importance to the Warm Up routine. The body needs to be heated up for stressful exercises or activities. This process is called a warm up. Basic calisthenics, slow walking help in the warm up process. One can do some stretching after the warm up.
2. Aerobic/cardiovascular activity – These exercises as the words suggest require your lungs and heart to work at a higher scale. Running, cycling, walking, swimming and Zumba are some examples. This is the next stage of the workout. This has to be paced from slow to fast. For the first month or so one should concentrate on walking for an hour. Brisk walking will definitely help but this should be adopted after 2 weeks from the start day.
3. Cool down – After the workout it is better to walk around slowly letting the body come to a normal rate of activity. Stretching the stressed out muscles is also very important. Yoga helps a lot in the cooling down process. The muscles can be stretched at this stage as they are already warm.
Please check this link for a good set of warm up and cooling down exercises.
Keep your warm up to around 10 minutes. Your cardio activity can be for 45 minutes and then 15 minutes for cooling and stretching.
This is a very basic and easy workout routine. This should be good for the first month. Weight loss chasers need to also start on their 1500 calorie diet (for women) and 2200 calorie diet (for men).
Keep it going till I write to you again!