When it comes to exercise, doing a bit is better than doing nothing. If you really want to exercise, you will find time for it. If you do not have the time because you are too busy, you would need to make time. Try waking up 30 minutes earlier in the morning or perhaps fitting in 30 minutes at some other point during the day, such as before your shower or during a work break. If you are not keen to exercise, you will find all kinds of excuses. Click here to see the top 10 excuses not to exercise and how to overcome them.
Brisk walking is one of the easiest exercises to begin a fitness program with. Walking is a low-impact exercise which keeps bones strong, controls blood pressure, helps fight cancer, and keeps you in good physical health. But brisk walking is also great for mental health and is recommended for people suffering depression....it requires no great warm up or preparation to start walking, and that is useful for depressed people who have low motivation levels. You start walking at a slow pace and then build up gradually....the boost in blood circulation affects the brain and helps you feel better mentally. And since walking does not require high concentration levels unlike other exercises, it gives depressed people time to sort out their thoughts and improve mental health.
If your main aim is to lose weight and you would like to see fast results, then you may need to increase the intensity of your exercise. Exercise intensity is gauged by measuring your heart rate during exercise using a heart rate monitor. The more intensely you exercise, the higher your heart rate goes and the more calories and fat you burn. To lose weight, you should first ideally calculate your target heart rate depending on your level of fitness using this calculator. You should then aim to exercise for at least 20 minutes a day within this "fat-burning" target heart rate zone. To ensure that your have reached your target heart rate for at least 20 minutes, you should preferably use a heart rate monitor with a chest strap that keeps a log of when you are within your target zone and alerts you when you are out of this zone. As you get fitter, your target heart rate will increase, that is you will need to exercise more intensely to get consistent results. You should never exceed your maximum heart rate which is 220 minus your age.
Before starting a new exercise program, you should ideally get a medical check-up to assess your level of fitness and to determine how intensely you can exercise. Once this is established, you would need to determine what your targets are. If you would like to control your weight and increase your level of fitness, you can start by brisk walking on a regular basis. This can later be increased to a slow jog and possibly a fast jog as you get fitter. Walking and jogging can be done outside or at home on a treadmill.
A cross trainer, which is shown opposite, is a machine which can be used instead of a treadmill as a means of cardiovascular exercise. By using a cross trainer, you would also be exercising your arms and shoulders as well as your legs and this results in a more comprehensive workout. Exercise intensity varies depending on personal preferences and targets. If you would like to lose weight, you would still need to reach your target heart rate for at least 20 minute a day using this machine. It is highly recommended that you stretch your muscles before and after any type of exercise in order to prevent injury.
Interval training is a type of physical training that involves a series of high-intensity exercise workouts interspersed with rest or relief periods. So if you are walking, you can sprint for a period of 30 seconds and then walk again for 2 minutes, then sprint for 30 seconds and so on.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is an enhanced form of interval training, an exercise strategy alternating periods of short intense anaerobic exercise with less-intense recovery periods. HIIT has been studied extensively and it is proven to improve fitness and athletic capacity as well as glucose metabolism, thus preventing type II diabetes. It decreases high blood pressure and other risk factors for cardiovascular disease. It stimulates production of human growth hormone which slows down the aging process, making you feel young both inside and out! Over and above all this, HIIT burns fat very efficiently. If you really would like to lose weight fast, then you should really aim at trying this kind of training. Most of these workouts involves the whole body and help you tone up and burn fat even hours after your have completed the workout. You will increase your metabolic rate, look good and feel great. The benefits of HIIT are highlighted here. Two short HIIT workouts are shown below and these can be done in the comfort of your own home.
If you are looking to get the fastest results possible in the shortest possible time, or you are looking to get into shape, then you should go for one of the intense HIIT programs that Beachbody have to offer.
The most popular of these is Insanity. In this workout routine, Shaun T uses the Max Interval Training technique to push your body to its limits. In just 60 days, you can lose up to 25kg of body fat and you are guaranteed to get into the best shape of your life. This program is mainly for people who already possess some level of fitness and it is recommended that you get a full-medical check-up before.
Insanity is a 9 week program done according to a given schedule. Workouts are done 6 days a week with one day of rest. During the first 4 weeks, workouts are around 40 minutes long. After this, there is a week of "recovery" workouts of around 35 minutes each. Finally, there are 4 weeks of one hour workouts which will truly take every last bit of energy out of you. A fit test should be carried out every 2 weeks and this will show you that you are becoming fitter as you progress. Insanity is a true challenge and it is only for people who are truly committed. The results with this workout are guaranteed and truly amazing.
Insanity is now being taught in Malta by Sabrina Grima who is a certified Insanity fitness instructor. Since Insanity was introduced in Malta, many people have joined this big family of Insaniacs who work out doing Insanity together 4-5 times a week.