It’s never really easy to push yourself out of the comfort zone and start something new in your life. There’s always this ‘’starting from tomorrow’’ attitude and a plethora of other excuses we so masterfully come up with that stop us from exercising. It’s understandable. People are simply intimidated by all the different types of exercise they can choose from. Should it be yoga, regular gym or running around the block every day?(more…)
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5 Weight Lifting Tips I Wish I Knew as a Beginner
If you’ve grown tired of your flabby countenance, not to mention feeling awful all the time because you fill yourself with junk food and live a sedentary lifestyle, then perhaps you’re finally ready to lay down the remote, pick up some weights, and start turning your excess baggage into toned, tightened muscle mass. Of course, you’re not going to snap your fingers and look like Arnold Schwarzenegger circa his Mr. Olympia years.
It’s going to take time, effort, and probably money to trim down and bulk up. And you’re going to need some help along the way. Luckily, there are plenty of trainers, forums, and even body builders at your local gym that can offer you pointers along the way.
Here are just a few basic tips to get you started on your journey to a muscular physique.
Starting Off Slow With Basic Nutrition Tips
Many trying to maintain a healthy diet struggle to understand how good nutrition works and/or how it should be applied. This confusion is often compounded by conflicting “expert” nutritional advice. However, the simplest approach to good nutrition is remembering that all nutritional substances should be ingested to promote health and prevent disease.
It’s also important to remember that food choices aren’t just about weight, as food choices can greatly reduce or increase the likelihood of a person developing cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. As far as overall health, food plays a major role in energy, memory, mood, and sleep.
Since good nutrition hinges on life-long lifestyle choices, it will never involve starving, cutting out vital food groups, or completely depriving yourself from food that is enjoyable. None of the above is congruent with sustainability, and is the main reason that “fad diets” never result in good nutrition or a maintainable weight. Good nutrition has everything to do with eating smart foods…in a smart way. Try the following nutrition tips to get you on the path to smart eating:
Start Slow and Simple
Don’t abandon unhealthy choices all at once, as this will usually lead to binge eating. Focus on slowly replacing unhealthy food sources with healthier choices. For example, one might gradually replace tater chips with fresh vegetable chips. Try to take existing unhealthy recipes and alter unhealthy ingredients one at a time. For example, a recipe that calls for butter or vegetable oil might be amended to utilize olive oil. Even a simple sandwich can be altered to be more nutritious by changing white bread to whole grain, ham to turkey breast, and mayo to mustard. Eventually, you will be able to make every food choice nutritionally sound.
Don’t Mindlessly Eat
Stop and think about the food – Am I eating this to sustain me or soothe me? Food is too often used as an emotional crutch or mindless action. It can be helpful to disassociate food with cars, television, and computers. It’s easy to just gulp something down when your mind is on driving vs. actually eating. It’s also easy to mindlessly eat when distracted by a television and computer. Whenever possible eat at a table and take the time to properly chew and savor food. Keep in mind that it takes 20 minutes for the brain to realize that the stomach is full; so, eat slow and stop eating before actually feeling full. Plan meals out to include several small meals throughout the day, which will help keep energy and metabolism up for weight loss.
Think of Fitness as an Essential Food Group
Fitness training is just as essential as any of the food groups and dieting tips. Optimal health can’t be achieved through exercise without healthy eating or healthy eating without exercise. A simple routine strength training program should be included in all exercise regimens. It’s important to start the training with the proper resistance size. A good guide is a size that fatigues you after about 12 repetitions. If you aren’t able to use correct form, that too is a sign that the weight is too heavy. Start out with a twice a week fitness plan with 4 to 5 sets of 12 reps with or without fitness equipment. Many professional trainers recommend aiming for muscular failure, where the muscle can’t possibly do anymore, after the first month of strength training.