Striving for General Fitness
General fitness is quite an arbitrary term. Most practitioners of general healthy activities adjust the term to suit their own habits, in a way it appeals specifically to their routine.
For example, one person may suggest running 2 laps around a field is enough to help maintain your fitness levels while another may argue that it should be a minimum of 10 laps rather of 2.
Leading a life with exquisite health and embracing activities that are appropriate and enjoyable is a dream for many, but only a few achieve it.
Staying healthy is a continuous process and demands discipline and commitment and as such, can be broken down into simple steps.
● The first and foremost commitment is diet. Staying healthy requires exercise but if the body hasn’t been fed with the right fuel, rather like a car engine needs the appropriate fuel to work properly (think what happens when you put diesel in a car with a petrol engine, for example!), your body might not be ready to handle the stress of sufficient levels of exercise to maintain good health. A good diet is the backbone of every training regimen. Exercising without a proper sustenance in your body won’t get you anywhere since your body won’t have enough nutrients to replenish all the aftermath of your exercise.
A balanced diet contains complex carbohydrates, proteins, healthy fats, seasonal fruits and fish oil, a high protein diet being the most important of the lot.
● Exercise comes second in the grand pursuit of a fit body. Beginners often like to take up weights and start pumping right away, which is not a great idea. Your body needs to be strong and seasoned enough to handle weights so always ensure you start carefully with much lower weights than you think you can manage.
Good practitioners will normally advise you do freehand exercises to build your upper and lower body strength before you migrate onto weights. Keep this in mind the next time you’re eyeing a power rack wanting to immediately start lifting those weights.
● Working out with weights is certainly not the be all and end all of general fitness. Do ensure you include a comprehensive regime of different types of exercise including some cardio exercise to ensure you have a healthy body and good general fitness levels.
Note the difference between general fitness and building muscles mass. Cardio exercise eats though calories like red hot iron through cheese, which is why it is so important for weight loss. So, your plans of becoming the next Mr. Universe might wash down the drain if you are on a rigorous cardio routine!
Nonetheless, the importance of cardio exercise should not be underestimated, even if bodybuilding is your priority. If this the case, just ensure you include regular levels of light cardio.
● Supplements might help you achieve your fitness goals but use wrongly, they could do more harm than good. Some argue it’s a great way to gain muscles and in most of the cases, they are right.
But, the physical construct of every individual is different. A supplement that’s working wonders on your friend might prove the opposite for you. Don’t take up on a friend’s offer and just start taking them. Be intelligent when selecting your supplements and again, always be mindful of the difference between body building and general fitness.
Always get specialist advice to get a more accurate diagnosis regarding the kind and dosage of supplement that will best compliment your psyche and the fitness levels you are aiming to achieve.
● Endurance training is a great route if you’re looking for general fitness, with options available for all levels from a beginner to an expert.
Endurance training is very demanding on your body so make sure you have plenty of water throughout and enough food before you start the routine. It is essential you listen to your trainers advise and do not overexert yourself if you are new to this type of exercise and don’t yet know your body’s limitations. Though it applies for all basic training, because endurance training is so intensive it is comparatively easy to cause yourself harm if you don’t stay within the appropriate parameters for your body and existing fitness levels.
The foundation of such training is a good deal of cardio and weight exercises. They help you build the stamina you will need when you start a rigorous endurance routine.
● Accessories such as apps aren’t a vital part of general health but tracking your progress may encourage you to push further on when you can see how much you have progressed since the first day.
For beginners, heart rate monitors are highly recommended. They are simple to use and let you see and observe how far you can push your body before it hits the wall.
● Chin-ups, inverted rows, pull ups, pushups, and squats are considered as the bodyweight staples.
One of the best ways to conditioning your muscles is mastering all of these.
Cris Ramis’s excellent article The Express Home Workout provides detailed information about these exercises.
● The greatest evils you can face during a workout is fatigue. Your body will beg you lay down and relax, screaming in your mind that it can go any further.
However, you must always push forward, no matter what – as long as you remain within the constraints your instructor has set. The maximum time you can afford between sets is 35-40 seconds. This is for endurance.
If you’re into strength training, alter between moderate and heavy weights every 7-15 reps; and a mix of low and moderate-intensity sprinting if you’re working on your cardio.
These procedures are tried and tested and are considered to be the most efficient way to reach your goals of general fitness.
If you’re still having problems maintaining your stamina, try drinking beet juice. Studies have shown that the nitrates in the beets can account for an extra 16% stamina which will let you exercise effectively for longer periods of time.
RAMIS Health & Fitness, Westcliff near Southend-on-Sea
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