So, you want to start a fitness routine but don’t know where to begin. Two years ago I was in my early forties I was unemployed and 40 pounds overweight. I had had enough and decided that I was taking my life back. Today I have dropped the weight and have completely turned my life around.
How? Let me tell you.
Fitness is a triangle that consists of weight lifting, cardio (running, walking swimming etc) and last, but not least, nutrition. Let’s take a look at each one individually.
A lot of people go to the gym and concentrate on their biceps even though the bicep is a relatively small and useless muscle compared to the other muscle groups. The mistake that these people are making is that they are not doing compound exercises. Compound exercises are exercises that work more than one muscle group at the same time. The Bench Press works the triceps and the pectorals. The dead lift works the back and the legs. There are two big benefits of compound exercises over the other. First by working larger muscle groups you will increase your resting metabolism rate. You will burn more calories even when you are not working out. Also, because you are working on larger muscle groups you will be building more muscle and, the more muscle you have, the more fat you will burn.
A lot of people spend countless hours on the treadmill or the stairmaster or any one of a number of cardio machines. You don’t have to. While running miles and miles burns calories doing ten 100 meter dashes actually raises your metabolism so that, again, you will be burning calories even when you are not working out.
This is often the most overlooked area of fitness. But, it is actually the first place you should start and, in many ways, the easiest. The good news is that I am not going to recommend that you go on a diet – ever. Diets are designed to fail because they work by starving your body of something it needs to function. When the diet is over you gorge yourself on the thing you have just taught yourself to crave. The first step toward better nutrition is to steer clear of processed foods and eat the foods we were meant to eat: fresh vegetables, nuts and fruit; lean beef, chicken and fish. My wife lost 40-50 pounds in a year just be eliminating soda from her diet.
The other trick to nutrition is to graze like a gazelle and not gorge like a lion. If you eat four to six small meals a day rather than 3 large meals, again, you will raise your rate of metabolism so that you will be burning more calories.