How to get the best out of a workout

FITNESS FIRST Design your workout with a trainer and measure  your progress at monthly intervals.

Expensive creams, lotions, potions, spa treatments and more — we’ve tried them all in our quest for youthful good looks. While it may not come from an appointment at a salon, great looks can become yours with a sensible workout plan. Exercise and healthy eating habits combine to make beautiful, glowing skin. Great-looking skin can be maintained only through consistent hard work. So, it’s time to turn to your gym. A good workout plan builds:

*Muscle strength
* Muscle endurance
*Cardio-respiratory endurance (aerobic fitness)

Flexibility

Weight loss or gain is always best achieved  with the help of a nutritionist or dietician. Weight-loss diets attempted through starvation/ crash diets usually fail miserably, leading to deficiencies.

Fitness and good health come from building muscle strength and muscle endurance. Your ability to repeatedly lift or carry out a muscle-dependant activity, such as doing push-ups, indicates your muscle endurance.

Cardio-respiratory endurance refers to the strength of the heart while carrying out an aerobic or oxygen-consuming activity like running or playing a sport. Marathon runners, bicycle racers and swimmers would require strong cardio-respiratory endurance. Those with  good cardio-respiratory fitness can dance all night too!

A well-equipped gym has cardio machines, treadmills, cross-trainers or elliptical trainers, steppers or hill climbers, and stationary bicycles.

Make sure that you are in a large, well-ventilated room with adequate natural light when you are performing cardio exercises. Most gyms have a trainer to oversee aerobics and cardio regimes. Some even offer group activities like spin cycling.

If you want to build muscle strength and endurance, you should check if your gym has free weights, cable machines and Smith frames.

Cable machines have weights attached at the end of a cable that runs over a pulley. Different cable machine posts exercise specific groups of muscles or individual muscles. This equipment must be operated very slowly for maximum advantage.

Free weights and Smith frames must be used only under the supervision of a trainer as first-time users can injure themselves easily.

Design your workout routine with a trainer and measure your progress at monthly intervals.

 If your trainer is a certified fitness professional, s/he will be easily able to administer tests to monitor your progress. If weight loss is your overwhelming goal, note your weight and consult a nutritionist for a weight-loss diet that is practical. 

Exercise and diet can help an individual lose weight. Here’s a case study. An individual who is 5 ft 4 inches tall weighs 80 kg. His ideal weight would be 63 kg, which means he is 17 kg heavier than normal.

If his/her basal metabolic rate is 1620 calories a day, a 1200- calorie diet can help him shed 420 calories a day. If a 90-minute workout can burn a 1420-calorie deficit, his weight will further drop by a kilo. So the individual can lose 18 kg in 108 days or four months.

A good workout also helps one beat anxiety and stress, improve posture and skin tone, and enhance immunity.

When you find yourself running up the stairs, walking with a straight back, leaping across fences or egging others to get active, consider your fitness goals achieved!

Did you know?

*Any diet below 1,200 calories will lead to specific dietary deficiencies.
* Each extra kilo carries 7,700 calories.
*Your height in centimetres, minus 100 points, is your ideal weight.

*Your basal metabolic rate, the rate at which your body burns calories, is calculated by multiplying your height in centimetres by 10.

*To lose weight, you must work on building a calorie deficit. You will lose weight predictably, assuming you do not cheat on the diet or exercise plan suggested by your doctor and trainer.

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