Monday, 7 May 2012

How to start getting in shape

There are thousands upon thousands of people who want to get into shape but don't really know how to go about it. This is often why fad diets and gimmicky exercise regimes are so successful, because that is what most people see in the media! I'm going to give you some information assuming you're an absolute beginner, and give you some tips about how to get started.

1- Fitness programmes: You do not have to buy an expensive set of DVDs to get fit, it is recommended that you do try to stick to a plan, I recommend working out 3-6 times a week.

2- The Gym: If you can afford it, get a gym membership, a lot of universities have their own gyms that can be great value for money if you use it. At Nottingham you can get silver membership and go swimming twice a week or book any court/pitch twice a week and you save over £100!  Although it is really useful, the gym can be intimidating, if you feel intimidated by the gym either go with a friend or a group of friends. Alternatively you do not even have to go to the gym to get fit, a lot of exercises can be done at home with little or no equipment.

3-Time: You don't have to do endless hours on the treadmill or bikes to lose weight. If you want to improve your stamina then you need to work continually for at least 20 minutes at a low intensity, this will improve your cardiovascular endurance, which means how long your heart and lungs can keep you going for without getting tired. However if you don't have that much time there are ways in which you can burn the same amount of energy in much less time than running a marathon everyday or something ridiculous like that. Which leads us to my next point.

4- Compound exercises: These exercises are things like squats or burpees, they are basically any exercise that uses more than one muscle group at a time. The more muscles that are working at once, the more energy you're going to use.

5- Lifestyle: These are ways in which you can greatly improve the effectiveness of your workouts and see real gains, these compromise diet, sleep and stress. It is essential to get your diet right, if you eat lots of sugary snacks and junk food, there's no way you'll get that ideal body. It's important to eat lots of veg and protein rich food eg chicken, red meat, fish but you should also eat a good amount of carbs and some intake of a little fat is essential, this can be hard on a student budget as its so much more convenient to just sling something in the microwave or order something, but diet is about half the battle when it comes to fitness. It is also important to sleep right, I know this is hard if you're a gamer or a student but trust me, you will really see an improvement in how you feel by just getting the right sleep at the right time. You should sleep for about 6-8 hours and try to make that be between say 12 and 8 o'clock (reasonable right?). Finally, it is important to try and keep stress down, and with exam season looming that's going to be hard, but if you're constantly under stress you won't be able to grow as well (I'll explain this in more depth at a later stage).

Okay that's all for now. I'll go through some of these points in more depth at a later stage.

If you have any questions or suggestions feel free to leave a comment down below :)

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