For those that would like a more vigorous workout plan, weight training is a viable option that can combine building muscle tone and working the cardiovascular system. Weight training tones your muscles and raises your metabolism, which helps your body burn more calories not only when exercising, but also while you sleep. Weight training reverses the natural decline in your metabolism, which begins around age 30; therefore this is something to think about for all those who have reached that age.
Working with weights can produce a great deal of energy, and a full workout works almost all of the 650 muscles in your body. Looking toward long-term benefits, weight training strengthens bones, which can reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis. This of course is of very big concern amongst women, since osteoporosis afflicts women much more than men.
Many women worry that weight training will make them muscular and bulky like a mans; yet you must keep in mind that men and women have different muscular structures, therefore weight training will not develop big muscles on women, just toned muscles. Not only is weight training a routine that makes you strong, it is a routine that trains the body to build muscle instead of fat, takes stress off key areas of the body such as the lower back, making you less prone to injury in that area. Since high blood pressure or hypertension is a big concern with those who are obese, it is welcome news that weight training decreases your resting blood pressure. Weight training has also been proven to increase your blood level of HDL cholesterol, which is commonly referred to as good cholesterol. Overall health is definitely improved through weight training.
It is best to start with a plan, which may be joining a gym where you can regularly go to get a full workout, or purchasing a home workout system that uses resistance instead of weights but produces similar results. You must assess what type of person you are, and make the appropriate decision from there. If you like the idea of going out somewhere daily for your workout, welcoming the change of scenery and benefiting from the comradery of others who are also training, then you may want to opt for a gym membership. However, if you know you are the type that enjoys working alone and will not work out unless its in the convenience of your home where you do not have to get dressed and go out, then the home gym system option is for you. Only you can make this assessment of yourself. Some popular home gym systems include CrossBarTM and BowFlexTM. Many quality home workout systems exist, but of course none work when not used, so be sure that you remain focused and dedicated to your plan.
Whatever exercise plan you choose, it is best to exercise first thing in the morning, every morning. Our bodies were made to be active daily, and when exercise is performed in the morning, people are more successful at exercising consistently. Make your exercise as enjoyable as possible. Consider utilizing music, a book on tape, or watching television during your workout, depending on the type and location of your workout. If you're a walker for example, you may want to get a good CD player to listen to music or books on tape. If you're exercising inside, you may want to setup a television set or a stereo so that you can watch or listen while exercising. Whatever you do, make your exercise experience one you look forward to each day.
Martial Artist & Fitness Instructor
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