Just a little exercise goes a long way. We all would like to be healthy and physically fit, which requires exercise for our body to perform properly. Exercise helps to promote and improve the body’s muscular strength. It helps to improve overall health, fitness and well-being. Here Poppy Noor, TheGuardian.com, reflects on fitting exercise into your schedule:
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“Some people think if they can’t fit in a 60-minute gym routine, there’s no point,” says Steve Kamb, a fitness instructor and the founder of the training website NerdFitness. But, for many people, it takes a lot of courage just to get through the door to go for that first run. Giving yourself 20 seconds to be brave is a great stepping stone. Use it to Google a workout plan, or even just to walk into the gym and straight back out again, suggests Kamb. “It doesn’t matter if you finish the task just yet. Sometimes getting into the gym in the first place is the victory.”
Planking engages a number of muscles in the shoulders, back and stomach. Achieving a non-stop 30-second plank is harder than it looks, but planking helps to build a stronger core and improve posture and even flexibility. Muscle burns more calories than fat, so planking can help you to burn more calories even when you are not working out.
Sprinting for as little as a minute each day can reduce body fat, build muscle and increase the rate at which your body burns calories while resting. Marathon runners regularly incorporate short bursts of sprinting into training, as in the Swedish technique fartlek, because it drastically improves speed and cardiovascular fitness so that people can exercise longer. Sprints should be broken into 20-second bursts, so that you are working flat out. One study of obese men showed that they improved leg power and oxygen uptake in only two weeks.
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Another found that one minute of sprint interval training, three times a week, had the same health benefits as 50 minutes of continuous moderate exercise, despite a five-fold lower time commitment (when taking into account the warm-up and cool-down). It is also one of the best abdominal workouts you can do – raising your leg at the 45-degree angle required for a proper sprint is equivalent to doing a crunch, and sprinters repeat this movement about 60 times in a 100-metre sprint.
If your goal is to one day do a pull up, starting with your grip strength could be an idea, because it is what determines whether you fall off the bar. “There’s nothing to stop you from picking up dumbells and going for a walk,” says Kamb. He suggests carrying them like suitcases at your side, an exercise known as “the farmer carry”. Each week your grip strength will get a little better.
Get ready for tomorrow’s workout tonight. “Put your alarm clock against the other side of the room, a glass of water by your bed, sleep in your gym kit and put your shoes by your bed,” says Kamb. His reasoning? Everyone wants to be as lazy as possible when it comes to exercising – if you are already in your workout clothes when you wake up, you have eliminated a major hurdle.
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