Sunday, December 20, 2009

Where to begin...

Do you want to start an exercise program, but have no idea as to where to start? Well you aren't alone. You would be surprised if you knew how many people have never had a formal exercise program before and now need to lose some weight. Sound familiar?

Because you are just starting out, we are going to make this as simple as possible. You will need to exercise your heart and lungs. This is called 'cardiovascular exercise'. This kind of activity is anything that raises your heart rate for an extended period of time. Walking, running, cycling and swimming are examples of activities that will do this for you. Cardiovascular exercise burns calories as you perform the activity and raises your metabolism for up to 12 hours later. An increased metabolism means that your body burns burns an increased amount of calories.

The second form of exercise that is important to your weight loss ventures is called strength training. Strength training is an activity that puts stress on the muscles and joints, thus increasing your muscles' ability to lift or push more weight. As you strength train, your muscles get stronger and more dense. This also assists in weight loss as you burn more calories as you are working out and as you develop more muscle, your body burns more calories. It is kind of like compound intererest. The more muslce that you have, the more calories you burn all day, every day. For each additional pound of muscle that you gain, your body burns approximately an extra 50 calories per day. Over time this really adds up. For women who are concerned about getting "bulky", not to worry, muscle takes up less room than fat does, so building muscle will just make you look leaner. The women that tend to get "bulky" are usually the women who work out several hour per day. Not twenty minutes three times a week, like I would recommend for absolute beginners. For beginners, doing each exercise 12 to 20 times to near failure or failure will increase your muscles capacity to lift weight and will make muscles stronger. To see improvement, you will want to exercise each main muscle group twice per week and never two days in a row. Muslces will need 48 hours to recover before they are worked again. This will give them time to recover from their previous work out and get stronger so they can be worked again. If you strength train your muscles two days in a row, you risk injury. If you have never exercised before, a good starting point would be to strength train two to three days per week; performing a full body routine at each work out.

You don't need to work out in a gym to gain the results you are looking for. We have been training people in their homes since 1998. If you would like a personal trainer to answer any of your questions about exercising at home, contact us here. We will inform you of what sort of equipment you will need to get a good work out at home. If you are interested in seeing a personal trainer in a gym setting, we base ourselves out of the Terrace Fitness and Racquet Club. You may contact us here if you are interested in talking to a personal trainer regarding your exercise program. We also train people out of other facilities in and around select gyms around Edmonton.

Good luck with your exercise program. Until our next blog, keep active and 'n' well.

Greg Harvey- PFT.

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