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Fitness Friday ~ Fitness Basics

Posted Feb 20 2009 6:14pm
On this Fitness Friday, Sandy of God Speaks Today and I will be sharing some basics about getting in shape and establishing a healthier lifestyle.

Remember, it's not about a diet or quick weight loss formula. It's about beginning to establish healthy lifestyle habits that you can live with from now on.

This takes time but's well worth the effort.

I guarantee that you'll feel better, have more energy and your clothes will fit and look so much better. And that's a good thing!

Sometimes it's just good to review a few basics.

An exercise program should include:

5-10 minutes of warm-up exercise like stretching
  • 30-60 minute aerobic (cardio) that might include an activity like running, walking, bicycling or swimming.

  • 5-10 minutes of cooling down such as stretching

  • Strength training exercises at least three times a week
Here are a few key points to remember:
  • Endurance exercise is the best type of exercise to get your body burning fat. As your fitness level improves, your body is able to burn greater amounts of fat.

  • Exercise burns calories. If you walked 40-60 minutes or jogged 30 minutes you would burn about 300-500 calories. If you did this three times a week, you would lose about a pound of fat in three weeks simply by exercising.

  • If you combine exercise with a reduction in calories you will lose weight quicker. By only cutting out 100 calories (one cookie) and exercising three times a week, you could lose one pound in two weeks or 20-30 pounds a year.

  • Exercising before a meal will help decrease your appetite.

  • Don't eat before exercising. After you eat, blood is diverted to your stomach to digest your food. That reduces the amount of blood and oxygen that's available to other muscles. The exception would be a diabetic who might have a small snack since exercise reduces the blood sugar.

  • Drink lots of water! Living in Phoenix, Arizona I've learned about this. We have to drink even more water than other parts of the country because of the desert and no humidity. Drink water before, during and even after exercising.

  • Wear the right clothes when you exercise. Wear loose fitting clothing in hot weather. In cold temperatures, be sure to protect your head to help contain body heat. Layered clothing is great because then you can peel off layers after warming up.

  • To get the most benefit, exercise on a regular basis. Did you know that once you stop exercising consistently, half of your endurance improvement is lost within 12 weeks? After all that hard work, don't lose the benefits you've gained.

So, hang in there and let's encourage one another as we focus on the goal. Establishing habits that you can live with for the long term is so important.

If you have any other pointers or simply want to offer encouragement, I hope you'll leave a comment.

And don't forget to visit Sandy at God Speaks Today. Sandy's the originator of Fitness Friday's and she's going to offer you a challenge. She also has a few tips to help you establish exercise as a habit.

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