Nobody seems to be able to explain precisely the reasons why gaining fat is so much easier than losing pounds and inches, although a lot of folks would certainly like to do so. If you’re one of the millions of adults who wants to get leaner while achieving a healthier, shapelier shape, you’ll probably be interested in the following facts that can help you lose weight, build lean muscle, and get into the best shape of your life, no matter what your age or current fitness level.
Why people get fat and out of shape
Women are especially prone to packing on body and belly fat as they age. Although common, fat bellies are nothing to brag about and may even lead to increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol levels, hypertension and other health issues, warns Mayo Clinic.
Experts also note that women with considerable belly fat are at increased risk of premature death, no matter their overall shape, weight, or body mass. A large waistline, especially in females, is an indicator that it’s time to work harder to get back to fitness.
Dieting alone is not enough to achieve the results you want
Almost everyone would like to be lean and muscular, but not everyone knows how to make it happen. Some would-be fitness fanatics mistakenly believe that bulking-up diets are the way to go. Sure, a diet that increases protein to build muscle mass can be quite beneficial when getting fit, but that’s only part of the story. You can achieve the lean body you desire by following a few simple tricks.
Make clean eating a daily lifestyle, not a sometimes choice. Drastic fat reduction diets may seem to work in the short term, but for long term fitness, a regular regimen of good foods, plentiful water, daily exercise, and periodic strength training works a whole lot better than seasonal weight loss diets, says Lauren Jacobsen of Fitness Rx magazine.
A diet that features plentiful plant-based foods, lean meats, fresh oily fish, and low-fat dairy products can provide all the nutrients you need to build muscle and achieve a healthful body mass. Skip sugary beverages and drink clean water instead. Watch portion sizes while bearing in mind that most Americans consume significantly more calories than they really require.
Strength training to build muscle in beautiful ways
Moderate aerobic activity and strength training exercises should be a part of your everyday routine. The US Department of Health and Human Services explains that brisk walking or aerobic jogging for at least two hours a week can go a very long way toward ensuring a lean and fit body for the rest of your life.
Before you start any sort of strength training regime, please consult with your family doctor or other health care professional. Warm up with gentle stretches and ease into aerobic activity slowly but surely. One set of a dozen repetitions per exercise is generally enough to jump start your fitness routine in a most effective fashion. Experts recommend resting for one day in between strength training workouts for muscle repair and recovery.
As a general rule of thumb, two or three half-hour strength training workouts and a lean diet with plenty of protein are all you need to get back into shape and stay that way for life.
Exercise options you can live with
While a gym membership can be a very good thing, you don’t need a lot of pricey workout equipment to get into great shape. Barbells, dumbbells and medicine balls can boost the effectiveness of your daily workout regimen. Resistance tubing and elastic workout bands can help you to burn fat, increase lean muscle and enjoy a fit form forever. At-home workout videos such as Bikini Body Guide can provide an entertaining way to have fun while improving your fitness levels.
Pull ups, crunches, and other exercises that utilize your own body weight for resistance are a good way to switch up your routine while getting the effective exercise you need to reach your fitness goals.
Listen to your body, and know when you’re working too hard. If any strength training exercise that you do causes pain, discontinue it immediately. If you’ve never done weight training before, work with a personal trainer until you are entirely comfortable with your new fitness routine.
Evie Rahman is a Mom of 2 year old Grace and has a degree in fitness and personal training which she is putting to good use with the start of her own business to help other women get the most out of their bodies through good food and good exercise. Her articles appear on parenting, lifestyle and health/fitness blogs.