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10 Most Effective Ways of Exercising and Staying Fit

10 Most Effective Ways of Exercising and Staying Fit

In today’s world, it is essential to stay fit and in optimum shape, both physically and mentally. It helps you with coping with all the rigors of the day and can keep you from imploding. Although due to the nature of our jobs, we hardly find it hard to engage in activities that increase our fitness, the goal of staying healthy isn’t that hard to attain. With the steps below, you can work around your schedule and achieve maximum physical and mental fitness:

1. Exercise

Exercise is probably the most important factor to be considered in getting physically fit. Cardiovascular exercise helps to bolster the heart and lungs, strength training helps to develop the various body muscles and stretching helps to reduce the risk of injury and muscle cramps by increasing joint and body flexibility. Exercise also improves blood circulation and aids the quick and regular expulsion of waste products from the body. No matter how strange and seemingly regimented, you should have a regular time for thorough bodily exercise. Without it, fitness will only be a goal and will never really come to fruition.

2. Eat Right

Recent studies have revealed that about 80% of any fitness objective depends largely on your diet and food intake; whether weight loss, muscular and cardiovascular development or preparing for an upcoming sporting event. Consuming an ideal mixture of fresh carbohydrates, proteins and body-friendly fats will give you the energy required to support your campaign for fitness and has the potential to begin revealing positive results quite rapidly.

For the most part, when coaching clients through weight loss and definition, I will advise eating three meals and two snacks to help keep your metabolism burning at a constant rate. These snacks should fit into your feeding regimen; snacks that contain too much fat could disrupt your diet and inject too much fats into your system.

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When planning meals and cooking, pay much attention to the labels on food cans and packs for the content and percentages of carbohydrates, proteins and fats embedded in them. You should aim for numbers revolving around:

– 45% Carbohydrates: These should be organic and starch-free. There should also be an absence of genetically and chemically enhanced products (e.g. pasta)

– 30% Protein: Proteins are complex amino acids. Most preferably low-fat versions of meat and fish, organic milk and soy beans are also awesome providers of protein.

– 25% Fats: Nuts and seeds are great sources of ideal fats and oils, as well as avocados and oily fish.

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3. Keep Yourself Constantly Hydrated

Hydration is a major key to staying in optimum health. As numerous reports and studies have shown, the brain, much like the Earth itself, is made up of about 70% water content.

A major question that is asked by people and fitness nuts is how much water intake is ideal for staying healthy. The truth is that the amount depends on the person; the minimum amount of water that should be consumed by a normal adult is about two liters of water a day. However, a little bit of math will help you find a more personal amount that will fit your body:

Body weight (in Kg) x 0.03 = minimum amount of water intake

When you calculate this number, it might seem like you have to take an enormous amount of water daily. However, the amount is essential in order to wash out the excess salts and harmful toxins in your body. It will also aid in the body’s respiratory and muscular recovery from draining exercise.

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4. Get Enough Sleep

Due to the nature of our jobs, it seems like quite a number of people have forgotten what it means (or how) to relax. We often find ourselves carrying stress and tension deep in the bowels of our muscles, although many a time, all we really need to do is lie down for a while and allow our muscles and brains to take a time out to relax, process and clear our minds of all the conflicting thoughts.

When the body is in a relaxing state, it is able to repair itself, especially after prolonged periods of exercise. Another importance of rest is that it will relax the mind, giving you the ability to focus more (mentally). Being mentally focused is almost of equal importance as the entire exercise itself. To achieve any life goals you must be focused and well-rested. As a life goal, fitness is no exception. Regular and sound sleep is one of the ways to keep healthy so every now and then, carve out some time to slow down and rest.

5. Consistency In Exercise

Fitness doesn’t come easily. It takes consistent practice and won’t just come after a few visits to the gym every month. To stay in full fitness, you need to have and follow a strict exercising regimen. You should also operate in moderation. Over stressing your muscles could cause a dilapidating breakdown. Don’t be too eager to bet fit that you push your body over the edge.

6. Don’t Joke With Breakfast

You’ve probably heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. This saying is actually quite true. No matter how busy you become, you should always have some time for breakfast. It wakes up and sharpens your brain for the day’s challenges and provides your brain with the nutrients necessary to continue daily functions. An ideal breakfast also ensures that your body has enough juice in the tank for optimal performance. Eating breakfast enables you to maintain regular blood sugar levels and an ideal body weight, mostly because with enough sugar in your bloodstream, you are less likely to overindulge later in the day.

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7. Participate In Aerobics

Aerobics is a way of exercising that’s fun to do. Mainly dancing, aerobics harnesses your concentration into exercising and being more physically active in a way that won’t make you notice when time is fast spent. It combines rhythmic aerobic movements with muscle stretching and muscular development routines with the ultimate goal of improving all elements of fitness; strength, cardiovascular improvements, etc. It’s also really enjoyable.

8. Yoga

Yoga is an excellent way to calm the mind and stretch vital muscles in the body. With yoga, your mind becomes clearer and your body becomes more loose, lighter and flexible (of course). T combines both physical and mental exercise in a serene and peaceful environment. When your brain feels stressed, yoga cold be a good outlet to ease stress.

9. Walk More

A simple walk, although it seems little or infinitesimal, could go a long way in improving your overall fitness. It can help your body stay svelte, alleviate your fat and cholesterol levels, strengthen your bones and keep your blood pressure in a good range. It could also lower your risk for a number of diseases (heart-related conditions, for example). Another advantage of walking is that it’s excellent for multitasking purposes; you can engage in it while getting ready for the day’s work or performing some other task. Also, a number of studies have shown that walking and other physical activities can help clear the mind, engage the brain and improve memory retention.

10. Do More Of Swimming

Swimming is one of the best workouts. It has a plethora of advantages. For one, it eases joint strain as the water’s density relieves your joints of any pain and enhances fluidity. Recent research has also found out that swimming can improve your state of mind and put you in a better, more welcoming mood. It also helps you burn unnecessary calories, fats and improves your cardiovascular strength. For more than one reason, swimming is advantageous to every human being.

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Tanvir Zafar

The founder of ISU Technologies, passionate in writing about entrepreneurship, work and technology.

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Published on March 8, 2019

How Adding Flow Yoga to Your Workout Routine Boosts Your Gains

How Adding Flow Yoga to Your Workout Routine Boosts Your Gains

When we fall into a workout routine, our moves become automatic, and the body quickly adapts. This is called muscle memory.[1] While teaching your body how to properly execute squats, push-ups, or crunches is a benefit, overly relying on these moves to consistently grow gains won’t yield the kind of results you want. That’s because the muscles work in the same way every time.

Simply put, they’re not being “surprised,” so they get lazy.

Supplementing your routine with flow yoga is one way of surprising your muscles, especially if you are new to the yoga practice and have never tried the postures. It’s like taking a new road home when you drive, deviating from your usual route. Science has found that by doing so, you’re creating new neuropathways in your brain.[2] The same is done in your muscles when you try a new routine.

How is this done? Let’s dive right into it.

How Flow Yoga Boost Your Gains in Your Workout Routine

Think about your current workouts:

If you lift weights, you rely on external tools to engage your various muscle groups. Over time, your shoulders, legs, or biceps will come to expect the weighted plates or dumbbells, in the repetitive sequences that you remember.

In flow yoga, we use the body as the weight. Add gravity and hundreds of different postures and combinations, and you have a workout that uses the same muscle groups, but in many different ways.

A pose such as plank is a full-body workout, with every muscle engaged to keep the body in one long line. While it’s a stationary pose, it requires muscle control and activation, with no room for passivity.

    A Flow sequence, on the other hand, requires your muscle to switch from one pose to another swiftly, providing you with a more balanced and wholesome use of your major muscle groups.

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    Not only do these poses and routines re-energize the body in a refreshing way, they also allow you to learn something new, which is powerful for the mind.

    Bottom line? Complementing your exercise regimen with flow yoga is like hitting the shuffle button on your workouts, using your muscles in ways that “surprise” them, which in turn boost their growth and performance.

    Energizing Flow Yoga with Added Cardio

    Flow yoga is also known as “Vinyasa.”[3] In Sanskrit – the sacred language of the practice and its Indian roots – Vinyasa is roughly translated to “one breath, one movement.”

    This guideline, first and foremost, enhances your breathing, and teaches you how to go from our typical shallow, chest-only breathing, to a more deeper, belly-chest breath that uses the entire lung system.

    Not only is this beneficial for a myriad of healthcare reasons (combat allergies, eliminate toxins, reduce stress, ease anxiety), it also greatly impacts our muscles,[4] and therefore our workout.

    Flooding your muscles with rich oxygen will only keep them healthy, while the cardio benefit will get you warmed up to take on the more challenging postures in a flow yoga class. This prevents injuries and cramping.

    The best example of energizing cardio in flow yoga is the Sun Salutation sequence. Each pose is completed on an inhale or an exhale, until the sequence is finished. One full sequence may be repeated several times, encouraging you to take fuller and deeper breaths. The cycles warm up and loosen the body and prepare the muscles for stationary poses that are held longer.

    Here’s how to do a Sun Salutation Flow:

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    Due to the Sun Salutations, the muscles are not thrown into a challenging workout, but rather primed and prepared with energizing breath.

    Why is this important, you ask? Because happy muscles are warmed-up muscles.

    The Best Thing About Flow Yoga

    The best thing about practicing flow yoga? You’re building strength and flexibility.

    Strength and flexibility are like the Mecca of a wholesome workout routine. Before we get into why this is important, let’s break these two down individually to see how they stand up on their own:

    Meet Strong Stan

    Strong Stan is at the gym, doing bicep curls with massive dumbbells. His muscles have peaked in size, and he proudly displays them.

    While he loves to lift weights, Strong Stan often skips stretching or warm-ups. He just doesn’t see how that could help him continue his muscle gains, so he jumps right into a heavy workout.

    While it’s not evident to a passerby, Stan’s muscles are hurting. Without sufficient flexibility or deliberate stretching, Stan’s muscles are shortening and getting tighter. This eventually leads to joint injuries,[5] because un-stretched muscles have limited range of motion.

    Big muscles are a sure indicator of strength, but here’s the kicker – choosing not to prioritize flexibility will keep them inherently at risk.

    Meet Flexible Fiona

    Flexible Fiona is in a flow yoga class, easing herself into a backbend.[6] She effortlessly gets into the pose, and “hangs” out there for a few breaths while the teacher cues the class.

    Even though the teacher instructs the students to engage their glutes and be mindful that this is an active pose, Flexible Fiona opts otherwise, and relaxes into the posture by sacrificing the strength she ought to be building.

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    To many in the class, Fiona’s execution of the backbend would be a success – maybe even something to envy. However, what Fiona doesn’t realize is that her excessive flexibility is actually a detriment to her joints.[7]

    Flexibility has been defined as the “absolute range of motion” by Tony Gummerson, Martial Arts instructor. For people who are naturally flexible, that line of absolute range is often blurry and, in practice, overlooked.

    It’s very easy for Fiona to go above and beyond her range of motion, since her flexibility parameters are much wider than what Strong Stan may experience in a similar pose.

    Because she doesn’t feel the stretch in the same degree of motion as other students in class, Fiona has to push the envelope of her flexibility. This puts too much pressure on the joints that are already overworked, and it overstretches the muscles that are now prone to tearing.

    Your goal is to create muscle and joint balance and wholeness.

    What Strong Stan and Flexible Fiona have in common is that they’re both missing vital pieces of muscle awareness.

    In Stan’s case, heavy and tight muscles crave flexibility. Without it, not only would Stan hit a plateau in his gains because of a sure injury, but he would miss out on having the lean and toned muscles that we all want to have.

    In Fiona’s case, her overstretched muscles are not getting a workout at all. Rather, her excessive flexibility is resting on her joints, which leads to definite injury.

    So what can you do? It’s quite simple.

    You have to give your muscles the opposite of what they’re used to.

    If you’re a Stan and hate stretching, focusing on your flexibility is key. You will lengthen your tight muscles, and you’ll create new muscle memory by practicing routines that are new to you and your muscle groups.

    If you’re a Fiona and hate strengthening, focusing on this priority is vital. Your muscles are used to being passive as you stretch, so shaking up the usual and putting them to work will not only keep you injury-free, but that much closer to the muscle gains you’ve been looking for.

    Fortunately, flow yoga is the whole package, and can be the one-stop-shop for both Stan and Fiona.

      Final Thoughts

      If you’re serious about using flow yoga to supplement your workout routine to boost gains, sign up for a class at your local gym or yoga studio. There are a number of styles of yoga to try, but as we’ve discussed in this article, the Vinyasa style is your best bet to complement a moderate exercise regimen.

      Many studios offer beginner-style Vinyasa classes, where the instructor will explain the basics, and break down the sequences in a pace that is suitable for entry-level students. From here, the student can build upon their practice, and opt for more challenging, fast-paced classes, such as Power Flow or Ashtanga.

      Working out is a lesson in teaching your muscles. The gains that we grow are the result of that experience, and it all comes down to conditioning our body in a way that is healthy, efficient, and balanced.

      With a practice like flow yoga, we can offer supplemental training to our current regimen that will work our muscles in ways that are new, refreshing, and “surprising.” This method will keep our muscles toned and lean, as long as we prioritize the balance between strength and flexibility to ensure that we’re meeting both of these needs. Our muscle gains and body health depend on it.

      More Resources About Yoga and Fitness

      Featured photo credit: Edit Sztazics via unsplash.com

      Reference

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