Workouts, Health, Fitness, Nutrition

chanhassen-fitness-and-chanhassen-nutritionFitness isn’t a fad any longer. When I first began my fitness journey, I was being told that I was wasting my time on a fad.  If you want a workout, my father would say half-teasing, I’ve got some work for you!

Dad was talking about ranch-related activities, and though wholesome and sweat-producing, they’re not quite the same. My brother and I explained this to him on a few occasions. I knew that what I was doing in the weight room was changing my body, and that I liked it for a number of reasons, so it didn’t matter if it would prove to be a fad or not. Time would tell, but it made no difference to me at that time.

Today most people believe that the effects of exercise are real and beneficial. Not everyone has benefited but we all probably know someone who has. Scientific studies, commercialism, and others who’ve shared my experience have turned the fad into something lasting. And slowly, I suspect, our culture as a whole will shed the quick-fix mentality to weight loss and physical ailments and instead, embrace exercise, nutrition, and their positive effects as fundamental to living.

Taking it a step further, I think that society’s view about health, prevention and traditional medical treatment will shift, with exercise and proper nutrition being a part of a more effective holistic health approach.

Parenthetically, although free enterprise is at the root of this country’s greatness, commercialism has sometimes inhibited progress, with healthcare being one prime example. But getting back to the subject:

A question that enters my mind now and then is,  How can so many people be so uninformed about nutrition and exercise?

The fitness boom led to real research, real results, and significant benefits, but I meet people all the time who ask about things that I always thought were common knowledge. I suppose that’s the reason for so many health and fitness-related magazine.

While there are many ways to exercise, the best method is to find an activity that you enjoy and find effective. Some form of pure cardiovascular, strength, and flexibility training is recommended for becoming healthy and fit.

Whether you exercise by jogging and doing calisthenics in the park, or go to a fitness center to work out on a treadmill and weight-lifting equipment, the benefits can be the same.

The first important step in starting an exercise program is, quite simply, to do something. You don’t have to go to a fitness facility, but it’s probably the best way to begin. The environment found there makes you focus your attention on exercise, plus the equipment is of better quality. Chances are that a fitness center will provide better and faster results, though finding one that you’re comfortable with may be essential to your progress.

If you want to work out at home, its best to set aside a time when you won’t answer the phone or allow other distractions. Also, it makes sense to obtain sufficient equipment to provide for an effective workout. If you’re going to spend the time, energy and money, you may as well make it effective.

Sad to say, there is some home equipment on the market that makes exercising with it almost worse than doing nothing. Due to improper design or construction, working out on some equipment can be awkward, and the person may get the impression that exercise is too hard or unpleasant. Oftentimes this results in that person swearing off all exercise in the future.

Generally, good health and fitness will result from basic exercise and good nutrition. If you want to go beyond generally good health and fitness, then an important thing to remember is that different people will require different workouts, depending on body type, physical condition, metabolic rate, and fitness goal.

While I personally don’t have to do much of the typical aerobic exercise to stay lean as long as I eat a certain way, others may require mostly aerobic exercise. And a more athletic body type may build muscle easily, while others have to work out intensely to get the same muscular build.

As a personal fitness trainer, I’ve coached many men and women from a beginning to an advanced fitness level. Though they had various body types, goals, and so on, I’ve found that the most successful strategy is to give them a basic workout that doesn’t frustrate them or seem too difficult.

After the basics are mastered, the next step in the progression is begun. I happen to think that it is one of the best approaches to getting beginners in shape. It works because it gives them a very simple, basic progression to follow, and they advance when they’re comfortable.

Enough emphasis can’t be placed on learning the proper way to perform the exercises. Doing so will dramatically enhance your progress, regardless of your goal.

When my brother and I first started workout out, we performed bench presses by bouncing the bar off our chests to reverse directions as we began to push the weight up. One day during bench presses, a big, experienced-looking bodybuilder came over to us and suggested that we try using lighter weights and pausing on our chest before we pushed the weight up. He said that we’d feel weaker at first and might not like using lighter weight, but that in two weeks we’d be lifting more than the heaviest weight we were lifting using our previous technique. He was right. I’ve paid close attention to proper form ever since.

In addition, performing exercises in a manner that allows for the fastest strength increases also happens to be the safest method. And you’ll more fully understand what the exercise is supposed to make the muscle feel like. “Feel” is a key term here.

Concentration on proper form while learning an exercise will allow you to focus on the physical sensation you should feel, similar to learning a golf or tennis racquet swing.

But using proper mechanics for the motion is essential to understanding the sensation. When you understand the sensation, you’ll be able to duplicate it faster when you change something about your workout, making a new workout effective right away.

Besides making your workouts more effective, understanding muscular sensations will enable you to go to any gym, sit down on a foreign-looking piece of equipment and do two repetitions of the exercise to determine whether it was designed and constructed properly.

As I mentioned earlier, home equipment usually isn’t the best due to improper design or construction, or both. Most people who buy home exercise equipment are exercise novices, and don’t know what their muscles should be feeling, so they assume that what they’re feeling is proper. It’s usually not. And therein lies the problem with beginners and home equipment.

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