You know how it feels when you click on a tasty-looking recipe, only to find out you need 28 different ingredients, two hours, and some weird kitchen gadget you’ve never heard of to make it? That’s how it can feel when you decide to get in shape. You figure you’ll just lace up your sneakers and get started — but then you’ve got magazines and message boards and friends and trainers bombarding you with advice about heart rate zones and cardio and weightlifting and some aggressive-sounding thing called HIIT.
Reading through all the information and trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t work can be overwhelming, but don’t get discouraged. Having basic information, you can start seeing progress quickly which can make all the difference when it comes to keep you motivated sticking with your program.
How Many Times A Week Should l Workout?
Anything is better than nothing, but you should shoot for at least three times a week. Remain active (by walking, dancing, doing yoga etc.) everyday. Working out more and remaining active throughout your days can lead you to faster results. Once you have reached your fitness goals, it’s ok to scale back a little bit- but not completely. It’s important for you to maintain your progress, you must keep your activity level high.
How Long Should My Workouts Be?
That answer depends entirely on how hard your willing to work. I’ve had ‘lazy’ days where I can be on a treadmill for 60 minutes and burn 100 calories. I’ve had other better days that I can triple that number in the same amount of time. If you’re someone who can “bring it”, you can slash your workout in half the time. Try doing HIIT workouts (high-intensity interval training)- which alternates short bursts of intense effort with periods of low intensity rest. I’ve had good results doing 30 minutes of HIIT workout program Insanity Max 30.
What’s The Best Time Of The Day To Workout?
This one is very easy: The best time of the day to workout is the time that you can workout consistently. Are you a family man (or woman) with a demanding job? Workout in the mornings before other people can start making demands on your time. Do you leave your work needing to leave off some steam? Evening workouts will likely give you the outlet you need. Are you a stay at home mom? Scheduling a consistent workout time can be difficult- but not impossible! Wake up before the little ones, and give yourself 30 minutes of workout. Bottom line: there may not be ONE best time for everyone, but there is a best time for you.
What should I eat before I workout?
That depends. If it’s a light workout, you should be able to power through it without extra fuel. But if you’re going to hit it hard and keep hitting it for a while, eat a healthy snack that contains a mixture of carbs and protein (e.g., apple slices with peanut butter) one to three hours before you begin.
Do I need electrolytes while I exercise?
When you sweat, you not only lose water, but also high concentrations of sodium and chloride. Electrolyte drinks are used to replace what you lose. But as long as you stay hydrated, eat a balanced diet, and workout less than 60 minutes a day, you can probably skip the sports drink. The kicker is that most people don’t drink enough water throughout the day to start their workouts well hydrated.
How do I get rid of my muffin top?
You can’t spot reduce fat, but you will see your muffin top shrink as you lose overall body fat. In addition to changing your diet and dialing up your workout frequency and intensity, focus on making a few other key lifestyle changes that can accelerate fat loss, such as logging enough sleep, increasing your daily activity level outside of your workouts, and reducing your overall stress level.
How much weight should I lift? What if I don’t want to bulk up?
Always lift the heaviest weight that will allow you to complete not only all of your sets of a given exercise, but the entire workout. The weights you use will likely change from workout to workout depending on the focus (e.g., strength, endurance, fat loss, cardio, etc.). Also, don’t worry about bulking up—especially if you’re a woman. Most women don’t have the genetics to build beefy “man muscle,” so that shouldn’t even be a concern. And most men would need to spend years pumping iron to build the kind of physique that would land them in a bodybuilding or strongman competition (if indeed they were genetically predisposed to build that kind of muscle in the first place). Here’s what you can expect from working out consistently: A stronger, leaner, more defined version of the body you have right now.
What’s better for losing weight — cardio or strength?
Strength training will always trump steady state cardio (think: jogging) when it comes to shedding pounds. But why pick one when you can choose both? Nowadays, many workout programs combine the strength and cardio with HIIT.
Remember to find a workout you will enjoy doing and you can stick with. If you aren’t having fun and seeing results, you won’t be exercising for long, so find a program that inspires you, and then do your best to crush every workout!