Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness – Joseph Pilates. Exercising can literally cure diseases and reverse depression. And there’s no arguing that exercise can help most people lose weight, as well as look trim & toned.
A lesson in history:
Fitness as we know today, seems to be a relatively modern invention – something that started vaguely in the 70’s with jogging and jazzercize. But physical exercise obviously goes back much further than that, to a time where people wouldn’t have thought of it as a working out, but rather a way of life. Centuries and millennia ago, they did not have all the machines, weights and gyms that we have today, and yet they were in better shape than we are. From the dawn of humankind to around 10,000 BC, men had a constant voice in the back of their head saying, “Run for your life!” But as science evolved with better health care and living conditions, it was no longer a compulsion to keep fit. Leading to the most unhealthiest race to ever walk on earth.
Governments, local bodies and influential people across the world have recognised the benefit of exercising. Hence it is imperative that we take care of this one body given to us. This doesn’t mean following a strict, time-consuming regimen at the gym – although that can certainly reap benefits. The truth is you can get rewards from many different types and levels of exercise.
how fit you are for your chosen physical activity. Whenever you begin an exercise program, it is wise to consult a doctor. Anyone with major health risks, males aged 45 and older, and women aged 55 and older should get medical clearance.
- After assessing your fitness, it helps to set workout goals. For example, do you want to prepare for a 5K run? Hit the gym five times a week or just walk around the block without getting winded.
Goals must be CRC – Clear, Realistic & Concise
Start low and go slow
– many beginners make the mistake of starting out too aggressively, only to give up when they end up tired, sore or injured. Remember, consistency is the key to fitness, not aggression, heavy weights or pushing yourself to the brink.
Sample workout for beginners:
Rule 1 before beginning any fitness routine – Warm up. Start with light stretching, and focus on parts that have immobilised due to long periods of inaction.
Once warmed up, experts recommend three different types of exercise for overall physical fitness: cardiovascular activity, strength conditioning and flexibility training:
– walk or run for a sustained 20-30 minutes, four to five times a week.
– start by doing one set of exercises targeting each of the major muscle groups. Choose a weight at which you can comfortably perform the exercise 8-12 times in a set. Gradually increase either the weight, number of repetitions or number of sets. For maximum benefits do strength training at least twice a week. Never work the same body part two days in a row.
– do slow and sustained static stretches 3-7 days per week. Each stretch should last 1—3- seconds.
I have been a working out for majority of my life and have interacted with various health professionals, however I still haven’t found a quick fix or a routine that would shape my body in days or months. One has to be regular, consistent and motivated to be healthy and strong. Other aspects like weight, shape & look are temporary and should not be the main focus of starting any routine. Exercising should be one of the morning ablutions which completes your day. Start small, be regular and see the change long term.