With spring in full swing you are probably thinking about how to get your body fit for summer! If you want to reshape your body, you have to lose fat and gain muscle. A combination of cardio and weight lifting will help you reach your goals.
Cardio, like weight training, is crucial for losing fat. Be sure to get your heart within your target heart rate zone and workout long enough (20-30 minutes) to get the benefits.
To calculate your target heart rate, simply subtract your age from 220, and then multiply that number 0.65 and 0.85 to get your lower and upper limits respectively. Any pulse rate above your upper limit generally means you are working too hard and probably gasping for air anyway, while any pulse rate falling below your minimum means you are not pushing yourself hard enough.
How much cardio you do depends on what you’re trying to accomplish:
* If you’re trying to build muscle, keep your cardio at about 30 minutes, 3 days a week to keep your heart in shape without burning too many calories.
* If you’re trying to lose body fat, start with 3 days of cardio and work your way up to 4 or 5 days a week for 30 to 45 minutes of activities such as walking, running, climbing stairs, and kickboxing. If you have access to a gym, then try the treadmill, Stairmaster, or bicycles.
Weight lifting is an essential factor in both weight loss and muscle gain. Not only does it make your body and bones stronger, it also helps to raise your metabolism so you burn more calories. For those wanting to lose weight, make sure your workouts are balanced between cardio and lifting. Keep your reps between 10-16, lift enough weight so that your last rep is challenging, and don’t avoid using heavy weights.
If you want to lose body fat, you need to eat fewer calories than you burn. The key is to safely reduce your calories so that your body can continue to function as well as burn more calories. Experts generally recommend losing no more than 1 to 2 pounds a week in order to preserve your muscle mass and keep the weight off permanently. Your job is simply to make better choices that will help you reduce your calorie intake from 300 to 500 calories each day. Learn about the Perfect Daily Eating Routine.
* Schedule your workouts – and stick to it!
* Keep track of your workouts – this will show overall progress and give you a boost on days when you are not feeling 100%
* Start where you actually are — not where you hope to be.
* Don’t give up – keep with your routine and if you break it, just return to it as soon as you are able.
* Doing things you enjoy – working out doesn’t have to be boring!
* Eat Properly and Drink Plenty of Water – working out will not benefit you as much as it could unless you are eating properly.