Life today sees many of us sitting for long stints during the day, everyday. Our muscles pay the price. The stiff joints and weakened muscles that we sometimes blame on aging are often a direct effect of inactivity.
You can counter the effects of the sedentary lifestyle with strength-training exercises. These will give you toned-muscles-stronger, firmer better looking muscles and help avoid potentially debilitating bone and joint injuries.Strength training exercises also increase your lean body mass. Which raises your metabolic rate to help you control your weight
-Strength training exercises work your muscles by applying resistance against which your muscles need to exert force. The appropriate weight or resistant force will work target muscles to fatigue with over eight to 12 repetitions of an exercise.
Often a pair of hand weights you can even use two soup cans or your body weights supplies the resistance. You don't always need expensive or elaborate gym equipment for a strength training program, you can do it at home with minimal equipment.
- WARM-UP AND STRETCHING.
Before starting, you need to warm up to increase your heart rate and to raise a light sweat. The increased movement of blood through your muscles will warm the muscles tissues and make them more pliable a simple measure to help prevent injury during exercises.
Follow your warm up with a short five minutes stretching routine, again to prime your muscles. Make sure you gently stretch each muscle to be work the muscle in your back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, arms, and legs holding each stretch for just over 10 seconds.
The muscles will be warm and flexible at this time. for example do a set of 12 reps of biceps curl and then stretch your biceps before moving on to a triceps strength-training exercises.
- COOLING DOWN.
Equally important is cooling down after your strength-training exercises. You can do easy walking or cycling for two to three minutes followed by five to ten minutes of stretching. The aims is to:
* Remove your body's waste products from your muscle tissue.
* Prevent blood pooling in the lower half of your body.
*Prepare you for your next strength-training session in two to three days time.
Remember that strength training must not be done on consecutive days unless different muscle groups are worked. (e.g arms on Monday, legs on Tuesday). This is because muscle tissue is broken down during strength training and then needs time to recover and rebuild itself--this is how muscles get stronger.
Sticking to your routine is the key to maintaining fitness. But rapidly increasing the intensity of the exercise or the time spent doing them can lead to injury, and abandoning of the routine. If you have an existing injury or any health problems, are middle aged or older, or are just starting to exercise regularly first check with your doctor about your suitability for resistance-training program as some preexisting body conditions can pose risk.
Before starting resistance-training, ask a trained instructor about the correct technique involved in such a program, including ways to progress your fitness gradually and minimize injury risk.
- STRENGTH TRAINING STEPS.
At the start. Begin with one set of each exercise, comprising as few as five reps no more than twice a week.
Your aim. Gradually increase, over a few weeks, to one set comprising eight to 12 reps for each exercise every second or third day.
Beyond this. Once you can comfortably do 12 reps of an exercise, you should look at progressing further. Options include increasing the size of your hand-weights --to increase muscular effort--or increasing the number of sets of each exercise to two to three. Current evidence indicates that the health benefits of strength
training can be attained safely by most people if they do one set of eight to ten reps of each exercise each second and third day. If you have particular sporting goal in mind and want to increase your level of fitness further, talk to a fitness instructor about how to increase the intensity and duration of your strength-training program gradually.
Always exercise the largest muscle groups first. For instance work on your hips and upper legs, then move to your lower legs, upper torso, arms, abdominals, lower back.
Exercise the abdominals and back muscle at the end of the session. These are the stabilizing muscles that help you maintain correct form and should be worked out last so that they are not fatigue too early.
when lifting a weight, breathe continuously throughout. Don't hold your breath or your blood pressure may go up. Control the movement: Take two seconds for lifting, pause for one second, then four seconds for lowering.
Limit strength training sessions to one hour in length.