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When it comes to exercise, only one thing is for sure: we could all use more of it. Obesity is slowly turning into an epidemic that is plaguing people all over the world. A lethal combination of an abundance of mostly processed foods, and our sedentary way of life are wreaking havoc over our health and body. That’s quite a commitment, especially if you’re stuck doing something you don’t enjoy. So, how exactly do you choose the right program for you? Here are some tips.
If you are just starting out
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People who don’t exercise at all but want to start doing something for their health, need to take it slow at first. Whatever their ultimate goal – be it toning or losing weight, the primary objective is to start with some light cardio to kickstart their metabolism and get their heart and lungs into a healthier state. Newbies shouldn’t try to make up for lost time with strenuous regimes, since their bodies are definitely not ready for that, and it could do more harm than good. Most health organizations recommend at least 150 minutes of exercise weekly – that’s approximately 30 minutes of moderate exercise five times per week. For a start, walk more, take the stairs, or ride your bike. If you feel like half an hour is too much for you, start with shorter intervals, then build up to the full 30 minutes gradually.
If you want to tone your muscles
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If you think you are already in a good shape overall, but lack the muscles you’ve always wanted, you should work on toning and adding muscle mass. Generally, experts recommend resistance training and weight training for muscles. Get your gear ready, put on your best fitness clothes and comfortable bodybuilding shoes, and hit the gym. CrossFit is a favorite choice for those who like the lean, toned look, while those who want more mass should opt for classic bodybuilding or total body movement with kettlebells.
If you want to push your limits
If you are already in pretty great shape, but love pushing yourself, and are always on the lookout for new training programs, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered too. For instance, triathlon is an excellent and versatile way to build your stamina. When it comes to sports, boxing and kickboxing are also explosive combos of intense cardio and muscle work. All of these will help you burn an extraordinary number of calories, tone muscles, and tighten your core. If you need added incentive, enter a sports competition. This will give you the boost to do your best and push yourself to the limit.
If you want to spend time outdoors
Depending on your overall shape, there are plenty of activities you can do outside. Walking, cycling and hiking in nature are old favorites that never go out of fashion. If you want something a bit more strenuous, try jogging, or, if you’ve got the stamina, even marathon training. Think of your surroundings and the options they give you. Surfing is a great workout if you live by the ocean, skiing and rock climbing for those in mountainous areas, and rowing if there’s a river nearby.
Perhaps you won’t be able to find the right program on your first go. It might take some time experimenting and trying out new things to discover the one that gives you the result you want and is enjoyable. However, even the search isn’t lost time – you will still be physically active, so it’s all good. As long as you’re active, you can be assured in your knowledge you’re doing something great for your health.