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1. Stretching: Improves Flexibility and reduces injuries in day to day life related to lift, pull, bend and stretch movements.
2. Weight Training: Improves muscle tone in body, helps in reducing body fat by increasing metabolism and makes you stronger in day to day activities. Weight Training also helps change body shape to the one you desire. Yes, in the long run, legs get lean, fat is shed from the hips and stomach and shoulders & arms get more definition if you train them properly.
3. Cardio Training: Helps in Reducing Body fat and makes your heart and lungs stronger.
Before undertaking any activity that requires strenuous efforts, it’s very important to warm-up. 5 to 10 minutes of light activity like brisk walking, jogging on spot, light jumping on ropes or light bicycling should be sufficient to warm the body up. This way the body is primed to do 25-45 minutes of cardio or weight training later on.
Let’s first see what Cardio Training is and how to go about it.
Cardio-Training means cardio-vascular training. The other name for cardio training is aerobic training. This type of training elevates your resting heart rate for a certain period of time and this in turn, helps in burning more calories. As you incorporate cardio training into your fitness plan, your heart becomes stronger and your body gains lot more stamina and strength. You can shed body fat quickly as you burn more calories per minute doing cardio than any other fitness training.
There are various ways to do cardio training. Brisk Walking, Jogging and Running can be done on Treadmill. Stationary Cycle, Elliptical Trainer, Stair Master etc can also be used for cardio training. Sports like swimming, tennis etc are also cardiovascular activities. Changing your routine from time to time puts a challenge on your body and enhances your cardio-training even more.
Lot of people tend to stick to a rigid schedule when it comes to cardio workouts. “I walk everyday for an hour” or “I swim everyday for 45 minutes” or “I always begin my day with aerobics”. Of course, this is great if your primary goal is not to loose body fat. But maximum efficiency of fat loss from these workouts lasts from starting phase to 3 – 6 months. As you become more efficient, your body has to use less energy for the same kind of workout. That’s one sign of achieving fitness but then you will notice that you will stop losing weight or fat after a period of time doing the same workout. The way to avoid this is to vary your schedule from time to time. There is lot of ways to keep your body guessing and never allowing it to accept a certain workout.
1. Walk at medium pace for 5 minutes, walk very fast for 2 minutes, again walk at medium pace for 5 minutes, walk very fast for 2 minutes and so on complete an hour of this kind of interval-walking. Incorporate this kind of training twice a week into your normal walking routine.
2. Next week, substitute “walking very fast for 2 minutes” by “jog for 2 minutes”.
3. Week after that, just walk all the days with normal walking routine.
4. Week after that, up your period of fast walking to 3 minutes….followed by slow walking of 5 minutes.
It’s up to you to design your own routine. The idea here is to keep your body guessing. Intensity varies from person to person. If it feels difficult for you, then that’s high intensity for you, if it feels easy for you, then that’s low intensity for you. Comparing to books or other people can give you a guideline, but do not stick to something if it doesn’t feel right to you. You can do the same kind of interval training on any exercise equipment as well. Aiming for 20-40 minutes of cardio workout for 3-4 times a week is good enough for busy lifestyles.
If you do at lower end of a time-period, aim for more intensity and if you do at a higher end of time-period, aim for less intensity. Working out at high intensity requires a good fitness level, so always start with low intensity workouts when you start exercising in the beginning.
Concentrate on your body and listen to how it wants to be treated. If you are feeling fresh and upbeat, then go for moderate intensity for 30-40 minutes. If you are feeling tired and stressed out, go for a low-intensity leisurely stroll at 35-40 minutes. If you feel you are comfortable and rested, up your intensity for few seconds, work to make your heart beat faster and then lower your intensity for 1-2 minutes, stroll to make your heartbeat return to comfortable pace, again up your intensity and so on…
Thus apart from making fitness activity fun and challenging, varying intensities in cardio training can be your tool to shed fat for a long amount of time. Of course, do take a break if you are sick or if you have colds or cough. Doing high intensity of cardio training when your immune system is low, can be counter productive. This is from personal experience! I was feeling little under the weather, when I decided to push myself to maximum one time….and the worse thing happened. My muscles decided not to cooperate with me for one whole week!!! I just couldn’t work out due to weakness and energy drainage!!!
So again, be smart and lend an ear to your body when it needs most.
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