We’ve all seen fitness pictures of chaps with great abs, great arms, and perfect smile. They make it look so easy and natural. Of course, if you’re like the millions of guys that have tried to achieve that look and failed, then at least you’re not alone. But there are several ways you can get your body a little more refined, slimmer, and fitter. It’s not impossible, but it will be a challenge. If you’re up for it, then read on.
It doesn’t matter how big you are. You can slim down and build up muscle. In fact, the bigger you are, the quicker and easier it is to lose weight if you do it right. Even if you don’t have much weight to lose, you can still trim the fat and bulk up your muscle. Everyone has the opportunity to sculpt their bodies into a more desirable shape.
For those who have more fat on their body than they would like, it may be time for a lifestyle change. If you’re overweight, building muscle can help you to increase your metabolism and burn off the fat more quickly and easily. This can be done with simple stretches at home with no equipment. You can also use your own weight to increase muscle mass. Or you can invest in some weights to build up with lifts and curls.
Walking is one of the easiest ways to gently exercise and increase the strength and tone in your legs. Correcting your posture as you go can also improve your core strength. This is another way to help pick up your metabolism. Some people describe it as ‘sucking in your gut’ as you walk. Hold your head high without tilting it. Pull your shoulders down and feel your spine straighten. Now use your core to adjust your pelvis as you suck in the tummy. This is called engaging the core. Walking should be driven by the pelvis for a good posture.
Now you’re improving your technique, you’ll find that these posture corrections can help you with your weight training. They will help reduce the risk of injury too. You may even feel more energetic as you work. Twists and bends help get the joints moving as well as stretching out the tendons and muscles safely.
These simple exercises are a great way to get started. You may quickly increase the intensity or the number of reps you do. Best of all, they can all be done while you’re watching TV. Keeping moving or active while doing things you usually sit for is a great way to burn fat and increase your metabolism.
If your lifestyle has previously been sedentary, you may be suffering from obesity. It’s so easy to gain weight by eating more than you can burn off. It’s important to control your portions and avoid snacking. Keeping busy can help distract you from the need to eat. Drinking a glass of water before eating something can also help you feel fuller more quickly.
Obesity can lead to a lot of serious health problems too. To beat obesity, you may need to tackle your eating habits as well as increasing your exercise levels. Many people who are obese feel hungry quite often. They may find it difficult to feel full after a single portion or meal too. This leads to overeating.
There are several things you can do to reduce the risk of overeating:
- Keep busy – active hands and minds don’t think of food very often
- Drink water – filling up on water helps satisfy your tummy
- Sit at a table – pay attention to the food as you eat it. Don’t use a phone or TV while you are eating
- Serve portions – don’t eat from the bag. Pour out a single portion (weight details are usually on the back of the pack).
If you have tried unsuccessfully to control your eating habits and lose weight, you may qualify for more drastic measures. Weight loss surgery is an option for those whose health is suffering because of their weight. When all else has failed, you can speak to a gastric band surgeon who can advise you on the best course of action. You can find gastric band costs online to see if it is something you could consider.
After about three weeks of starting to adopt a healthier lifestyle, you may be ready to take on a serious exercise program. These can be hard to take up and maintain if you haven’t started to make positive changes in your life. Exercise can cause pain if you do not fully prepare your body first. This can be true whether you are heavy or slender.
Always start with a good warm-up. This means stretching all the muscle groups and freeing up the joints. You should also up your heart rate a little before starting. Stretches, repetitive movements and working your legs should be part of any warm up. You should also be in comfortable trainers with good sports socks. Jogger bottoms or sports shorts are ideal with a tee or wick top. If it’s cold, use a base layer.
All exercise should make you breathe harder. Being out of breath is OK but finding breathing painful or difficult means you should pull back on the intensity of your activity. If you are underweight or overweight, your doctor is the best person to ask about starting an exercise program. Good exercise programs offer a mix of cardio work and muscle building.
Cardio work is about breathing deeper, improving your stamina and raising your heart rate. Muscle building exercises rarely work the heart and lungs, but good breathing technique helps you work harder. Pick abdominal crunches, planks, press-ups, and squats. They can all be done at home with no equipment.
A brisk walk around the block can soon include sixty seconds of gentle jogging. Each day, you can add a few seconds more. Just like with weight training, adding a few extra reps or a little more intensity helps you build up quickly. Who knows? You might even enjoy it! Get the body you want by starting gently.