Cross Training for Fitness and Fat loss
The numbers on your scale do not indicate whether you are fit or fat. Far more significant than your total body weight is the composition of your body tissue. If a man’s fatty tissue is bigger than 14% up to 15% of his body mass, or if a woman’s is more than 20% to 22%, he or she is overweight, or more precisely, overfat.
A small amount of fat is needed for padding the internal organs and as insulation under the skin. Excess fat leads to such diseases as diabetes, gout, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, and gallbladder problems. There are very few, very fat persons. The reason is that the fittest, not the fattest survive.
The problem now is focused on how to resolve the problem. The problem with most people who want to lose weight is that they have the propensity to concentrate more on getting those numbers lower than what they are seeing now. What happens next is that they strive harder to achieve a lower weight, according to the “ever reliable” result of the weighing scale.
It would be more important to think of the human body as a heat-exchange engine that works on the basic principles of energy physics. The caloric balance equals the total calorie intake minus the total calorie expenditure.
Some of the calories people ingest are used for basal metabolism. As people get old, their bodies require fewer calories for this basic upkeep. Some calories are excreted as waste products. Some go into “work metabolism,” the energy expenditure required for any physical activity.
Hence, if people take in more calories than are used by these functions, there is a definite caloric excess. By the laws of physics, energy is transformed rather than destroyed. In this case, each excess of 3,500 calories is changed into a pound of fat. If people want to reverse this process, they have to burn up 3,500 calories to lose a single pound.
Winning the War Against Fat
When you think of fighting fat with exercise, you probably think of hours of hard, sweaty exertion. If this is the case, then, you will not get any farther. This is because people who are so much into losing more by exerting more effort tend to get bored easily.
Why? Because experts contend that when people exert more effort than what they are capable of doing creates a tendency to develop weariness and ennui. Hence, they give up, stop doing their routine exercises, and end up sulking in the corner with a bag of chips that seems to have all the bad calories in this world.
Now, you might ask, "What should be done instead?" The answer: cross training.
After some intensive studies and experimentations, health experts were able to come up with the concept of incorporating cross training in order to overcome or break the monotony or dullness in an exercise program.
Cross training refers to the integration of diverse movements or activities into a person’s conventional exercise routine. The main purpose of incorporating cross training into an exercise program is to avoid overdoing excess muscle damages and to put a stop to an imminent boredom.
Three of the most commonly used activities whenever a person decides to engage into cross training are swimming, running, and cycling.
In cross training, distance is one way to extend your activity as your condition improves. For this reason, you need to traverse a measured distance.
If possible, swim the course and measure the distance. If you will be using a running track, such courses usually are a quarter-mile per lap for a complete circuit.
Cross training offers a variety of benefits for fitness and fat loss. It builds up the strength and endurance of the heart, lungs, and blood vessels. It has also some tranquilizing effect on the nerves, and it burns up calories as much as it makes your “losing weight” more bearable.
Cross training has three basic components:
1. Endurance exercises to condition the heart, lungs, and blood vessels and to induce relaxation. These begin with a careful planned walking and jogging regimen, depending on fitness level.
2. Exercises to strengthen the muscles, particularly those important to good posture. These include some activities that are selected to encourage some people who are already burnt out with a particular routine.
3. Exercises to improve joint mobility and prevent or relieve aches and pains. These consist of a series of static stretching positions that are safe and effective for most of the people who wish to try to lose some fat.
Indeed, cross training is a great way to modify the concept of exercising and losing fat without having to endure monotonous activities. In fact, the idea of exercising is to like what you are doing, hence, if you engage into cross training, you will be aware of it that you have already achieve your desired weight.
Boiled down, cross training is, certainly, one way of having fun.
The Importance of Working Your Core Muscle
Suppose that at a distance you see a short, stooped figure walking with short, slow steps. Most likely, you will conclude that the person is old. The hunched posture gives you the clue.
Why does aging contort so many bodies in this way? The reason is that many people, throughout their lives, never extend the neck to its full range, and so the muscles shorten. Long hours of reading, sewing, typing, or standing at a workbench take their toll. Eventually deposits of calcium salts in the joints complete the process of immobilization. Once this calcification takes place, nothing can be done to reverse it.
Fortunately, older persons can take action before it is too late. The best action is regular exercise that stretches the muscles and improves flexibility, with special considerations on the core muscles. This kind of response is relatively important for a number of factors that when taken for granted will only lead to serious health problems.
What Are Core Muscles?
Core muscles pertain to the muscles found at the obliques, abdominals, lower back, and the glutes. These four areas of the body are the ones that usually frame the posture of a person. Hence, a good posture reflects the good condition of these muscle areas.
What people do not know is that core muscles are actually the “core” or the central part for all the strength that is needed to boost carry out different physical activities. This only means that if an individual’s core muscle is physically powerful, it will maintain equilibrium on the body and will stabilize the system every time the person is working out and moving.
Strengthening Core Muscles
The main responsibility of the core muscles is to provide enough power to the body in order to enable it to cope up with the dynamic challenges of every physical activity that a person encounters.
For this reason, many health and fitness experts have realized that it is relatively important to strengthen the core muscles than with the other muscles in the body. Through some series of experiments and research, they have found out that having a stronger core can lessen a lot of health problems concerning posture.
For instance, a well-conditioned core muscle can project good posture. It can also improve the endurance of the back all the way through the day.
Why? Because muscles that are included in the group of core muscles are actually the ones that initiate the proper stabilization of the whole upper and lower torso.
So, for those who wish to know and understand why it is important strengthen the core muscles, here is a list of some of the benefits that you can use as references:
1. Strengthening core muscles will improve posture and prevent low back pain of the muscular origin.
This means that as you incorporate stretching exercises in your routine, taking a particular focus on the muscles of the upper and front part of the trunk, including the abdominal and trunk muscles, the activity has the tendency to strengthen the muscles of the back that extend to the spine.
2. It will help tone the muscles, thereby, avoiding further back injury
Exercising your core muscles will strengthen and tones your lower back muscles and buttocks while stretching the hip flexors and the muscles on the front of the thighs.
Achieving this state will deter you from any serious lower back injury.
3. Improves physical performance
Exercising the core muscles with slow, static stretching is just as effective in relieving stiffness and enhances flexibility. Once the flexibility of a person has improved, it follows that he will be able to perform his physical activities at a better state.
4. They do not cause sore aching muscles
Static stretching for core muscles is best for the muscles and connective tissues. And because it employs slow stretches only, it will not cause any soreness, as do the quick, bouncing exercises that rely on jerky muscle contraction.
5. Lengthen muscles and avoid unbalanced footing as you get old
Core muscle exercises lengthen the muscles that have contracted as a result of pain. It also prevents pain from vigorous exercise if they are included at the end of each workout.
Health and fitness experts highly recommend starting core work out immediately and repeating the routine at least 2 times a week. The process can be done after the workout or even during the activity, for about 10 to 20 minutes only.
Indeed, core muscles are absolutely important in determining the good posture of the body. Strengthening them can absolutely eliminate those nuisances of back pains.
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