By Daniel Rosenfeld
Exercise is the other key element in improving your body. Think of your body as a piece of clay; exercising is like sculpting that clay into a toned, magnificent piece of artwork. Here are three exercises to help burn fat and build muscles.
- Cardio is pretty much anything that elevates your heart rate. To maximize the amount of calories burned and have a more effective workout, do cardio after strength training (e.g. push-ups) because your metabolism is temporarily increased. Some sources of cardio are running, cycling, and swimming. Do about 20-30 minutes of cardio at least three times per week. To prevent a weight loss plateau, do a variety cardio exercises, rather than just sticking to one exercise. For example, do one week of running, followed by one week of cycling.
- Push-ups are a very basic yet effective exercise that will add solid muscle to your upper body. Push-ups are a compound exercise, meaning they involve multiple muscle groups. The main muscles strengthened are the shoulders, chest and triceps, all of which play major roles in having a broad, strong upper body. Push-ups are great because they can be performed almost anywhere. Do three sets to failure (as many as you can do) about three times per week. Don’t do push-ups more often than every other day, for risk of overtraining. Be sure to maintain proper form and not to rush during each repetition; take two seconds to go down and two seconds to come back up.
- Sit-ups are a simple exercise that will bring out those “beach body” six-pack abs. Everyone already has a six-pack hidden under their belly fat. To make your abs visible, you need both to lose fat and to build up your abdominal muscles to make your abs “pop” out. To do a proper sit-up, lie on the floor on your back with your knees bent and your arms across your chest. Like push-ups, take two seconds to come up, and two seconds to come back down. To maintain good form, keep looking up at the ceiling as you do each repetition. Do three sets to failure, about three times per week.
By following these tips regarding nutrition and exercise, you’ll experience dramatic results and will have the body you’ve always wanted. Through hard work and dedication comes a piece of clay sculpted to perfection.