People can become inspired to hit the track or head the gym due to any number of different reasons. The same can be said for any other health and fitness activity.
Admittedly, a lot of gym-goers are there through a desire to pack on muscle and gain extra strength and size.
However, they will be sharing equipment with plenty of people who only want to firm-up, tone-up and get healthy.
Understanding the motivations of true bodybuilders and competitive weightlifters is easy. Not so with the rest of the health and fitness crowd. They may be busy working up a sweat for any number of reasons.
These days, there’s a lot of pressure to look good and, for some people, that’s reason enough to get physical.
Others may be responding to a recent health scare or other medical issues. Then there are those who need to keep in shape to maintain the necessary physical conditioning required for their chosen sport.
A lot of people also exercise to lose weight and escape the clutches of obesity.
Want the truth in a teacup? It doesn’t really matter why people want to get fit, keep fit, and/or gain muscle.
All exercise is good. Becoming fitter increases quality of life and improves self-esteem.
Some research suggests regular aerobic exercise may even increase life expectancy. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3395188/)
So, even if building muscle is your primary aim, it’s a good idea to make time for regular cardio training as well.
Improve Fitness and Muscle Tone Using Treadmills and Rowing Machines
Treadmills, or running machines as they are more commonly called these days, are great for improving cardiovascular endurance. All the best gyms have them but many people don’t give then a second glance. Men tend to be especially oblivious to the presence of running machines in the gym. When the average guy enters the gym he heads straight for the weights.
That’s a pity because, apart from providing the opportunity to do a quick cardio session, running machines are also good for a warm-up. Obviously, you will need to spend a few minutes doing some bending and stretching exercises first, and you don’t have to wear yourself out, but a short cardio session before hitting the weights can actually be quite invigorating. Some people choose to follow their workout with a running machine session as well.
Gym-goers who are training to lose weight certainly don’t want to miss out on the benefits running machines provide. Even at a leisurely walking pace, someone who weighs 125 pounds can burn through 120 calories in half-an-hour. A heavier person will burn more and picking up the pace makes it possible to burn even more still.
Rowing machines are also a great piece of fitness equipment that too many people fail to exploit. Like running machines, they are excellent for a warm-up session and for ending a workout as well.
If you are training to improve fitness, lose weight, or improve muscle tone. Rowing machines are an option you should be keen to explore. Apart from improving your fitness and helping you burn extra calories, rowing machines also provide a full-body workout.
First-time rowing machine users may need to spend some time learning the correct technique, but investing the extra time will be worth the effort.
Triathlon and Triathletes
It is not just body conditioners that need to tone their muscles. Triathletes are arguably among the fitness people on the planet.
A triathlete will compete in three different conditions that includes swimming, cycling, and running over various distances. It takes something to be a British Triathlon world champion.
Eating for Health and Vitality
If you want to have a healthy body, it’s no good filling it with a lot of crap. You are what you eat! It’s an old saying but it’s absolutely true.
Bodybuilders and other serious athletes have an advantage in this regard. Their desire to build a stronger fitter body invariably forces them to learn about nutrition and eating the correct food.
People who are trying to lose weight are more likely to struggle to get their diets right. After all, their lack of understanding, and present bad eating habits, are likely to be a big part of the reason they gained weight in the first place.
Bodybuilders and athletes share a passion for health and fitness. Dieters often don’t have this. They are generally only interested in losing weight and may have a greater passion for a lifestyle that’s low activity and high in unhealthy food.
It’s beyond the scope of this article to explain all the different ways eating a healthy diet can improve your health and enrich your life. People have written entire books on the subject.
However, avoiding foods that are high in fat and sugar is a must for anyone who wants to lose weight. It’s also important not to overdo it on carbs, but there’s more to healthy eating than calories and weight loss.
A healthy diet needs to provide the body with all the vitamins and minerals it needs. It should also contain sufficient fiber and protein.
Choosing the right foods can invigorate the mind and body and make it easier to exercise and pursue sporting pursuits.
If you want a fit strong body that’s not carrying around a lot of excess fat, keeping active is only part of the recipe for success. Diet is the other. You need to think about both.
Supplements—Yes or No?
We live in a day and age where everything often seems to be about speed. Finding the fastest way to get from A to B is not just about travel, for many people, it’s about getting their ideal body too. Whether they want to slimmer or more muscular and well-toned, these days, nobody wants to wait. That’s why there is such a big market for diet pills, legal steroids, and other forms of dietary supplement.
When it comes to weight loss, there are also far too many people looking for an easy way out. There are no easy ways out. Supplements do not and cannot replace a healthy diet and they never will.
A supplement is an addition to something else. For instance, many people “supplement” their income with money from a part-time job.
Dietary supplements only work when they supplement existing efforts. Diet pills need to be used as part of a low-calorie diet. Legal steroids won’t work if you don’t eat the right foods and put in the work at the gym.
You can lose weight without supplements. You can get big and strong too. However, using the right supplements at the right time is a good way to speed up and improve on existing results. There’s nothing bad about using supplements. You just have to be realistic in your exceptions.
If you think you can get a perfect body by popping pills on top of burgers and fries and never going to the gym, you need to think again. It’s not going to happen. Not today, not any day, never at all.