If you enjoy good food and like to eat, work a sedentary job or have a busy schedule, finding activities you enjoy which can help you stay fit and active is essential for you to stay in shape. As a 26-year-old with a full-time job who is also a part-time freelancer, itâ€™s very easy for me to go months without proper physical activity; so weight training has been my go-to way to keep fit and stay active!
I joined a gym in 2010 and started a routine of cardio and weight training that helped me lose fat, build muscle and tone up! I worked out consistently most of my 4 years in University but now that my schedule has gotten a lot busier, I canâ€™t work out as often. As weight training has so many great physiological benefits, I still have muscle tone so when I gain weight itâ€™s not too obvious! I also gained enough knowledge from my time in the gym to be able to make up my own workouts so I can fit quick routines into my busy schedule.
If you are looking for a fun way to get fit and stay active, weight training is definitely worth considering, here are my insights for getting the most out of weight training
How I stay fit with Weight Training
A lot of people think of going to the gym and lifting weights as weight training but there is a lot more to it. Weight training is a form of physical exercise that focuses on the development and conditioning of the muscles or muscular system. While cardio or cardiovascular training offers stimuli to the muscles it focuses primarily on developing the capacity of the heart and respiratory systems, weight training on the other hand targets muscles while providing some cardiovascular benefit! Weight training can be done with or without equipment. Weight training with equipment is what is commonly referred to as weight lifting, pumping iron and bodybuilding! While weight training without equipment is referred to as bodyweight exercises. A structured weight training routine will typically have a combination of bodyweight and equipment/machine-assisted exercises.
A Flexible & Adaptable Exercise Routine
Now that we have established that Weight training can be done with or without equipment, you can appreciate how easy it is to fit weight training into a busy schedule. With a basic knowledge of some common exercises and the proper form for performing them, you could have your entire workout at home or any other convenient venue. When I donâ€™t have an active gym membership I get my exercise by doing bodyweight workouts at home and running or walking outdoors.
For beginners, while a traditional gym is not everyoneâ€™s cup of tea, it is a great place to learn the basics of weight training. If you are new to exercising or weight training, joining a gym and taking some sessions with an instructor will help you learn the basic exercises, what they are for and the proper form for each exercise! Knowing what each exercise does and the proper technique ensures your workouts are effective and injury-free. Armed with basic exercise knowledge you can enjoy the flexibility that weight training offers as you can modify the time and exercises to fit your schedule and needs! An important tip when starting out is to ask a lot of questions about the exercises you are doing!
Find a Place You Like to Get the Most Out of Weight Training
There are a lot of considerations for selecting a gym. You have to consider the cost in relation to your budget, the distance between your home or office and the gym, the ambience of the gym, the quality of equipment in the gym and the other gym clientele. These are all factors that could impact your gym experience. The more enjoyable the entire experience of going to the gym is for you, the more likely it is that you will stick to your health and fitness goals.
My rule of thumb for finding a good gym is to pick a gym near me. It is far more likely that I will make it to a gym close to my house or workplace than one across town. Also look for a gym with a nice ambience, decent equipment and a crowd you wonâ€™t mind being around. If the gym environment isnâ€™t neat and welcoming, the gym doesnâ€™t have any equipment you like and the other clients make you uncomfortable itâ€™s probably not the gym for you! New gyms and fitness centres spring up every day, it is worth checking out a few places before you commit.
Your attitude to Weight Training Counts
Finding a gym or workout venue that works for you is the first step to keeping fit and active with weight training. The next essential is managing your expectations and adopting the right attitude to get the most out of weight training. Adopting weight training as a means to get fit and stay active requires commitment, discipline and hard work. You will experience soreness, certain workouts will be difficult, there will be lots of sweating and your heart beating really fast â€“ focusing on your goals will help you push past the challenges.
I find that the best way to have realistic expectations is to learn the basics of exercise science, nutrition and health. There are a ton of resources available on the internet that you can learn the basics from reading. Even if you find the maths of calculating calories tedious learning how to visually assess your portion sizes will ensure that you donâ€™t undo all the hard work of exercising with a poor diet.
Perks of Weight Training
Weight training is one form of exercise that I find to hold a variety of benefits aside from being weight management or a fitness routine. This form of exercise presents a way to challenge the mind and body and gain mastery over oneself. The control and focus required for weight training safely help you develop discipline in addition to the numerous health benefits. Being a member of a gym or partaking in a weight training class is also a fantastic way to meet new people. The fact that you will feel great and look toned and trim is a nice bonus as well. The potential for injury which may be seen as a drawback to weight training is avoidable when exercise safety guidelines are properly observed.
I have enjoyed weight training over the past 8 â€“ 9 years and it has really helped me stay fit and active no matter how much else I have going on at the time. There have been so many innovations over the past few years and it seems thereâ€™s a new routine trending on Instagram every other week, so weight training never gets boring! Give weight training a try if you are looking for ways to keep fit and active or just want to change up your fitness routine.