Hi! My name is Nathan Burke. I hold a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science, and I am a certified personal trainer. First off, I’m glad to be a part of this website to promote the health and fitness aspect of life. Your body is your temple. If you think about it, you take it with you everywhere you go, so it is important to take care of it just like you would anything else.
When it comes to getting in shape and becoming more fit, the most important aspects are weight training, cardiovascular training, and nutrition. I really want to emphasize weight training, because too many people out there, when they want to get into great shape and lose fat, just jump on a piece of cardio equipment for an hour or so thinking that is the best approach to fat loss. Let me say right now that is NOT the best approach. Sure you may be burning calories, however you do so at the risk of muscle loss as well. To change your body composition you have to focus on weight training, because weight training with heavier weight focuses on building muscle, and if you want to get into better shape you have to have a muscle-building component to your workout. Why is this so important?? Well, because every ounce of muscle you gain, the higher your metabolism becomes, the more muscle you build, the more calories you burn at rest. This is why it is important to focus on FAT loss and not necessarity WEIGHT loss per se.
Now, when it comes to cardiovascular training, there are also mistakes I see. The number one thing is intensity. Too many times I see people in the gym taking it easy on the treadmill, talking on their cellphone or talking to the person next to them. In order for cardio to be effective, you need to be out of your comfort zone. Cardio should be short (20 minutes), intense (where you are breathing heavily throughout out), and efficient. The other great thing about short, intense cardio sessions is that your metabolism remains elevated for hours AFTER the cardio session. So your body will be a more efficient fat buring machine throughout the day!
The last aspect is extremely important, and that’s nutrition. Nutrition is so important and many people lack this aspect. You can’t workout hard and then eat junk and expect to achieve results. You need to feed your body with protein-rich foods such as eggs, lean beef, skinless chicken breasts, cottage cheese, skim milk, tuna, and fresh fish. You also need healthy carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes, baked potatoes, oatmeal, and fresh fruits such as apples, pears, bananas, oranges and grapefruits. The other main nutrient is fat. Healthy fats such as natural peanut butter, raw almonds, walnuts, olive oil, flax oil, and avacado are what you want to eat. Stay away from saturated fats, such as greasy, full fat burgers, butter, regular ice cream, and full fat cheeses. I also want to emphasize the importance of green vegetables (green beans, broccoli, spinach) These green crunchy vegetables are the most important because they are loaded with healthy vitamins, minerals and fiber which helps you feel fuller longer while providing virtually zero calories which keeps your metabolism elevated as well.
So there you have it! I wanted to provide a basic understanding of the main aspects to get into better shape and to basically lay out the most EFFICIENT way to do it, while providing a better understanding of the components of fitness as well. And keep in mind that the main goal when getting into shape is to not necessarily focus on weight loss but FAT loss. It is better to focus on how your clothes fit and how you look in the mirror than what a number on the scale says. So remember these tips and apply them when you structure a workout plan for getting into better shape.