Regardless of your personal reason for being interested in fitness, it is always a good idea to spend some quality time with your body getting in better shape.
Not only will you learn new things about your body, including how strong it really is, but you will also feel better about the skin you live in.
In fact, every year the most popular New Year's resolution is to lose weight, eat healthier and make self-improvements in muscles and endurance.
So, if you are a beginner to getting fit, you are in some very good and motivated company!
In this article, learn how to begin building powerful muscles, strength and endurance right from the ground up.
Building Powerful Muscles and Endurance: A Beginner's Guide
"It is always a good idea to spend some quality time with your body getting in better shape..."
The Connection Between Muscles and Endurance
If you enjoy watching the Olympics (and who doesn't, right?), you have probably had the opportunity to hear top athletes talk about their crazy training routines.
Perhaps the first few times you heard a medaled sprinter discuss lifting weights or a weightlifter talk about cardiovascular workouts, you might have wondered if you had misheard.
But building muscle can also build speed and endurance. And building endurance can improve strength at the same time.
Knowing this, it probably makes more sense now. It is for this reason that you will want to focus on building both strength and endurance during your workouts.
Your body needs both muscles and endurance to reach its physical best.
5 Elements of Complete Fitness
Commonly called cardiovascular fitness or "cardio" for short, the word "aerobic" actually translates to mean "requiring oxygen."
So, aerobic fitness is a workout for your entire cardiovascular system as it strengthens the heart and lungs and oxygenates every cell in your body.
Current recommendation: Currently, the recommendation is to get an average of 150 minutes, or 2.5 hours, per week of aerobic activity.
As the name suggests, strength training is designed to build muscles and increase bone density and strength as well. The act of lifting weights is essential for building healthy bones and muscles. You can use free weights, resistance weights, weight machines or even home-made weights to build strength.
Current recommendation: The current recommendation is to incorporate twice-weekly strength training into your workout insanity calendar.
Your "core" is the set of muscles in your abdomen, back and pelvis areas. These muscles are critical for helping your spine stay strong and keep you coordinated.
You can do crunches, sit-ups, push-ups and other exercises that specifically work out this set of muscles to strengthen your core.
Current recommendation: At some level, your core muscles will strengthen anytime you do any type of physical activity. But you should be sure to focus on your core muscles at least two to three times per week.
Balance training becomes more important as you get older. You rely on your core for balance, so every time you do core exercises, you should plan to incorporate balance exercises as well.
Examples include standing on one leg, walking a balance beam, doing yoga or tai chi and other similar activities.
Current recommendation: Incorporate balance training on the days you do your core exercises.
Flexibility and Stretching.
The ultimate goal of any workout program is to increase your overall mobility and physical capacity. Flexibility, in particular, is necessary to keep you from getting injured while moving. Stretching is a key way to help your body work itself up to more intense exercising.
Current recommendation: Schedule 5 to 10 minutes of stretching before and after every fitness session to avoid injury, increase flexibility and ease your body into and out of workouts.
Other Essentials of Muscle and Endurance-Building
Even as you are working out a plan to incorporate each of the five essentials of a complete fitness routine listed here, you will also need to be tending to your body and your health in other ways.
In other words, no fitness routine will ultimately deliver the results you want if you don't also do these four things:
- Drink plenty of water with electrolytes to stay hydrated.
- Take the right combination of vitamins and minerals to replenish your body's supply.
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet of fiber, produce, lean protein and healthy fats.
- Get at least eight hours per night of restful sleep.
When any one of these four critical elements goes missing, you will be more susceptible to injury while working out and also to the temptation of skipping workouts.
Why Rest is Essential
Working out will make you stronger for sure. But it will also take its toll on your body if you don't put back what you have taken. According to the Active Times, a rest day is every bit as important as your workout days.
In addition to one full rest day out of every seven days, you should incorporate rest days in between workouts that focus on different muscle groups (for instance, don't do all three days of core exercises in a row, but allow one day in between each for rest).
By following the tips offered here, you can slowly but surely build up both your strength and your endurance.