Keeping Fit and Healty

Weekly Physical Exercise Routine: The First Steps Towards Optimum Fitness

Santiago Martín Pazos

Shed those bothersome extra pounds and stay healthy and fit with our basic, easy-to-do exercise routines. Learn how to develop cardiovascular resistance, muscular strength, and flexibility all while reducing your body fat.

With the “modern” fitness industry well in bloom, physical activity is now recognized as the most effective way of preventing or treating obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and countless others ailments so common in our largely sedentary society.Excellent physical fitness is the result of a lifestyle developed under optimal levels of cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, and flexibility, as well as maintaining the ideal body weight. Anyone who aims to achieve this balance must engage in cardiovascular, endurance, and flexibility exercises.

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Dumbbell Bench Press.

But first, let us review some fundamental definitions before it is time to evaluate our level of fitness.

Cardiovascular endurance of aerobic fitness: The ability of the cardiorespiratory system (heart, lungs, blood vessels) to deliver the right supply of oxygen to the working muscles.

Muscular strength: The maximum amount of force a muscle or muscle group can exert during a single contraction.

Muscular endurance: The number of repeated contractions a muscle or muscle group can perform against resistance without fatiguing.

Flexibility: A number of movements that can be accomplished at a joint (articulation).

Body fat: The percent body fat represents the percentage of total body weight that is carried as fat. The body-fat percentage of a fit individual should be 21 to 24% for women or 14 to 17% for men. Achieving and maintaining a healthy body composition is a very important part of health and fitness.

When we engage in a daly exercise regimen, it is important to achieve the correct balance between these five points, which will lead to better health. We can achieve significant gains in strength and resistance by training only twice a week. You should do ten exercises for every muscle group, doing small sets of 8 – 10 repetitions per exercise. It is advised to stretch or work other body parts between reps, which will help with muscle recovery.

But for those who can’t find the time or the will to hit the gym twice a week, the following exercise can be done only once a week with excellent results. We are talking about the old, but always effective bench press.

Pay attention and follow these instructions.

  • Make sure you keep hydrated during the exercise and stretch before and after each set.
  • Grab a pair of dumbbells and lay face up on a bench. Hold the dumbbells with your palms facing your feet. Your thumbs should be turned toward each other. The edges of the dumbbells should lightly touch the outside/middle of your chest. You can put your feet up on the bench if you find this more comfortable.
  • Push the dumbbells straight up until your arms are almost fully extended. The dumbbells should come close together in this top position (they should never clack at the top of the movement). Hitting the weights together no only takes some tension off your chest muscles but annoys others in the gym. If you are a clacker, work out at home!
  • After a pause, slowly lower the weights back to starting position.

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