"Happiness consists of getting enough sleep. Just that, nothing more"
Robert A. Heinlein

Natural Health

Simply weighing yourself does not indicate whether or not you are ‘fit’ or ‘fat’. Far more important than this is the composition of your body tissue. If (for a woman) your fatty tissue is more than 22% of your body mass, you should be consider over weight; or, more specifically, as having too much fat on your body.

We need a certain amount of fat on us to keep our internal organs safe and insulated under our skin, but it is only a very small amount. Excess fat leads to a whole array of health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, gout, coronary artery disease, and gall bladder issues.

The trouble with most people who want to lose weight is that they have a tendency to concentrate more on getting the numbers on the scales lower. It is far more beneficial to think of the body as an engine that works on the basic principles of energy physics. If the amount of calories burned equals or overtakes the amount of calories consumed, you will see results. It may take time, but there is no quick fix to achieving a fit and healthy body and lifestyle.

As we get older, our bodies require fewer calories for our basic upkeep. Some calories are discharged as waste products, and others go into “work metabolism,” the energy expenditure required for any physical activity. This is why if we take in more calories than we need, there is excess, and energy is transformed, rather than destroyed. An excess of 3,500 calories equates to an added pound of fat. In order to reverse this, we would have to burn up these 3,500 calories and thus distinguish that extra pound.

For most people, the thought of a fat burning exercise means hours of hard work, sweating and heavy breathing. This thought alone can prevent us from even attempting to get in shape. Effort and dedication are important, but so is patience; it is just as crucial to make sure you don’t get bored of your workout as it is to make sure you don’t get too tired too soon. Weariness will set in if we take on too much too soon, and then we are far more likely to quit, and probably seek out some comfort food in front of the telly.

The answer to not becoming bored is very simple. Cross Training.

Experts have widely agreed that incorporating cross training into a workout regime is the key to overcoming monotony and/or boredom.

But what does Cross Training mean?

Simply put, Cross Training means integrating different diverse movements and activities into your conventional routine. The point is to avoid excess muscle strain from repetition, and also to prevent boredom.

The three most common activities chosen for Cross Training are Running, Swimming, and Cycling. Combine these within your routine and you will shed pounds and improve fitness long before any sort of boredom has chance to set it. As your fitness improves, gradually increase the distance you travel and the length of time you are moving for. Perhaps even add some levels of resistance where possible to maximize muscle building and stamina. It can be useful to invest in a device that measures distance, but obviously with swimming the pools are usually already measured, and if you have access to a running/ cycling track this would also be the case.

Cross Training is pretty much instant access to fitness and loss of excess fat. Through Cross Training you will build up strength, endurance, a healthier heart, lungs, blood vessels. It also has a strange tranquillizing effect on the nerves in your body which makes the fat losing process a lot more bearable, and furthermore maximizes the amount of calories you are burning off.

To keep it very simple for those who are just starting out, there are three basic components involved in Cross Training:

  1. Endurance exercises. These help condition the heart, lungs, and blood vessels; this induces extreme relaxation. Begin with a careful planned walking and jogging routine, and gradually increase when you feel ready.
  2. Exercises which strengthen muscles. This includes some activities selected to encourage people who are already burnt out with a particular routine. Read up on the various different ways you can build muscles and keep that variation strong as time passes so you don’t get bored.
  3. Exercises that improve joint mobility, and furthermore prevent (or relieve) aches and pains. This is usually a series of motionless stretching positions which are thought to be safe and effective for people of all ages and abilities who are trying to lose weight and get fit.

Cross training is Fun! You are exercising, losing weight, building muscle, without any chance of getting bored as you might with other more monotonous, repetitive activities. It’s a win-win option for optimum health and fitness!

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