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One of the most important things in life is to remain healthy and fit. You can achieve this important goal by working out regularly and looking after your body. Along with a good workout, you can also try to incorporate smoothies or supplements that enhance the effects and recovery time of the workout.
Running workouts often require the use of a lot of energy. Luckily, you can boost your energy levels by having some delicious pre-workout smoothies. You can find some healthy and delicious ideas here. You can also arm yourself with different types of supplements to make your workout experience just that much more awesome. There are different types of supplements available which are designed especially for working out.
Here, we will talk about the benefits of working out and how to find the best workout for you. I hope you are ready because we are diving right into it.
A good workout routine is really important to keep you healthy and happy. It will add years to your life and helps in the prevention of several diseases and disorders. A good workout routine also keeps the muscles strong and healthy and reduces aging. Besides these functions, working out has a lot of other benefits.
- 1 Exercise or Workout?
- 2 Benefits of a Workout
- 3 What are the Effects of a Great Workout?
- 4 Types of Workout Defined
- 5 How to Find the Best Workout
- 6 How much workout is enough?
- 7 More Tips on How to Maximize Your Workout Efforts
Exercise or Workout?
An exercise generally refers to anything. It is a broad term and can mean literally anything related to physical activity. Walking can be considered an exercise and so can swimming, hiking or mountain climbing. If it involves some form of physical activity, then it can be considered as an exercise.
A workout, however, is more specific in its definition. A workout is a routine of precise exercises or physical activities with a goal in mind. It can be either to tone your biceps, tighten your abs, or shed some pounds.
When you workout you tend to sweat at the least a little bit but when you exercise that is not a necessity. An exercise can even be mental or even emotional. For example, doing crosswords as a form of mental exercise while a workout is more precise and is aimed at physical activity only. A workout is composed of several specific exercises.
A good workout can be done anywhere as long as what you are doing is direct. Working out caries a lot of advantages. Let’s explore a few of these advantages and convince you to get your sweat on as much as possible.
Benefits of a Workout
First of all, as we all know, working out helps in losing weight. This is an obvious and well-known advantage of exercising. As you make your body undergo various routines, the demand for energy increases and your fat tissues or what is officially called adipose tissue starts breaking down to produce energy.
Your fat cells or adipose tissues work as pouches of energy reservoir. In a balanced diet, these tissues stay under control as the energy gets used up for various metabolic activities. Accompanying a healthy diet with some form of workout can prevent the accumulation of these fat tissues.
If you eat junk food or foods rich in carbs and fats but hit the gym regularly that can still be enough to keep you in shape and prevent the fat deposition. But if your diet is not very nurturing, loaded with carbohydrates, sugars and all sorts of other detrimental substances and you do not even engage in any form of workout then you are bound to suffer from a high risk of obesity. Fats will deposit in your body and results will be detrimental.
This makes it very important to eat a healthy diet filled with all the nutrients including enough fat while also partaking in enough workouts. A balanced diet should contain all the macronutrients and micronutrient required by your body. A macronutrient is the food group or nutrition group that is required by a large quantity in your body while a micronutrient is required in a lesser quantity.
On average our total caloric content in a day should have around 45% to 65% of carbohydrate, 10% to 30% of proteins and 25% to 35% of fats. In addition to these ratios, you should also eat lots of veggies and fruits, fish and nuts and seeds. Do not forget to also drink plenty of water to keep your system hydrated.
There is a misconception that goes on around fats. Most people consider fats to be evil reincarnated as food and should be avoided at all cost. This simply isn’t true. A balanced diet requires a sufficient amount of fat as well.
There is this incident that I always think back to whenever I hear about the words balanced diet and fats in one sentence. A couple of years ago I attended a seminar on nutrition. It was a small event focused on balancing your diet.
As soon as the speaker spoke about the importance of fats in the diet, there were a lot of indignant whispers in the back of the room. Some people thought that the speaker was off his rocker and feeding them false information.
This reaction of the audience perfectly summarizes how most people live with this misconception about fats. Fats are basically of two types, the good kind of fats are unsaturated fats and saturated fats are what you generally want to avoid. Be sure to supplement your diet with an appropriate amount of good fats and avoid the bad fats.
A good workout has a lot of benefits not just at physical levels but also at the molecular level as well. With the right routine, you will begin to see your body toning more and your muscles building. Your strength increases, and you simply feel awesome. You become more focused and energized than ever before.
You can see your sleep becoming more wholesome and nurturing as well as your mood becoming and staying better. Besides all these physical and observable changes there are several changes happening in your body at the molecular level as well.
The alveoli which are the main air filtering unit present in the lungs now work more efficiently and you begin breathing better. The fluctuation that used to occur in your blood pressure, the tiring cycle of high blood pressure and low blood pressure is more stable.
The fat that would have been deposited in the chambers and veins of your heart is now slowly breaking down. The rate with which your heart used to pump blood now has increased and therefore improved.
The resting heart rate between each cycle has lowered and your heart muscles are contracting more efficiently. This causes your heart muscles to become stronger and this causes even more effective pumping of the blood. Good health of the heart means that all the other organs within your body are getting enough of oxygenated blood to carry out their tasks with more vigor.
The fact that your digestive system does not have to tire itself out by trying to break down extra fats means it is not under constant stress. On average it takes, surprisingly, 40 hours to breakdown fats. But if these fats are in excess, then your digestive system is even under more of stress. But by working out, you have reduced these fats and your digestive system thanks you by working better than ever.
The rate of metabolism increases thereby increasing the rate of digestion. The muscles in the intestines work more efficiently which allows the waste to be excreted out of your system properly.
Your muscles, due to the heart working great, is now getting a reliable and frequent supply of oxygenated blood at a faster rate. This helps your muscles to contract and work well than before as well as engage in physical activity for longer periods of time. This helps boost your stamina and also helps in improving the health of the joints.
The pleasant mood that you experience when you exercise or workout is due to the brain releasing hormones like dopamine and oxytocin. These hormones are called feel-good hormones because that is exactly what they do. They make you happy and contribute toward a pleasant mood. These hormones linger in your system for a long time which is why you get that awesome workout high.
Another reason is that a good workout session is a great stress reliever. When you are stressed, a lot of things happen in your system. One of them is increasing the level of lactic acid in your blood. When you workout this accumulated lactic acid is removed from the blood.
When you workout, you see the results of your hard work and discipline on your body, you feel happier. You are in better shape than ever and you like what you see in the mirror. This gives you a boost to your self-confidence and also makes you comfortable in your skin.
The fact that you worked hard, resisted temptation, suffered through cramps and sore muscles and pushed your body to its limit also helps you.
Exercising also helps regulate hormones, sugar, and other metabolites. It plays an important role in the regulation of glucose, insulin and leptin levels by allowing the leptin and insulin receptors to work efficiently. This is the biggest reason why exercise or a workout decreases your chances of getting a chronic disorder.
If you are someone who is trying to quit smoking than a regular workout session is recommended to you. This is due to two reasons. Firstly as you sweat the tobacco, nicotine and all the other harmful and highly toxic chemical substances out of your system. The second reason is that the adrenaline rush and the stress-reducing effect of a workout replaces the feeling that you feel after smoking. The feeling of tobacco is replaced with the positive charge of the workout.
A good workout also helps improve the texture of the skin. When you sweat you detoxify through the tiny pores present on the skin. Your brain activity is also increased due to the quick delivery of oxygen through the blood.
Exercising has all these great advantages and many more. You are less prone to get certain types of cancer, a stroke, or any cardiovascular disease. A good workout can benefit your entire system and keep you healthy for a long, long time. I hope these reasons are enough to convince you to start working out today. Or tomorrow depending on when you are reading this article.
What are the Effects of a Great Workout?
Before we take the difficult task of helping you find the best workout for you, let’s take a look at what happens inside your body when you workout.
Your muscles are playing an active role when you workout. They undergo vigorous contraction and relaxation very quickly. This causes the muscles to keep using massive amounts of energy which is present in the form of ATP. This is a depleting energy reservoir and yet more energy demands prompt your body to start making more energy by breaking down more glucose. This process requires energy and that is why you start breathing faster and your heart rate increases because now it has more blood to pump to your muscles.
The next is your lungs. The large oxygen demand makes them quickly snap into action. The demand for oxygen is 15 times more than normal. Since you are breathing heavily, the muscles around your lungs move as fast as they can. But they can’t keep up with the rapid breathing rate and you have reached what is called a VO2 max stage. At this stage, your lungs are using the maximum amount of oxygen that they possibly can. The higher your VO2 rate is the healthier you are.
The heart is pumping massive amounts of blood. The demand for oxygen is higher and even the amount of blood pumped by the heart is high. This causes your heart rate to increase. If you are fit you can workout for longer durations of time by regulating your heart rate more efficiently. This decreases your resting heart rate and makes your heart healthy enough to form newer blood vessels.
Lastly, the brain also comes into play with all its hormones. It releases the feel-good hormones and is now working at full capacity as it is getting plenty of supply of oxygen-rich blood. The new neurons are forming and the existing neurons strengthen. The after-effects of a good workout is an increased focus and attention span, as well as improved memory and learning skills. This improved memory and learning skills is attributed to the new neuron formation in the hippocampus, an area of the brain concerned with learning and focus. In fact, research has proven that 20 minutes of exercise after studying helps you to retain information at a very accelerated rate.
All of this happens in your body when you engage in a good workout session. It is pretty cool to know how flawlessly your body works, almost like a well-lubricated machine.
A workout regime also strengthens your will power and makes you more disciplined.
I think by now you should be convinced that you should get up off that couch and get to the gym. Now you must be wondering how to find a workout routine that you will be able to follow. Well, don’t worry, we have a few answers for you.
It is essential to understand that there are several types of workout and there are also different levels of workout intensity. We will explain all of this to you. Let’s begin with a classification of workouts first.
Types of Workout Defined
Workouts are classified into three basic categories. There is aerobic workouts, anaerobic workouts and flexibility workouts.
Aerobic exercises involve any exercise that requires movements of large muscles and uses more oxygen than you normally would in a relaxed state. Some examples of this are power-walking, running, swimming, and Zumba. The main objective of this class of workouts is to increase your cardiovascular health.
The next group of workouts is anaerobic workouts. An anaerobic workout is just like an aerobic workout, but faster, more intense, and for shorter durations. Anaerobic exercises concern itself with strengthening, firming and toning the muscles while also improving balance, coordination, and stamina. Examples of this would be weight lifting, biceps curls, sprints, push-ups, and pull-ups. Calisthenics, or bodyweight training exercises that incorporate your own body’s weight as resistance, come under anaerobic exercises.
High Intensity Interval Training is a new type of workout that incorporates a combination of aerobic and strength training. It is a type of exercise where you alternate between high shorter intensity exercises with longer low-intensity exercises or even brief periods of rest. It is more effective than aerobics exercise and you will also gain muscle mass. Another major advantage is that you don’t need any equipment to do HIIT. It is also extremely versatile and you can work out however you want with this and truly make it your own.
A flexibility workout is exactly what it sounds like. These exercises are designed to increase the flexibility and elasticity of the muscles. They also increase the length of the muscles. Some examples of this type of workout include stretching and yoga. The goal of these exercises is to increase the flexibility of the muscles so they are less likely to get injured.
A good workout routine, however, is one which incorporates all classes of exercise in a single session. It is also what we call full body workout. As to the types of workouts, there are four different types of workouts. These are balance, endurance, flexibility, and strength.
These types of workouts are designed with the goal of improving the motor skills and coordination among different body parts. The aim of these exercises is to improve your balance and make you more coordinated. These workouts are an essential part of the routine of older people as they are more likely to lose control over their fine motor skills. Standing on one leg, heel to toe walk and some forms of martial arts like tai chi are very good examples of this.
Endurance workout: These exercises are meant to increase your heart rate and get your blood really pumping. It can fall under the category of aerobic or anaerobic exercises. These exercises use a large part of your body for its performance so you get a full body workout. Some examples here would be Zumba or dancing, cardio, light jogging or brisk walking.
And finally, we have strength workouts. These workouts are designed to strengthen, tone and increase the endurance of your muscles. These exercises help a lot if your end goal is to build your body and bulk up. Some examples here would be weight lifting, body weight pull-ups, bicep curls and other such exercises where you are dealing with weights. You can also try a different kind of strength workout such as CrossFit. Both CrossFit versus strength workout has their own advantages and disadvantages. If you are new to CrossFit, you can try simply downloading a CrossFit app that gives you easy-to-follow instructions, so you don’t have to worry about whether it will be good for you.
Any workout worth its money should have at least some part of all of these exercises incorporated within it. All these types of workouts are important and work differently. Together, they can give you a full-body workout. There are workout routines that bring together the benefit of all the above workouts, such as the p90x workout or the Body Beast workout. Try experimenting with different workouts to see what you like. Strength training is one of the most effective things you can do to reduce waist size (which is so important). I get asked all the time, Does Waist Trimming Really Work? My answer: Yes. Weight training is waist training.
Intensity of workout
Exercise intensity is the amount of energy you spend during the exercise. Based on your energy expenditure exercises are usually of three intensities: Light intensity exercises, moderate intensity exercises, and vigorous-intensity exercises. They are self-explanatory from their names.
Light intensity exercises use a minimal amount of energy and you are less likely to feel exhausted quickly. Moderate intensity exercises use a moderate amount of energy and after a few sets, the exhaustion will start setting. The vigorous-intensity exercises burn the fuel pretty quickly and the exhaustion hits you fast and hard.
A good workout routine should incorporate all these three levels of exercises seamlessly. So there should be a period of light intensity followed by a moderate intensity and then vigorous intensity and light intensity again as a cool down. This is healthy for your system and will still give you the results.
How to Find the Best Workout
Now that you have got the basics of a good workout, I will keep my promise and deliver the goods. We will now help you find the best workout.
Goals, goals and more goals
The first question you should ask yourself is your end goal. Why do you want to workout? Do you want to tone your body and develop muscles? Or maybe you are tired of carrying that pooch and want to get rid of it once and for all. Maybe your goal is to build your endurance and just burn a few calories to become more fit.
Whatever your goal may be, keep it in your mind. Analyze it as much as you can, dig deep and deeper and be realistic about your goals. Your goal will help you decide which workout routine you should adopt. These days, there are a lot of different kinds of workout apps and websites that ask the right kind of questions if you want to create specific goals for yourself, and then guide you along your path.
Be detailed in your approach.
You have your very realistic goal now, congratulations. But now what? Now you get down to the details. Be as detailed as you possibly can. If your goal is to lose weight then add more details to it. Instead of saying I want to lose some weight, be more specific and say how much weight you want to lose and during what time frame. If your goal is to get fit, then be more detailed about.
Details help your brain take your new workout progress even more seriously and helps you reach towards your goals faster.
Match your workout with your body type.
Take a look at yourself and understand your body structure. Do you have an endomorph body type or as the normal folks call it the hourglass shape? Maybe you are a mesomorph, in which case your shoulders are slightly wider than your hips. Interestingly this body type is called the carrot type. If you are an ectomorph body which means that your hips and shoulders and everything in between pretty much form a straight line. Additionally, there are other shapes as well such as the apple-shaped body. As the name suggests your body resembles the shape of an apple.
There are different workouts designed for each of these body types. Once you figure out your body shape, look for the workout designed for your body type and begin your journey. It is important to note here that these workout and body shape analogies just makes it easier for you to reach your end goal. If you want you can do any workout you want.
This factor, in particular, can help you to choose the intensity of your workout. If you are the kind of person who constantly likes to move about and be stimulated then something like yoga might not be the best option for you. You might be more suited for kickboxing or Zumba.
But if you are a calm, laid-back person that likes to keep things mellow, then yoga is a good option for you. It might take you some time to get used to the high intensity of a workout like Zumba.
How much workout is enough?
The duration of your workout routine is also important. Some workouts can be half an hour while some could be multiple hours long. It all comes down to the type of workout you are looking at.
A yoga session can last for an hour or 45 minutes while a High-Intensity Interval Training workout can be of 15 to 20 minutes only. These days, there is also a trend for 7-minute workout apps that you can download, which will guide you through an entire workout in only 7 minutes!
In addition to this, how many days you have to workout in a week is also important. Some workout routines have to be followed on alternate days while some need to be done every three days with the fourth day being a resting period.
More Tips on How to Maximize Your Workout Efforts
Do it in a group.
Sometimes you will lack the motivation to get up and do your workout. That is perfectly normal. But what is not okay is to actually skip doing your workout. You can find motivation by asking your friend, spouse or a family member to help you by taking part in the workout themselves.
It is a mutually beneficial arrangement. You will find motivation and your partner will also get fit. So everyone is winning with this arrangement.
Nutrition: You Can’t Outwork Poor Diet.
We can’t stress on this point enough. No matter what workout you do, your result will not be that great if you don’t pair it with adequate nutrition. Eat a healthy and balanced diet and stay hydrated. You can also go for a protein shake to give you that extra boost.
However, these days people are more skeptical of the kind of quality of nutrition that supplements can provide, and wish to opt for better more natural supplements that will offer you a much better variety of nutrition and help maintain your health. Supplements are not bad at all, in fact, some pre-workout supplements can really benefit you if you have dietary restrictions or do not wish to make extreme changes to your diet.
However, if you would like to go for more natural alternatives, there are many different types of power foods for muscle recovery that will give you the best kind of nutrition you can find. You can also find plenty of recipes online, to be able to make your own personalized pre-workout supplement that will benefit your body in a lasting way.
Duration: Consistency matters.
How long will you carry out with your workout routine? Will you only do it until you reach your goal or can you continue it even after reaching your goal? This question can help you further find the best workout for you.
No matter what workout you choose, you need to be disciplined. Whenever the laziness starts creeping in, shake it off and remember your goals. Always know the reason why you are doing it in the forefront of your brain and then quitting will be not an option.
And those were some of our tips on how to find the perfect workout. Regardless of what you come up, try to incorporate a diverse group of exercises or change the order up a little bit. Following the same routine can get boring and when you are bored, giving up seems like an option. So shake things up here and there.
Incorporating a range of exercises into your workout will help you get the best of all without missing out on anything. It will also be beneficial to you by stimulating a wide range of your muscles and body parts.
An important point to remember here is to remember not to overdo it. If you workout for a week straight then don’t work out for another week, it will not get you anywhere near your goal.
It is a lot like eating. You eat whenever it is appropriate, you don’t eat one week worth of food in one go, right? I am hoping you don’t do that. So just like eating, workout whenever it is time to. Also, try not to exceed the time of your workout.
The first few days after your workout your body will feel a little sore. It’s normal and natural. There is no reason to panic or quit. In a few days, your body will condition itself and you will not feel as sore.
Always remember to begin your session with a warm-up and finish your workout routine with a cool-down routine. This will prepare your body for the oncoming activity and prevent your muscles from getting any injuries. Cool down exercises slowly decrease your heart rate and loosen up your muscles. It also prevents muscle cramps and muscle soreness.
But if your muscles are still sore or you need some extra pick-me-up, you can always give workout recovery supplements a try. We tried some ourselves and made a list of the best workout recovery supplements that we personally love. You can check it out here.
You can also try an intra-workout supplement, especially if you like to do a hardcore workout. An intra-workout supplement is perfect for anyone who constantly keeps pushing their limits and breaking boundaries. You can check out our top intra-workout supplement pick here.
How to Find the Best Workout for You: Final Thoughts
With that, we will like to end this extensive guide. I hope that I have been able to impart some knowledge on you, young padawan. Remember to be patient and disciplined. Enjoy this transformative process and have fun with it.
If you have any suggestions, anecdotes or tips that you will like to share with us, then please do. We love to hear from our readers and get to know them. Have a happy and healthy day and see you soon!