Ironically, while we have more time on our hands to exercise during the current health crisis, many of us have stopped doing so altogether. That’s because our beloved fitness centers and gyms have been completely shut down. Cardio-training is hot now, of course, with many runners taking to the streets or trails. But you might want to consider mixing some strength training into your weekly routine as well.
Feeling cramped in your apartment or home? Fortunately, strength training requires little space to get the job done. And the benefits are numerous: It can help protect bone health and muscle mass, can keep your weight down, has cardiovascular benefits, can help manage chronic disease, and strength training can….well…make you stronger!
The current national guidelines for physical activity recommend strengthening exercises for all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, chest, abdomen, shoulders, and arms) at least twice a week. Here are 10 more things to consider when starting a strength training regimen:
- Start with a warm-up. Consider fast walking, jumping jacks and most importantly, stretching.
- As stated above, your muscles need time to recover, so start with only two days a week and gradually build up your body's strength to 5 days a week.
- Since gyms are closed across the nation, start with using your own body weight by doing push-ups, squats, planks, crunches and sit ups.
- Pay attention to your breathing. Exhale while working against resistance and inhale while you release.
- Create a routine, and stick to it. Working all the major muscles of your body two or three times a week is ideal. You can choose to do one full-body strength workout two or three times a week, or you may break your strength workout into upper-body and lower-body components. Instead of focusing on one part of your body, consider doing full body workouts in the beginning since this is the best way to maximize caloric burning.
- Fuel with water, carbohydrates and proteins. Proteins and water help rebuild and repair your muscles.
- Challenge muscles with more resistance by slowly increasing weights.
- Do a post workout stretch. Stretching has so many benefits, including preventing injuries. Stretching while the muscles are warm also helps flexibility, helps joints move to their full motion, and enables your muscles to work to their full potential.
- Take a rest day. If you push yourself too much, you can cause tiny tears in the muscles. Always give your muscles at least 48 hours to recover before your next strength training session.
- Use proper icing techniques. (see below)
Consider using our FlexiKold Gel Ice Pack for recovery. Why FlexiKold? FlexiKold Gel Cold Packs are more flexible and stay colder longer than other cold packs due to our unique gel ingredient. Unlike the bentonite ingredient used in lower-grade cold packs, FlexiKold is powered by a smart proprietary gel interior that remains smooth and pliable when frozen. And because the gel stays colder longer, less gel is needed, allowing for a thinner, more user-friendly look and feel that our customers love.
FlexiKold Gel Cold Packs provide superior contact with the treated area and easily conform to any part of your body for the perfect recovery experience. Take care of your body after each strength training session so you can continue to tone and build your muscles with confidence--inside or outside the home!