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Warm Up, Cool Down!

Think the first thing you should do before exercise is stretch? Think again!
by Joseph A. de Silva

Most people are aware of the benefits of stretching before and after a workout. But a proper warm-up goes beyond stretching. Just as you warm-up your car before driving, your body needs some time to rev its motor before roaring ahead.

Stretch Yourself!

Any fitness program should include a comprehensive plan for flexibility. Start yours today!
by Joseph A. de Silva

Attempting to touch your toes once or twice before running does not make a flexibility regimen. If you’re going to exercise your entire body (and you should!), you need to increase flexibility in your whole body as well. Below is a program that stretches each major muscle group and can still get you off and running quickly.

First, some general guidelines:

Flex: Loosen Up!

Prime your body for strain-free workouts with these techniques to maximize your flexibility.
by Joseph A. de Silva

When you’re trying to get in shape, your first instinct may be just to go. You want to burn calories and build muscle tone as quickly as possible, and you may feel like stretching is holding up your workout. It isn’t. Increasing your flexibility will not only reduce the risk of injuries caused by straining tight muscles, it will have a direct impact on the quality of your exercise.

Get With the Program!

Learn the three main components to a balanced fitness plan.
by Joseph A. de Silva

So you’re ready. You know that regular exercise is a key part of a healthy lifestyle. Where to begin? First you need to learn the basics: flex, strength and cardio. Any fitness program should help you increase flexibility, improve muscular conditioning and get regular cardiovascular exercise. Before making the leap, you should be familiar with each.

Cardio: Blood Pumping Fun

The most important part of your fitness regime is the one that is the most fun while you’re doing it. It also keeps you feeling great afterwards.
by Joseph A. de Silva

Whether it’s running, swimming, biking or hiking, any fitness regimen should involve a regular cardiovascular workout. The benefits are many. You will burn calories, which will help reduce body fat. Plus, cardiovascular exercise helps you distribute more blood and oxygen throughout the body. The more oxygen the body’s tissues have, the more productive they are.

Target Heart Rate Training

Not all workouts are created equal. Find out how hard you should be training.
by Joseph A. de Silva

If you’re starting a new cardio regimen, it’s important to choose a program that is right for your body. One important element is to train at your target heart rate. This is the ideal heart rate at which you should be performing aerobic exercise. Training in your target heart rate helps your body produce and distribute oxygen at peak levels.

Strength: Got Muscles?

If you think building muscle tone is only for body builders and football players, it’s time to think again
by Joseph A. de Silva

Start With the Core

Fight flab where it lives! The mid-section is a great place to start exercising your muscles
by Joseph A. de Silva

The body’s “core” is defined as the area from the lower spine to the pelvis, and all the muscles in between. Working out these muscles provides a strong base for upper and lower body strength training.

Floor Crunch

Upper Body

Time to pump up that upper body! Learn four easy exercises you can keep coming back to.
by Joseph A. de Silva

Upper body strength training doesn’t have to build huge pecs to be effective. These easy, at home exercises can help keep your upper body muscles in shape in a hurry.

Bicep Curl (Top side of upper arm)

Lower Body

Your muscles below the waist need exercise too! These two exercises will keep your lower half in shape.
by Joseph A. de Silva

Exercising the lower body is critical to any strength-training regimen. And since some of your largest muscles are in the lower
body, giving them a good workout will burn lots of calories.

Body Weight Squat

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