Self Improvement Gym Article
The 'Why' Of Gyming For Self Improvement
There's a vast amount of gym equipment out there, and many exercise routines you can take on, so where do you begin exactly?
With the following question.
'What do you most wish to gain from gyming?'
Do you wish to gym because you want to...
* feel healthier?
* impress members of the opposite sex?
* perform better at whatever job you might be in the employ of?
* perform better at a certain sporting activity you keenly partake in?
* lose some weight?
Or is it a combination of some or all of the above?
Or something else altogether?
Once you figure that out, then you can decide on how to gym.
My PRIME reason for working out is because I wish to be as physically healthy as I can be. And, regarding one's self improvement, I suggest this be your MAIN goal also.
I say this because if you're gyming mostly with yourself 'in mind' (and not simply to impress others) you'll likely find the experience more rewarding and easier to get on with because you additionally won't feel as if you're beholden to the expectations of anyone else when working out.
I know there are never any guarantees with how long a life one might be afforded, but I want to at least live as healthy a life as I can before I one day drop dead (of old age, peacefully in my sleep, having had one final pizza earlier on that evening).
I honestly believe a strong body is less prone to getting sick (and for some crazy reason, I LOVE not being sick), but it also makes such activities as meditation easier.
The 'What' Of Gyming For Self Improvement
So what specific exercise routines do I set for myself?
Well, if you don't already know it, there are two ways of performing almost every exercise when working out, and people often either go for the one or the other, depending on what their end goal is.
* If your aim is to define your muscles (or lose weight), you do MORE of an exercise with a LIGHTER weight.
* If your aim is to become bigger and stronger, you do LESS of an exercise with a HEAVIER weight.
As an example, you could even apply this rule to running (which is a cardiovascular exercise, and commonly an exercise undertaken by those who wish to lose weight or remain at a healthy weight)...
If one were to run for a relatively short time, but with a backpack on that has weights in them, this would give that person a workout that would strengthen them more-so than tone and thin them down.
Because I prefer gyming from home, I do the basic sorts of exercises (like push-ups) but have also created a few of my own, and have furthermore come to realise certain common theories apply to all exercises no matter which ones you're putting into practise and how hard you might be pushing yourself. And herein lies the MAIN PURPOSE of this article...
I'm not going to discuss with you the matter of what specific exercises you might wish to do (because there are many websites out there which already do just that, and quite well) but rather I'll tell you about the common best practices to put into use WHEN exercising, for whatever the reason it is that you may be exercising. Therefore I'll present you with my own theories pertaining to how you could go about working out to the best of your ability.
Before getting to that, however, two quick last points...
1) Because I'm working out specifically for health reasons, I feel no need to take any special tablets (legal or otherwise), drink any sorts of energy drinks or protein shakes, or eat a certain diet. Such supplements are for those who wish to become super-ripped or big. While I eat a healthy diet, it's not specifically a protein rich diet, or anything geared towards making my body ultimately look like a weightlifter's; it's a diet that will hopefully ultimately make my body feel happier with me because I'm treating it right! Right-esh, that is.
2) I firmly believe you can exercise from home and still ABSOLUTELY find a way to work out every muscle in your body, even though 'going to the gym' is often a far easier option. Working out from home is my preference, however, because...
* I don't have to pay a membership fee to myself (although I might be grateful if I did)
* I don't have to waste time travelling to a gym, as I'm already there if I'm working out at home
* I don't have to exercise all in one go... I can spread my exercises out throughout the day if I really wish to (although I don't usually really wish to)
* I never have to wait my turn when wanting to move onto another exercise machine
* I can pull strange faces and make weird noises to my heart's content, when exercising, and never worry that others might get the fright of their life as a result of seeing and hearing this
* I can freely play my own selection of music while I work out, and - in fact - I can make the entire environment exactly as I choose to in any other way also
Some people enjoy having sparring partners and being around others when exercising though, so gyming from home is definitely not to everyone's liking. But I inspire myself, so have no need for a training partner or coach.
And now, lest I waffle you to death with non-concept talk, here instead is what you've truly been waiting for...
The 'How' Of Gyming For Self Improvement
HOW TO WORK OUT TO THE BEST OF YOUR ABILITY REGARDLESS OF WHATEVER EXERCISE YOU'RE DOING
Whether I am doing push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups... whether I am lifting weights, pulling weights, pushing weights... whether I am holding a position, running, walking, bouncing on an exercise ball, skipping rope... it's all the same thing if you think about it:
Tensing your muscles.
Then releasing, then tensing again, and so forth.
And because tension of your muscles is the key, then to know what muscles you are working out when performing a certain exercise (because often this isn't obvious), simply feel which ones tense when you're working out. And afterwards, feel which muscles ache. This is the simplest way to know which EXERCISES go with which MUSCLES! ...if you don't already know this much, that is; or if you're making up your own exercises, as I've already stated that I often do.
That said, there's a difference between that good aching from having worked a muscle out, and searing pain from having worked a muscle out so much that you've actually wound up hurting yourself. Which leads me to my first point concerning how you can work out to the best of your ability...
1) You CAN move too quickly, but you CAN'T move too slowly.
So when you initially begin working out, let the first day be a trial run. See what you're capable of, and - the following day - see how you feel again at that point because that's often when you'll truly know if you've overdone things the day before. Another reason to not go too quickly, however, is that if you overdo your workouts, you might put yourself off completely from working out again thereafter.
2) Don't ONLY stretch JUST that one time before doing your workout program; stretch between ALL (or most) of the other various exercises too.
As far as I'm aware, you can't overstretch (so don't worry about overdoing it), although you can overdo a stretch. So when you stretch, know also that you're doing it correctly if your stretching makes your muscles feel better, but never worse. Sometimes you'll feel your stretching isn't doing anything, but - if you're brave enough (or perhaps stupid enough) - go without stretching and you'll quite likely soon find when you hurt yourself (when you feel the 'bad pain') that you're wrong. Stretching does help.
I'm tempted to not write the following point (because it seems very obvious to me) but I feel I should, just in case.
If you don't know which part of your body to stretch, stretch that part of the body with the muscles that you've just worked out. If you don't know how to stretch, test different styles of stretching, and when your muscles relax after a particular stretch, then that's a good stretch to stick with!
Lastly, never stretch too quickly (because you can hurt yourself if you're in a hurry to get a stretch over with) and try moving parts of your body in any way you can to see what works the best for a particular exercise. As with anything, be CREATIVE when stretching! It's better to ultimately stretch properly and look like a lunatic in the process than to not stretch properly and feel like a... umm... just be creative when stretching, not caring what others might think of you if you appear foolish.
3) Keep yourself hydrated.
Plain old water is what I most enjoy, but drink whatever else you might wish to drink that will keep you hydrated. As with mostly anything, don't overdo it though. Putting too much liquid in your bladder might cause you to spend more time in the toilet than in the gym, as well as possibly also aiding in giving you a 'stitch'.
Finally, and arguably the most important thing to remember when performing ANY exercise...
4) Breathe properly.
If you have to open your mouth wide and make loud noises when breathing, then do this. Find a rhythm with your breathing, and breathe in such a way that you can FEEL your breathing is aiding you while performing an exercise, but definitely not hindering you. In other words, if your breathing pattern is making your exercise harder to carry out, then change how you're breathing. Perhaps breathe out instead of in, or vice versa. Or breathe more slowly or more quickly.
In conclusion, I've discussed WHY you should gym (and I really do believe it should MOSTLY be for your own physical health), I've discussed WHAT the results of doing an exercise will be (regarding toning your muscles versus strengthening them), and - most importantly - I've discussed HOW you should exercise so as to make the most of your workouts and also so that you might not hurt yourself or become despondent about gyming.
As with almost all activities in life: gyming CAN be a great deal of fun, so it SHOULD be a great deal of fun. And the choice is solely yours as to what it will be!
Nice to know you have so much control over certain highly important aspects of your own physical well-being, huh?
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