Monday, February 14, 2011

Working Out for Weight Loss: Strength + Cardio + Abs

The journey toward fitness is about much more than weight loss. However, extra weight is a very common symptom of a body out of balance. When shedding pounds is a part of your fitness goal, exercise will be key to doing it the healthy way. An approach that I've seen in several programs is to start with strength training, add cardio, and end with abs. I learned this first from Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred (which is very effective, BTW) and have seen it in other circuit-style workouts. Recently, I've applied it to my workout regimen by doing three successive workouts that focus on each section. The following three videos represent the workout that I did today. The first two portions especially allow you to somewhat tailor your efforts to your fitness level. For example, the cardio section here is kind of mild, so I ramped it up by doing things like jogging in stead of marching. Make sure you are well hydrated before and after. If you pushed yourself you should be sweating buckets and feeling great!




I'd had a breakfast of whole grain cereal with almond milk, which supplied me some good carbs for energy during this hour-long work. Post workout I had a piece of sprouted grain toast with "Tofu Enlightenment" salad on it (basically, chicken or tuna salad for vegans), which supplied good proteins for my recovering muscles. I also had a banana to replenish my potassium stores, and topped it off with some kale/celery/apple/lemon juice. The juice helps me get in my daily greens + the live enzymes make sure everything I eat gets properly digested (more on juicing later). Yum. Might not look like a lot, but it's actually pretty satisfying. Plus, my pattern lately is to eat small, but frequent meals. Research abounds that says that this approach supports an active metabolism.

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