By: Kyle Johnson
It is no secret that America has been dealing with obesity issues for some time now. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that over one third (34.9%) of Americans are considered obese. One major reason why this is prevalent is because of the lack of exercise in many individuals. Harold Rose, a USA Olympic team track coach and fitness trainer at SET Performance states, “The average person should work out one to two times a week minimum for a minimum of an hour.” This can be difficult for many people because of the fact that society is always on the go but it is important to at least try to find the time.
There are numerous ways for people to get their blood pumping and muscles working. Rose states, “If the goals of the workout that are geared toward an individual or group are met, then the workout can be considered good.” In other words, people who are striving to be fit should have goals that are laid out for them. This is a great way to stay motivated and track progress.
However, there is a lot more to health and fitness than just lifting weights and jogging a mile or two. What you do away from the strenuous exercises is what really helps maintain and build fitness levels. “Recovery is more important than the workout in most cases” Rose said. “Working out breaks down the muscles while recovery allows the muscles to rebuild.” Both are vital for muscle growth.
One of the best ways to ensure that muscles are seeing all the benefits is by maintaining a proper diet. Amber Clark, a health and fitness trainer at SET Performance mentions that, “Diet has a large impact on fitness results. Everyone is capable of working out, but the degree to which you train and the results achieved vary significantly.” She continues by saying, “For example, someone who eats a handful of chips before working out may see different performance or exhaustion levels than someone who had protein or a balanced meal.” In other words, having a balanced diet sets you up for success and higher levels of fitness.
For someone who is trying to better themselves by building up their level of fitness, it may be necessary to figure out how many calories are needed for optimal performance. Clark weighs in on this by saying, “Calorie requirements are based, usually, on someone’s age, weight, height, gender, and activity level.” Monitoring all of these and adjusting calorie intake would be the most beneficial.
Today, technology and social media can benefit fitness lovers tremendously. “Food journals are always a great way of tracking what you ingest and when during your day” Clark said. “Eating clean meals by shopping the perimeter of the grocery store helps ensure the least amount of chemicals and preservatives are being added to your food.”
An individual’s level of fitness depends on three main things; exercise, diet, and recovery. Exercise, fueled by a proper diet, will cause the muscles respond optimally during strenuous activity. But it is important to understand that recovery is where the muscles themselves will see actual growth.
Photo credits – Jesuel Rivera