Building a Better Body

by : Deidra Garcia

While cardio exercises can significantly improve overall health, many fitness experts agree that strength-training exercises should also be incorporated into every man's fitness schedule to achieve good health. Strength-training can benefit the entire system, leading to fat loss, muscle growth and a more toned body. Keep the following guidelines in mind when you begin a program:

&bullAim to begin exercising two days a week. Begin with 8-10 repetitions (a complete action, like one bicep curl) of 8 different kinds of exercises for each day. Do one set of repetitions until your muscle is tired, stop, then begin another exercise.

&bullOnce you find you can do all repetitions without tiring your muscles out, gradually add to the number of repetitions.

&bullVary workout routines, targeting certain muscle groups (like arms) one day and different ones (like abdomen) the next. This allows each muscle group you exercise to rest for one day. Complement strength training with cardio exercises like walking, biking or swimming.

&bullKeep exercises basic: start with bicep curls, chest presses, and overheads instead of jumping right into complicated weight machines.

&bullPay attention to your diet. Ingredients that help build muscle mass are protein (chicken, tuna, lean beef), carbohydrates (oatmeal, potatoes, beans), and good fats (mono and polyunsaturated). Keep menus varied and servings moderate, not large. Remember to drink plenty of water throughout the day to hydrate and flush out your system.

&bullDon't push yourself too hard or expect results too quickly. Chart your weekly exercises and set a realistic one month goal.

&bullSore muscles are a natural part of getting in shape, but stop and consult a doctor if you encounter sharp pains, swollen joints or if the pain persists for several days.

&bullIf possible, get one-on-one instruction from a trainer or instructor. This will help you learn correct form and may help you avoid muscle and joint problems later on.

&bullDo some warm-up exercises and stretches before you being your session. It could be as simple as jogging in place for 5-10 minutes.

&bullCheck with a doctor before beginning a strength-training program if you have a previous or existing medical condition or health problems.

&bullConsider taking a supplement to assist you in building better muscle and a leaner profile. Coupled with a healthy, balanced diet and a regular exercise program, it's an ideal system for weight-management and muscle-development routines.