5 Facts To Influence Your Exercise Habits
Looking for facts to motivate you to flex those muscles more? Here are five facts that will change your fitness habits for the better:
1. Go green
If time permits, switching out a daily car commute for a walk burns up to 220 calories per 40 minutes. Do it twice a day and you could lose up to an extra two pounds a week. Not only will you get leaner but you’ll also be cutting out carbon emissions and helping our planet stay a little greener. Want to take it even further? Choose your fitness trainers with thoughtfulness in mind. There are sports brands out there taking sustainability seriously. Companies such as Nike, for example, have made a commitment to ensure no footwear waste is sent to landfill by 2020 and are also making trainers using recycled materials.
2. We’re not as fit as our ancestors
It’s time to up the ante when it comes to our mobility. Studies have found that prehistoric Homo sapiens had denser bones than us, suggesting they were far more powerful. In order to eat, they had to partake in persistence hunting, which meant chasing animals long distances for their dinner. While we don’t do that anymore, that’s not to say we haven’t got the capacity to push ourselves a lot harder. Let the DNA of your distant relatives influence your exercise habits, and build your endurance up over time.
3. Learn about your twitch muscle fibres
Do you favour low intensity slow and steady exercise instead of a powerful and super fast sprint? There’s a reason why your body prefers one or the other and that’s down to your slow and fast-twitch muscle fibres. Slow-twitch fibres love swimming, cycling and running. Fast-twitch fibres enjoy sprinting, dumbbell snatches and cardio rowing. Although most people are born with an equal amount of both, how your body responds to long or short bursts of exercise determines which is more dominant. And if you want to get better at certain types of exercise you can learn how to train either your fast or slow-twitch fibres.
4. Pump more iron
For every one pound of muscle you gain, you burn 50 more calories a day. That’s why it’s crucial to incorporate both resistance training and cardio into your exercise routine. Muscle burns calories even when you’re sleeping, so it’s a no brainer. Regardless of age, strength training is vital for optimal health. Depending on what you want to achieve, you’ll need to focus on reps and sets when using weights. If you’re looking to bulk up, do fewer reps with heavier weights. If you want to tone and condition, do more reps but with moderate weights.
5. There’s always time in the day
Even if you break a 45-minute exercise routine into three shorter 15-minute bursts you'll still see the benefits. That could be a fist-pumping box out before breakfast combined with a brisk lunchtime walk, and then 15 minutes of cardio in the evening. Don’t let time limitations affect your motivation. We all know the rule of switching out the lift for the stairs, but start getting even more creative with how you incorporate exercise into your day and your body will reward you.