As a health-conscious adult, you know you should take better care of yourself. But, as a busy single parent, you have little time to do anything other than work and care for your kids. What you need is an affordable, no-nonsense fitness plan that gets results. In this post, we’ll show you how a full body workout can put you on the path to greater strength, improved endurance, and lasting weight loss, all for nothing more than a little sweat and 1-2 hours a week.
First things first, though: always check with your healthcare professional before starting any diet or exercise program. Now, let’s see how full body exercises can give you the results you want in the time you have available.
Full-Body Fitness vs. Isolation Exercises: Which is Better for You?
Let’s start by looking at one fact on which all fitness experts agree: resistance training is good for you. Aerobic exercises like running and walking have their place. But getting the greatest possible benefit from exercise requires making your muscles push, pull, and stretch. That being said, there are two basic ways to go about a resistance training program, according to the experts at Live Strong. These are:
- Isolation routines.
- Full body exercises.
Let’s take a closer look at both.
Isolation Routines: Great for Bodybuilders
Isolated routines focus as much resistance as possible on a single muscle group, such as the biceps, shoulders, or abs. Bodybuilders use isolation exercises to achieve the ultra-lean, chiseled look that helps them to win competitions. However, while this approach is great for the pros, it’s less useful for those who lack the countless hours needed to make an isolation-based workout a success.
Full Body Exercises: Perfect for the Rest of Us
Full body routines work multiple muscle groups with each movement, as described by Active.com. Will you look like the Hulk if you use a full body fitness approach? No. But you will enjoy greater strength, a leaner body, and improved endurance. Here are some examples of full body exercises:
- The classic pushup, which trains the arms, shoulders, chest, abs, and legs all at once.
- Squats using kettlebells or dumbbells for added resistance.
- Pull ups using a door-mounted fitness bar.
- Sit ups using nothing more than your own body weight.
Do you participate in a sport like football or basketball? That’s great! A full body routine will enhance your performance when it comes to any athletic activity.
How Often and for How Long?
A 20-30 minute full body routine performed three times a week will give you a solid foundation of fitness within a few months, whether you’re male or female.
What Does It Cost?
Starting a full body routine need not cost you a dime. However, having a few basic pieces of equipment can make your workout both more productive and more comfortable. Here’s a suggested list:
- A kettlebell, dumbbell, or barbell in a weight that’s neither too light to put up a fight nor too heavy for you to safely handle.
- A foam mat or a yoga mat.
- An ab roller.
- A pair of push up bars.
- Comfortable shoes and clothes.
What About Nutrition?
You’ll get the most benefit from your full body workout if you use sound nutritional principles like these to guide your diet choices:
- Eat lots of non-starchy vegetables, preferably raw or with minimal processing.
- Get your protein from sources like chicken or turkey breast, lean cuts of beef, or meat-free options like tofu, tempeh and legumes.
- Avoid sweets, full-fat dairy products, and heavily processed foods except as occasional treats.
- Opt for fresh fruits like raspberries or blackberries, which have less sugar than other choices.
A full body workout is the key to reaching your fitness goals. Use the tips in this post to get started, then pat yourself on the back for a job well done.
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