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fitness-332278_640Though it was proven in a 2011 study by Wilks, et. al. that a high protein and low-carb diet is the most effective way to lose weight, exercise comes in at a close second. Maintaining both a healthy diet and a rigorous exercise regime is a little difficult but is definitely manageable. To make your life a little easier and to maximize your weight loss, we have provided you with a great exercise plan that includes both cardio and weight training. Before starting the regime, it is important to know the benefits of each exercise style. If you would like more exercise options, bodybuilding.com is a great resource.

Cardio

Cardio workouts have too many benefits to fit in this article, so we will only cover a few pertinent ones. The first is a healthier heart. Many people forget that our heart is a muscle and needs to be worked just like our biceps and triceps. When we work our heart muscle, it can pump blood at a faster rate and we will no longer get winded from climbing those flights of stairs to our office. Secondly, cardio training can increase your metabolism. The more intense the workout, the greater the increase of your metabolism. Lastly, doing cardiovascular exercises on a regular basis can help manage diabetes and prediabetes. Increasing your heart rate allows your muscles’ ability to utilize glucose.

 

Weight Training

Weight training has different benefits than cardio training, which is why doing both types of exercises is so important. With weight training, you will be reducing your risk for osteoporosis (loss of muscle and bone mass), move and do your daily activities with ease, reduce your risk of diabetes by controlling your blood sugar levels, decrease blood pressure, and lower back pain.

 

Exercise Regime

fitness-375472_640Monday

  • Cardio – Walk on the treadmill at 3.5 MPH (30 min)
  • Upper body training – Arms
    • Bicep curls (2 reps of 10)Hold 2 dumbbells at a 90 degree angle with your elbows touching your side. Use your biceps to bring the dumbbells up to your chest. Bring the dumbbells as close to your body and you can. Try not to lift your elbow from your side.
    • Tricep curls (2 reps of 10)
      • Holding one dumbbell with both of your hands, place it above and slightly behind your head. Lower it farther down behind your head and use your triceps to bring it back up, fully extending your arms above your head.
    • Forearm curls (1 rep of 15)
      • Use the same weighted dumbbell as you did for your bicep curls. While sitting, rest your forearm on your thigh with the bottom of your arm facing up. Doing one arm at a time, move only your wrist and turn the dumbbell as close to you as possible. Next, place the bottom side of your forearm on your thigh and repeat the same movement. Switch arms.

Tuesday

  • Cardio – Walk on the treadmill at 4 MPH with a slight incline (30 min)
  • Abdominal training
    • Crunches (2 reps of 10)
      • Lie flat on the floor and bend your knees so your feet are about 1-2 feet away from your buttocks. With your hands either behind your head or crossed over your chest, use your abs to bring you up and close to your knees.
    • Bicycle Crunches (2 reps of 10)
      • With the same original position as needed for crunches, put your arms behind your head. As you use your abs to bring yourself up, touch your right elbow to your left knee. Alternate to your left elbow and right knee.

Wednesday

  • No cardio
  • Lower body training
    • Squat (2 reps of 10)
      • Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart. Slowly bend your knees and try to touch your buttocks to the floor, making sure you do not have your knees go over your toes as you go down. Using your quads, slowly come back up to a standing position.
    • Toe Raisers (2 reps of 10)
      • Position yourself where there is something you can hold onto for balance. Standing shoulder-width apart, slowly start standing on your toes. When you are standing on your toes as tall as you can, hold for 2 seconds then come down. You should feel this in your calves.
    • Donkey Kicks (2 reps of 10)
      • Positioning yourself with both your hands and your knees on the floor, slowly bring your right knee into your chest and then push your foot back and try to swing (slowly) your leg as high as you can. After doing 10 of these on your right leg, switch legs. You should feel the burn in your buttocks and the back of your thighs.

fitness-957115_640Thursday

  • Cardio – Walk on the treadmill at 3.5-4 MPH with a larger incline (30 min)
  • Abdominal Training
    • Crunches (2 reps of 10)
      • Lie flat on the floor and bend your knees so your feet are about 1-2 feet away from your buttocks. With your hands either behind your head or crossed over your chest, use your abs to bring you up and close to your knees.
    • Russian Twist (2 reps of 10)
      • Sitting down with only your buttocks touching the floor (back and feet completely off the floor and balancing yourself), twist your body to the left and try to touch both of your hands to the floor to your left. Still balancing yourself up with your abs, twist your abs and torso to the right and touch the floor to your right. Twist back and forth. The key for this exercise is to hold yourself up with your abs.

Friday

  • Cardio – Walk on the treadmill at 3.5-4 MPH with as high of an incline as you can (30 min)
  • Upper Body training – Shoulders
    • Front Arm Raisers (2 reps of 10)
      • Holding two dumbbells down and at your sides, raise your arms straight in front you and try to make them perpendicular to your body. Hold for a second and then bring your arms down. Try and keep your arms straight the whole time and also try your best to avoid swinging your arms up. After your last rep, bring your arms up and hold them there for as long as you can.
    • Side Arm Raisers (2 reps of 10)
      • With the same idea as front arm raisers, keep your arms straight and bring them up and away from your body until they are perpendicular to your body. You want to make your body look like a cross, so bring your arms up and out. After your last rep, bring your arms up and hold them there for as long as you can.

 

Tips

  • Stretching is very important. Try to do some simple stretches every day or right before your weight training exercises.
  • Use whichever weight you feel most comfortable with. Please do not try and use a heavier weight than you are capable of. As you continue to train with weights, you will naturally become stronger and will need to increase the weight you train with.
  • Do as many reps as you are comfortable with. If 2 reps of 10 are too much for you, alter it! Your main focus is to have the exercise regime be a little difficult for you so that you are actually working your muscles, but not too difficult to the point that you are straining them.
  • Drink a lot of water. Doing cardio and weight training is a lot of work and you will sweat a lot. Please keep yourself hydrated before, during, and after your workout!
  • Start increasing your protein consumption. If you are working out your muscles, you will need to replenish the proteins that are used.stretching-muscles-579122_640
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