Friday morning. 5am. *YAWN*
Time to shower, make salaah, eat a banana, train a 6am client, drink a black coffee… And there is still over 45 minutes left before I have to get ready for my other job. There are a million options at this moment; sleep, read, watch TV, catch up on admin work, etc etc. These are all acceptable options for anyone at 7am, and yet I know the best choice to make; a 30 minute leg session! At this point, you probably think I’m mad, but I hope with reasonable explanation and theory you will join my way of thinking.
-Exercising in the morning:
Multiple theories surround this topic, the constant confusion of when breakfast is needed to gain the most benefit. My current understanding and knowledge is exercise before breakfast will promote the greatest results in fitness and weight loss. However, many people will still need sustenance before a work out; a banana, or similar food, will give you that necessary energy.
The advantages of exercising in the morning begins with the production of hormones; activity will activate your stress hormones, therefore waking you up completely and giving you an instant buzz to start your day. Production of endorphins will give you an added lift throughout your day and keep you smiling until clocking off time. In comparison, exercising late at night can negatively affect sleep for the same reasons. Additionally, the body will start to feed from last nights dinner, helping create your appetite for breakfast.
After your morning work out, ensure you consume food within an hour of exercising. Breakfast should follow your session to allow the muscles protein to repair, and the rest of the body the nutrients it needs to continue with the day ahead. Drinking enough water before, during and after your workout is essential for energy, body maintenance and fat loss.
By now it is a well established concept that resistance training is just as important as cardiovascular exercise; for both men and women, and yet it is still widely misunderstood. Weight training or resistance exercises are needed to keep the muscles lean, keep the body functional and strong, generate power, improve posture, aid fat loss, reduce cellulite increase bone density and many more reasons. Women; as far as building bulky muscles goes, unless you are producing excess testosterone or taking supplements for this, then you have no need to worry. In fact, lifting weights correctly will build a healthy, feminine physique.
My favourite muscle group to train, without a doubt, is legs. Containing the biggest muscle groups, legs are therefore the best fat burner and metabolism lifter; working them also gives me the shape I want to take home to my husband. It may be the exercises that hurt the most, and the thought will always cross your mind “I’m not going to be able to walk tomorrow” but the pros far out way the DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness), and let’s face it how far did you need to walk anyway?
– So, why did I train legs this morning?
To kick start my metabolism, release endorpins, shape my body, reduce cellulite, burn fat and start my day with an added energy boost. I went to the gym to do this, but there are hundreds of exercises you can do in your front room so there are no excuses, no matter where you are when you wake up.
– A handful of leg exercises to do in the house:
Body weight squats.
Body weight lunges.
Lunges with knee lift.
Box/ step jumps.
Dead lifts (grab anything as a weight).
Stiff leg dead lifts.
Single leg dead lifts.
The list goes on…
When you find those times, in the morning, when you have 30 minutes to spare; how will you spend them?
Safiyah Esack 01/03/2013