Fitness and Your Muscles
Often when you see fitness shows and talk from people about developing a fitness regimen, aerobic exercise, such as running, is what comes up first. And while aerobic exercise is great, a proper fitness regiment includes strength training. Your muscles and your fitness are linked-after all, you need them to do your exercise or, well, anything! You need to train your entire body for good fitness, and your muscles are included in that. You don't need to work out so much that you look like a bodybuilder, but proper strength training will add tone and definition to your muscles, as well as help you burn calories.
Basics of Strength Training
The basic idea in training your muscles is to work them until they're doing a little more work than they have before. Whether you're doing pushups, at a weight machine, or lifting a dumbbell, all strength training involves this principle. It's not like you need any equipment to increase your fitness and your muscles, either; all it takes is a clear spot for you to do a pushup. Or, if you can't do that, isometric training, which can be as simple as tensing up the muscles in your stomach and breathing in a particular manner. In order for strength training to work, you need to work until you're tired, though if you're not used to working your muscles and fitness and not injury is your goal, a little guidance from someone more experienced can help teach you how to properly work your body.
Benefits of Strength Training
The best thing about strength training is that the link between developing your muscles and fitness has a strong link, whether you're looking to shed inches off your waistline or improve your heart. Muscle burns more calories in the body than fat does, and on top of that, your body tends to run at a higher metabolism right after muscle training than it does after most other forms of exercise. Putting on muscle will ultimately help you burn away the fat you have on your body. There's a benefit to strong muscles and a fitness regimen that includes aerobic exercise as well, since the stronger your legs are, the better you'll be able to handle the impact of running on your legs, and the better you'll be able to jog. So even if your main goal is to run a race or to fit into an old pair of jeans, using the link between fitness and your muscles will help you achieve your goals faster.