Professional athletes have become a commodity, much like models, actors and musicians are. They have their own product endorsements, whether it’s for a related field such as exercise or sporting equipment, or perhaps even modelling for a designer fashion label. The photo shoots for these products often showcase the athletes amazing body, honed over many years of early morning training sessions, and this has in turn led to much discussion about athletes bodies.
Sometimes when considering an athletes body, we can think about in terms of whether we find it attractive, or whether we’re envious, and simply want to have our own head on that athletic body. And there are so many varieties of athletic bodies, all shaped depending on which sport the athlete excels in. There’s the lean basket baller, the broad shouldered swimmer, the wiry marathon runner and the toned diver. The resulting body shape is highly dependent on whether the athlete mostly undertakes high intensity or low intensity training, and as such, when thinking about the kind of body we want to achieve through training, we also need to think about whether high or low intensity training is best for us.
Consider Your Body Shape
We’re all a bit guilty of sometimes choosing fries over a salad for a late night snack, and so sometimes a six-pack can be hidden underneath a spare tyre. Visible stomach muscles (your six pack) come from having very low body fat; in fact, excessively skinny people often have very impressive stomach muscles. The muscles aren’t necessarily strong; they’re simply not covered by a layer of fat. If shedding body fat is one of your goals, then a certain amount of high intensity training is necessary. High intensity exercises such as aerobics and jogging, essentially anything that will make you sweat, are highly effective (over time) for getting rid of excess pounds.
Don’t Overdo It!
It can be tempting to start with high intensity training, to work hard and achieve those results as soon as possible. We need to be realistic, and acknowledge that we often don’t possess the level of physical fitness necessary for prolonged bouts of high intensity training. Start with lower intensity activities like brisk walking or slow jogging, biking or unhurried swimming.
A walk around the block as opposed to sitting on the couch watching TV is always a great idea, but you need to speed things up. Running is the easiest, most effective way to improve physical fitness. You don’t need a gym membership, all you need is reasonable weather, and that’s not even essential. The type of running that you do will greatly influence your body shape, so you need to think about sprinting vs. jogging. Marathon runners have wiry, muscled bodies, and sprinter tend to have more defined muscles, particularly on their legs. If you’re aiming for a sprinters type body, then your time is more effectively used on doing an assortment of short sprints, as opposed to longer jogging sessions. Remember to stretch prior to any kind of running exercise, and to take a short walk after running, since this will allow lactic acid to disperse, meaning your legs won’t be so sore in the morning.
Any kind of exercise is beneficial, and ideally, a mixture of high intensity and low intensity exercise is best. It really just depends on what kind of fantastic athletic body you want!
Today’s guest post by Ashley Williamson. Ashley is a part-time guest blogger and a health specialist. When she is not working she likes to go run and travel to discover hidden places around the World.