As the summer months approach, gyms around the country begin to fill up as people try to lose those winter kilos. Fitness and health have become major issues as the nations obesity levels continue to climb. Yet for many of us, the idea of spending hours in a gym running on a treadmill can be less than appealing, but it doesn’t have to be that way with smart exercises and healthy living that can get you the fitness results you want, quicker.
The key is to exercise and live in a smart and healthy way to maximise your body’s work out results. Below are ten tips that you can use to improve both your fitness and attitude to exercising and lifestyle.
1. Set Goals
Exercising and fitness has to be more than simply a matter of going to the gym when you feel like it. People work better when there is an end goal in sight and fitness is no different. Many people simply aim to lose weight, while this is the aim, it’s not a goal and you will lose motivation quickly if you are simply trying to ‘lose weight’.
Instead, set yourself mini targets. Start with how much you want to lose all up, then decide in what amount of time you want to lose it in. You should try to have these numbers as fairly even as most personal trainers and fitness experts’ recommended only losing 1 to 2 kilos per week for healthy weight loss. By doing this you will have given yourself a schedule to operate within and a way to monitor your progress.
As a side note, it is always helpful to have some outfit that you are aiming to fit into. This can act as an even greater motivator that the scales as it will accurately reflect how your body is changing.
2. Mix Up Your Exercise Routine
When taking on an exercise regimen, it is important to constantly change up your routine to give your different muscles time to recover and keep yourself from getting bored. Exercise should cover all the different areas of the body, but not necessarily within the one training session.
A weekly exercise program should involve:
- cardiovascular – aerobics, running, brisk walking, stepping, skipping rope, rowing
- resistance training – weights or using body weight such as push ups
- flexibility – stretching
Fitness Tip: In resistance training, if you want to build big muscles then train with heavy weights combined with low repetitions. However, if you want lean muscles, use lighter weights combined with high repetitions.
3. Stick to a Regular Work out Schedule
When you start your fitness regime, it is important to have consistency. This means completing several training sessions per week. Ideally, most people would do between two and five exercising sessions depending on how fast they want results. When discussing a training session, this means anywhere from 30 mins to an hour.
What many people don’t know is that the body does not move into a fat burning zone until 30 mins into a session. When exercising, the first thirty minutes will see energy taken from both muscles and fat at about a 50-50 ratio. Once you move beyond 30 mins, energy is now taken from fat more than muscle, at approximately 75-25 ratio.
4. Try New Exercises
Trying to get fit doesn’t have to mean going to the gym lifting weights and using a treadmill. You can make it fun and enjoyable through several options. First, try new exercise classes. Most gyms offer a range of classes that are great for burning calories and can be a lot of fun too. Many popular classes include spin class, Pilates, yoga, boxing and aerobics. All these classes target different areas of the body for all over fitness results. Do forget, the ultimate fitness is sport itself. Join a tennis team or start swimming, add a competitive element to your work outs to motivate you more.
5. Hire a Personal Trainer
Personal trainers are great motivators and can show you how to get the best results in the shortest amount of time for your body type. Personal trainers are equipped to work out an exercise schedule just for you for maximum benefit. They are ideal for when you are commencing a fitness schedule or for when you have lost your motivation and need a kick start.
6. Learn to Exercise Everywhere
Getting your ideal fitness level does not have to depend on the gym. Many people feel too uncomfortable to go to the gym and work out in front of other people, whereas others simply cannot afford it. Instead, learn to use yourself and your surroundings as your own personal gym. You can do anything from lunges, squats, push ups, sit-ups and stretches. This means that there is no excuse not to exercise, whether it be on holiday, at work or simply too lazy to go out.
Fitness Tip: Stretching is one of the most important aspects of a good exercise regime as stretching will help you to get long, lean and healthy muscles and avoid your muscles from shortening and cramping up. Stretching is not only ideal after exercise but also throughout the day, especially if you are sitting most of the time.
7. Find a Work out Buddy
Motivation is one of the key factors in maintaining a person’s fitness regime; if there is no will…then there is no way. So find yourself a fitness buddy, a friend who you exercise with, who will keep you motivated and on track to complete your session…and the next…and the next.
8. Eat a Balanced Diet
The right diet can make you reach your fitness goals even faster as the right nutrients and vitamins will give you energy and burn up any calories fast. There are hundreds of crazy diets out there that are meant to be quick fixes but the core of fitness and health is simple, just eat right. Eat a balanced diet and you will not only feel better, but look better.
9. Eliminate Temptation
The downfall of most people’s fitness programs are laziness and splurging. Now the occasional slip up is ok of course, but for your own sake you should create a healthy environment for yourself. Avoid the junk food or coffee breaks with cookies or treats. Fill your drawers at work and home with healthy snacks and don’t let yourself be surrounded by temptations.
10. Change Your Life for the Long Term
Fitness is not a crash diet, it is not a short term, hard core regime that is impossible to maintain, as this will only ever result in a relapse. Make fitness a part of your life. It doesn’t have to be extreme, just work within your routine. Walk instead of driving; take the stairs instead of the elevator, start walking the dog more, take the kids to the park. There are many activities that you can do that will improve your fitness without you even knowing, and you will find yourself leading a healthier and fulfilling life.