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10 Workout Secrets

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Top tips and tricks to get the most from your fitness routines.

Getting and staying fit can be a challenge. For many of us, it’s hard just to get up off the couch, especially when we have been running errands, chasing kids or tired from doing household chores. So what’s the secret of people who have managed to make exercise a way of life?

1. Be Consistent

When enough is enough, cut out fatty food, and start by walking outside or on a treadmill. The pounds will start to come off soon.

The secret? You do not need to go fast, just be consistent, consistency is the best tip for maintaining a successful fitness regimen.

It can all start with 20 minutes on a treadmill or 20 minutes outside. The difference between your own success and others, is to do it every single day. No exercise program in the world works if you don’t do it consistently.

2. Follow an Effective Exercise Routine

The American Council on Exercise (ACE) recently surveyed 1,000 ACE-certified personal trainers about the best techniques to get fit. Their top three suggestions:

Strength training – Even 20 minutes a day twice a week will help tone the entire body.
Interval training – In its most basic form, interval training might involve walking for two minutes, running for two, and alternating this pattern throughout the duration of a workout. It is an extremely time-efficient and productive way to exercise.
Increased cardio/aerobic exercise – Accumulating 60 minutes or more a day of low- to moderate-intensity physical activity, such as walking, running, or dancing.

3. Set Realistic Goals

Don’t strive for perfection or an improbable goal that can’t be met. Focus instead on increasing healthy behaviors.

In other words, don’t worry if you can’t run a 5K just yet. Make it a habit to walk 15 minutes a day, and add time, distance, and intensity from there.

4. Use the Buddy System

Find a friend or relative whom you like and trust who also wants to establish a healthier lifestyle. Encourage one another. Exercise together. Use this as an opportunity to enjoy one another’s company and to strengthen the relationship.

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5. Make Your Plan Fit Your Life

Too busy to get to the gym?
Make your plan fit your life. You don’t need fancy exercise gear and gyms to get fit.

If you’ve got floor space, try simple floor exercises to target areas such as the hips and buttocks, legs and thighs, and chest and arms (like push-ups, squats, and lunges). Aim for 10-12 repetitions of each exercise, adding more reps and intensity as you build strength.

6. Be Happy

Be sure to pick an activity you actually enjoy doing.
And choose something that is convenient. Rock climbing may be a great workout, but if you live in a city, it’s not something you’ll be doing every day.

7. Watch the Clock

Your body clock, that is. Try to work out at the time you have the most energy. If you’re a morning person, schedule your fitness activities early in the day; if you perk up as the day goes along, plan your activities in the afternoon or evening.

Working out while you have the most energy will yield the best results.

8. Call In the Pros

Especially if you’re first getting started, having a professional assessment to determine what types of exercise you need most.

For some people, attention to flexibility or to balance and agility, may be more important than resistance training or aerobics. By getting a professional assessment, you can determine your weakest links and focus on them. This will improve your overall fitness balance.

9. Get Inspired

Fitness is a state of mind. One of my tricks, is to get and stay motivated by reading blogs or web sites that show how others have been successful.

10. Be Patient

Finally, remember that even if you follow all these tips, there will be ups and downs, setbacks and victories. Just be patient, and don’t give up. Hang in there, and you’ll see solid results.

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