|Fitness makeover step by step|
Write it down
Ask yourself what three specific goals you want to achieve this coming year and write them down. Make sure that you have a way to monitor your progress such as weighing yourself or taking measurements.
The more specific your goal, the better. If you’re new to activity, start small. Be practical and realistic about your activity goals. Whatever your goals are, write them down. So many people have told me that they’ve been able to reach their fitness goals when they have specific goals and track their journeys. Write down what your goal means to you. Does it mean feeling energized, looking better or reaching a certain number of activity minutes? The more opportunities you create to measure and log your success throughout the year, the better the chance of you making a lifestyle change.
Forget about yesterday
It’s time to let go of any failed diet and fitness plans of the past and get your mind engaged with the present. Now that you’ve written down your goals, move forward with them. It’s time to focus solely on today and let the past be in the past. Once you can make a commitment to being present in today’s choices, you’ll step toward success more smoothly. When you wake up each morning, think that today is the only day that counts (even if you severely derailed your diet the night before). No more promises of tomorrow. Accomplish what matters to you most TODAY.
Mix up your workout time
If you always workout in the morning, try to add in at least one afternoon workout session per week, or vice- versa. If you never do a morning workout try to add one into your schedule. Sometimes your bodyneeds to be pushed out of its usual routine. You may even find that a particular time works better for you than what you originally thought. We are each individuals and our bodies perform better at different times of the day. Experiment and try to find the time of day that you feel most awake and energized and make that your go-to workout time. You may find that you push yourself more, burn more calories and get more benefit out of your exercise routine.
Increase your intensity
Who says you need to spend hours in the gym to reach your fitness goals? Keep your workouts short and sweet, or more accurately short and sweaty! On at least two days of the week, perform an interval style workout that pushes you to get out of breath. When your intensity level is high, your sessions can be kept as short as 15-30 minutes in length. This is perfect for those with a busy schedule who always come up with the same excuse of not having enough time to exercise.
Short, effective workouts should be your new approach to fitness, especially if you lead a busy lifestyle. Building lean muscle mass should be an essential part of any weight loss or weight gaining program If you currently use weights in your fitness routines, try to increase them. If you’re just getting started, be sure you are using a comfortable weight that allows you to maintain good form. Don’t be afraid of bulking up from lifting heavy weights. In my opinion, lifting very light weights that don’t feel challenging for many reps is only a waste of your precious time!
Scheduled rest days are essential to allow your body to recover from the stresses that exercising places on it. Many people misunderstand the concept of a rest day. It doesn’t mean that you should spend the entire day just sitting still! Your aim on a rest day should be to reduce the stress from lifting weights or doing high impact exercises, but not stop moving completely. Everyone should strive to be active for a minimum of 30 minutes a day, every single day. Make your rest days filled with fun activities like enjoying a bike ride, hiking or swimming. Do low-impact activities so that you’re still burning extra calories, but not burning yourself out?
Have fun with fitness
Creating good habits and setting a solid routine is essential especially when you are first starting out with a new exercise plan, but it doesn’t have to be predictable and boring! When you get stuck into the same old routine, you often mentally tune out and become less productive with the task at hand. This year, try to keep your body guessing by trying new activities, changing your workout style, having fun with a new exercise partner or by adding in a weekly fun fitness challenge. The more fun and exciting you make your exercise time, the more you’ll look forward to your exercise time and stick with it. Exercise doesn’t have to be boring to be effective!
Written by Samantha Clayton, AFAA, ISSA. Samantha is Director of Fitness Education at Herbalife