Staying motivated during your fitness program can be a tough task unless you have that inner zeal and a well thought out strategy in place.
Staying fit is very essential for a healthy and happy life and it demands a long term commitment from your side. If you have the will to stay fit and healthy, then staying motivated during your fitness regime should not pose a problem in any way.
Setup a Smart and Achievable Plan
Before you start your fitness program, make sure that your plan is smart and achievable.
Setting unrealistic goals would do nothing but curb your will to get back in shape and perhaps even depress you.
It is better to break your fitness regime into short term plans and then work on them.
For example – those who have not been introduced to any type of fitness plan can start their routine with small walks, convert them into longer walks, and subsequently go a step further by jogging over much longer distances.
Make it Fun
After setting up your goals, the next step that must be ideally followed is to make your program a fun routine.
Try and include the various sports activities that you really enjoy doing.
If the normal workout sessions became a tad boring, you can participate in something different like joining a volleyball or basketball squad based on your preferences.
You can also join a health club where you would find many people who have the same taste as you, which in turn would make your routine more fun if you want to work out in a group.
For many people, taking out the time to go to some fitness center or health club is not just a feasible idea due to their hectic schedules. If you too are facing the same problem, don’t let it become your excuse for not doing any physical activity.
Be creative enough to find opportunities to work out even in your busy schedule. Make it a habit to walk regularly after you drop your children to school or any other coaching class. Take the stairs instead of the elevator whenever possible.
You can even do small workouts while you watch television with your family. You can do some abs and other free hand exercises when there is a commercial in the midst of your favorite show. Small things like these always work out in the long run!
Make it Important
Remember – just as brushing your teeth daily is a necessity and you cannot do without it; including a fitness program in your daily routine is also a must.
- Go through various diet reviews and diet recipes and eat healthy food that would always complement your exercises
- Maintain a target and reward yourself when you meet a certain goal
- Make your fitness programs more of a social activity by including your family and friends as well. In this way, you can remain motivated about working hard to achieve your goals.
Plan for your overall health and fitness and stick to it all through the year to attain a newer and fitter you. Here’s wishing you best of luck in this regard!
(Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3)
A lot of times people, women especially, are willing to make cardiovascular exercise a priority in obtaining their health and fitness goals but have a hard time committing to strength training.
There’s a fear of looking like a bodybuilder with unsightly muscles bulging to the point where veins protrude.
Or they’re uncertain what to do with the weights, so they shy away from them altogether.
Why You Should Strength Train
Just as doing aerobic activity is beneficial to your overall health, so too is weight training.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), some of those advantages of working your muscles include:
- Relief from arthritic conditions
- Reduced chances of falling due to better balance
- Increased bone strength
- Better blood sugar control
And if the health benefits aren’t good enough for you, consider the fact that the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn – even when you’re sleeping!
According to ShapeFit.com, one pound of muscle burns an extra 35-50 calories per day.
That may not seem like a lot, but over the course of a year, one pound of muscle will result in anywhere from 12,775-18,250 calories leaving your body.
That’s 3 ½ to 5 ½ pounds for each one!
So, gain five pounds of muscle and you can lose 15-25 pounds this year while you’re working, relaxing and sleeping.
Isn’t that reason enough?
Whether you’re new to training your body using weight resistance or have been doing it for ages, there are certain precautions you must take.
First, you want to perform each exercise with proper form.
If you’re unsure what that is, it’s worth the expense of hiring a personal trainer for an hour or two to teach you what you need to know.
You can also watch some YouTube videos; just make sure you follow reputable fitness experts, such as Livestrong and BeFit.
Also, make sure you do the moves slowly and with complete control.
If you try to go too fast, you risk an injury that can hinder any fitness goals you’re trying to reach. Sometimes you see people lifting weights and moving their whole body in the process.
This is bad form and something you should avoid at all costs.
If you’re using weights, make sure you use ones that are heavy enough to work your muscles but not so heavy as to hurt you.
The basic rule of thumb is that you want to be able to lift the weight 8-12 times before you can’t lift it anymore with proper form.
Creating an Effective Program
To adequately challenge your muscles, you’ll want to perform strength training exercises 2-4 times a week. And, you don’t want to work the same muscle groups two days in a row.
So, if you work your arms on Monday, you’re not going to want to concentrate on them again until Wednesday or later.
The reason for this is that when you strain your muscles, such as in weight training, you’re actually creating tiny tears in the muscle.
It’s when those tears are repaired that your muscle fibers grow bigger and stronger. So, if you don’t give them adequate time to heal, you’re doing them more damage than good.
Ideally, you want to work all areas of your body when you strength train, being sure to hit opposing muscle groups.
What this means is that if you work your biceps (front of your arms), for instance, you’ll also want to strengthen your triceps (back of your arms). This keeps your body balanced and will help support good posture.
You can set up a strength training program a couple of different ways. If you want to work out just twice a week, for instance, you could work all areas of your body on both days.
Or if you want to dedicate more time, you can aim for four days a week and follow this type of schedule:
- Upper body (arms, shoulders, chest, upper back)
- Lower body (abs, butt, legs)
- Upper body (arms, shoulders, chest, upper back)
- Lower body (abs, butt, legs)
You don’t need weights to work your muscles either.
If you find the idea of working out at a gym makes you anxious or is too expensive, you can use your own body as resistance by doing strength training exercises such as pushups, crunches and leg lifts.
You’ll get a workout that’s just as effective at helping you build muscle and burn fat as one provided by machines at the gym.
Strength training is just as beneficial for mothers and grandmothers as it is for bodybuilders.
It improves your health, gives you more strength to perform your daily activities and helps you burn calories at a higher rate.
Incorporate some form of weight training into your exercise regimen and you’ll see better results at a faster rate than if you do cardio alone.
So, pick up those barbells and do your body good!
When it comes to getting in shape and losing weight, cardiovascular exercise is necessary to help you achieve your goals.
Sure, you can shed some pounds by just eating nutritiously, but if you want true health, then you need to get physically active.
Besides, when you perform cardio exercise, you kick your weight loss into overdrive and reach your final goal much quicker.
How’s that for a good reason?
What is Cardio?
Cardiovascular exercise is any aerobic exercise that improves your cardiovascular system.
Basically, it gets your heart pumping harder and your lungs working harder which gives your body more oxygen and it becomes more efficient at removing carbon dioxide and lactic acid.
Cardio activities include things like:
A lot of sports also help improve cardio functioning. So, if you play basketball, football, hockey or softball, for instance, you are getting some great exercise for you heart at the same time you’re making that winning point for your team.
There’s also some cardio benefit to certain daily activities that people don’t necessarily think of as health and fitness related.
For example, if you garden and landscape at a decent pace, you’re burning a lot of calories. While it may not be at the same rate as taking a run, you’re still doing your heart good, nonetheless.
Benefits of Cardio Exercise
Cardio has many physiological health benefits (good things for your body).
According to research published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, people who participate in regular physical activity have a lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease, have higher “good” cholesterol and lower “bad” cholesterol.
In addition, if you make it a priority to work up a sweat, according to the Mayo Clinic, you reduce your risk of high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes and cancer.
If you can do something as simple as moving a little more each day, you can save yourself the pain, aggravation and expense of a health condition down the road that could have possibly been prevented.
In addition to benefiting your body, cardio exercise is good for you mentally as well. It helps you deal with stress more effectively and improves your mood. There’s nothing like a good aerobic workout to adjust your attitude!
Not that all of these reasons aren’t great in and of themselves, but there’s also the one major reason that most people make cardio a priority: weight loss.
When you challenge your body through aerobic activity, your metabolism increases and you burn more calories than when you’re at rest. Essentially, it turns you into a fat burning machine!
Before You Begin
Before you decide to engage in any cardiovascular program, it’s always advisable that you get your doctor’s approval – even if you are otherwise healthy.
Safety should always be your first priority and who better to give you the thumbs up than someone who looks after your health on a continual basis?
Also, prior to beginning, you may want to take note of your measurements so that you can follow your progress.
Don’t just take your weight either.
Although ultimately you may be trying to get that to go down, it’s not always the best indicator because it won’t account for your muscle gains in addition to your fat loss.
Grab a tape measure and note the size of your body using these key locations:
- Waist (2 inches above your navel)
- Hips (at the widest point)
- Upper Thigh
Take your measurements every four to six weeks and you’ll see your body reducing in size. It’s a great motivator when you can actually see the progress in the numbers!
Creating an Effective Cardio Program
Most health experts recommend that you get 30-60 minutes of cardio most days of the week.
If this seems like a lot compared to where you are right now, then start out slow. Aim for five to ten minutes daily. Once you’re comfortable with that amount, you can always go up from there.
The key to effectively working your body through aerobic activity is to make sure that you’re working out hard enough but not to the point where you risk injury.
You can purchase a wrist heart monitor heart monitors or any similar device, or you can simply do the talk test.
- If you can sing when you’re in the middle of a workout, you’re probably not working your body hard enough.
- However, if you can barely get one or two words out at a time before losing your breath, you need to cut back.
Aim for a pace that allows you to say one to two sentences at a time.
There’s a lot of controversy over whether you should work out in the morning or at night, on an empty stomach or after a snack. W
hile there’s supporters and opponents for both sides, one answer is appropriate: do whatever you’re willing to do on a consistent basis. It doesn’t matter what you should do if you aren’t going to stick with it.
Set up a system that works for your particular lifestyle.
- If you’re a morning person or prefer to “get it out of the way”, then do it in the morning.
- However, if you’re a night owl, then you may want to schedule your activity for later in the day. But try not to work out within three hours of bed time though as you may find it difficult to sleep when your body is still amped up from being active.
Regular cardiovascular exercise is good for you all the way around, from your body to your mind. It will keep you as healthy as you can possibly be and you’ll see improvements in your mood and attitude.
Don’t look at it as something you have to do but, instead, as something you get to do. If tomorrow you lost all use of your limbs, you’ll wish you had today back to get out and walk, run and bicycle your way to health, so don’t take advantage of the privilege.
Is it difficult to fit in exercise when you’re already super busy?
But isn’t it more difficult to be sick and unhealthy?
Get out there and get active.
Your health and wellness depend on it!
Do you get bored doing the same form of exercise each day?
Do you ever NOT work out because you don’t know what to do?
Does lack of exercise equipment cause you problems?
If any of that is true, Flip Fitness is the program that can change all of that for you!
Flip Fitness is an easy way to get a total body workout in just 30 minutes a day.
- This is a distinct deck of playing cards that provide you with a total body workout based on the luck of the draw
- Flip Fitness requires absolutely no exercise equipment and can be done in virtually any space in 30 minutes
Each deck contains 52 cards, 2 water breaks, 3 workout cards (Levels ONE, TWO & THREE) and a description of how to play the game.
The program is designed to meet the needs of the beginner exerciser to the workout guru as well as anyone in between.
When you’re ready to start your workout for the day, you just pick a card and do what it says!
What could be easier?
Important Note: (Update: The FREE cards have all been given out and are no longer available.
There is a cost to bring these cards to you that we are absorbing for the first 10 people to sign up.
The first 10 people who sign up for this program get access for free.
After that, the cost is $19.95.
We want these 10 sets of cards to go to people who are truly committed to using them and working out, not just people who want free stuff.
Because of that, if you get a free set, you must commit to the following:
- You have to use them for at least 30 minutes a day, 3 times per week
- You have to send us an email each time you work out
If you don’t… you will be required to reimburse us $19.50 for the cost of the cards.
If you’re willing to truly commit to exercising for 30 minutes a day at least 3 times a week, sign up now!
Program Start Date
This round of the program will start on January 14th and will last for 30 days. That will give us the time to get the cards mailed out to everyone, so we can all start together.
So this time around you’re hell bent on losing weight for Christmas, right?!
You’ve gone out and bought yourself new training gear including a brand new pair of sneakers and you’ve even gotten your diet plans sorted out.
All you are waiting for now is Monday – when your gym membership starts.
This time you are READY, more than ever before, to achieve that dream body!
But think again – doesn’t that seem like the usual pattern? – You get all excited a few weeks before the holiday season, start off with a bang and then somewhere along the line the lack of progress disappoints you; you lose focus and give up!
Extra weight loss motivation is available here.
If you really want to succeed this year, try these tricks.
They will help you stay motivated and focused towards your fitness goals.
First and foremost, a sound ‘motivational strategy’ is as crucial as your training and diet program. After all, working out like crazy and following a strict diet for a few weeks, only to give up later on, doesn’t do anyone any good!
Here are some tips on how to stay intensely focused towards your fitness goals and never let up even an inch until you achieve that dream body!
Tricks and Tips to Stay Motivated
Set Realistic Goals
This is huge.
Always set goals which you can achieve in the time that you have on hand.
There is no point planning to lose 20lbs in a few weeks because it just won’t happen.
So, nice and slow is the way to go. Don’t set a goal for a year, set smaller goals for 12 weeks, and have it be part of your larger goal for the end of the year (or longer).
You’ll be amazed how this strategy will work wonders for you.
Realistic goals also allow you to experience the success of reaching the smaller goals and therefore you are not disappointed with your progress.
Always design an exercise plan keeping in mind your fitness goals. Don’t pick some bodybuilder’s plan (most guys do that!) or a Kim Kardashian plan (a lot of women do that) you picked up online. It won’t work for you!
To stay lean while losing fat, the intensity at which you train is very crucial.
There is no point going on the treadmill for 45 minutes.
If you can do that for 45 minutes, your body is more than comfortable handling that stress and thus won’t change much.
Remember, you have to lose fat so something like high intensity interval training with resistance moves, kettlebells and even Olympic lifting will do the trick.
In a nutshell, huffing and puffing all over the place all way through your workout is the key!
There is only one diet plan that works well over a long period of time – one which is ridiculously simple.
The hassles of counting calories and vitamin content every single day is too much for the human brain to handle for any length of time.
Give yourself a break – you don’t need that rigid lifestyle.
Instead, work on gradually reducing the portion size of your meals and increase your protein content.
Using smaller plates and not keeping the fridge stocked up with “bad” food is a good trick to keep the portion size and frequency of meals down.
Protein powders work great if you are looking to lose fat while maintaining muscle mass. However, weights have to be a part of your training plan or else, you are wasting your money.
Supplement with fish oils (because of the amazing benefits of omega 6 fatty acids contained in them) is one thing that you cannot miss out on, no matter what your fitness goals.
Ladies, buy some clothes that are a couple of dress size smaller, hang them in your wardrobe. Try and remember that dress every time you are tempted to eat some big fattening meal.
Use the same trick on days when you just don’t feel like going to the gym.
In addition to 3-4 days at the gym, go for a run once in a week. You can even play an outdoor sport or challenge your coworker to a tennis match or play a game of football.
Believe me, outdoor workouts like these tax your body in a very different way, burning loads of calories and making your body respond in a different way.
Keep chipping away’ is the key phrase you’ve got to remember.
Reaching your fitness goals don’t happen overnight.
It will usually take several months or even years to reach those goals.
However, short term goals should keep you interested.
Believing yourself is as important, if not more, than any of the tips mentioned above.
To conclude, reading your fitness goals won’t happen overnight. You have to stay focused and motivated.
Use these tips and this time around, you’ll realize that you are indeed on your way toward achieving the success you want.
We all know that exercise does marvels for the body, but did you know that exercise can do wonders for the mind and emotions as well?
Numerous scientific studies have shown that exercise can help relieve depression and anxiety.
How Does Exercise Chase the Blues?
Scientists theorize that exercise helps relieve anxiety and depression by increasing the neurotransmitters in the brain which produce positive moods.
Exercise relaxes the muscles and decreases the making of cortisol which is the major stress hormone. Some researchers, like the University of Wisconsin’s William Morgan, note that exercise also distracts a person from the everyday burdens of life.
Even if you aren’t battling depression or anxiety, exercise helps to promote a more positive self-image.
One of the ways that exercise works its “magic” is by stimulating the production of endorphins, the body’s natural painkilling hormones.
This makes you more relaxed and less stressed.
It also enables you to sleep better. When you get adequate sleep both your mood and your memory will improve.
Recent research indicates that after just five minutes of aerobic activity the body begins to produce more anti-anxiety hormones.
Exercise’s Surprising Rewards
It is amazing how many benefits even brief exercise can provide:
It is easy to become obsessed with worry, but exercising helps to take your mind off of your troubles for awhile.
After a brief escape from a problem or worrisome situation you may have a fresh perspective on how to handle it. A new solution or way of coping may come to your mind.
If you exercise regularly you will gain physical and mental strength to deal with a chronically stressful situation.
Sticking with exercise is a pro-active coping strategy which will give you a sense of accomplishment.
But, don’t think that you have to have a full-fledged, extensive formal exercise routine to accomplish this goal.
Developing simple new habits which add physical activity to your day can make a world of difference in how you feel about yourself. For example, taking the stairs at work once a day or walking around the office during a break will give you both extra energy and a sense of accomplishment.
Both anxiety and depression tend to leave you feeling powerless.
This becomes a vicious cycle because the more powerless you feel the less likely you are to take charge of your life and make positive decisions.
By making the decision to add more physical activity to your life you take a positive step in the battle against depression and anxiety, rather than using a negative coping strategy such as overeating.
In our hectic world it is very easy to become isolated even if you aren’t suffering from depression. We may run around doing errands for others, but sometimes we simply aren’t communicating with them.
If you suffer from depression it is even easier to become withdrawn, although this is a time when you need the most support.
By exercising with others you can break this cycle. Don’t worry, you don’t have to join an exercise class to do this.
Simple strategies like taking a short walk after dinner with your spouse or making the effort to play a game outside with the kids or grandkids one or two times a week can help you reconnect with your family.
Connect with one or two people at your workplace and make a promise to walk around the office together on a break or to walk to the park and have a light lunch outdoors together a few times a week.
Tips from Exercise Experts
The very idea of exercising may be overwhelming if you aren’t used to much physical activity.
Exercise experts suggest these tips for beginning any exercise activity:
- Exercise should be enjoyable, not drudgery. Pick something that you like do and it will be easier to stay with it on a routine basis.
- If you are going to engage in a different kind of physical activity other than what you usually do, ask your doctor before beginning. For example, if you have been very sedentary, suddenly engaging in vigorous physical activity may not be appropriate. Your doctor may advise you to start a gradual walking program instead. Your health professional can also advise you if you need to be extra careful with your joints and avoid certain types of physical activity, such as high impact aerobics.
- Be sure to tell the doctor the type of exercise you are planning; for example, if you have high blood pressure, your doctor will likely be glad to see you start a walking program, but may advise against a heavy weightlifting program.
- Remember that exercise is a growth process. Begin with a simple, easy plan and build up to more activity gradually as you gain more strength and stamina. For example, try incorporating an extra five minutes of walking into your day if you aren’t used to much physical activity; after a week or two, build up to ten minutes of extra walking each day and increase with time. Use how you feel as your guideline, not how you think you should be progressing or how much someone else is progressing.
With just some simple steps you can begin to incorporate exercise into your day. You will feel better and enjoy life more.
While exercise is a wonderful tool to improve your mood, it is not a cure for all cases of depression or anxiety. If you are suffering from life-altering anxiety and/or depression you may benefit from counseling and/or a support group in addition to exercise.
Finding time to work out is one of the biggest problems for people who want to be more fit. Most people just don’t have an extra hour a day to commit to fitness.
That is why you should look for ways to start improving your fitness levels in your “regular life”.
Here are some easy tips that will help you add a little fitness to your day, without having to find extra time to do it.
Mop the Floor by Foot
Instead of using a mop on your kitchen floor, use a damp cloth and mop the floor with your feet.
You can use a damp cloth on one foot, and a dry one on the other to do the drying. You’ll end up with a clean kitchen floor, and you will get the same benefit as if you took a long walk.
Dance While You Dust
Super charge this boring chore by cranking your favorite music and making it fun.
Vacuum With Weights
Grab some wrist weights or ankle weights and attach them to your vacuum before you get started. It will work as a strength training workout and will help with cardio, depending on how much floor space you have to vacuum.
Instead of sitting down when you’re getting dressed stand up. You can stand up and alternate standing on one foot. This will help with your balance and will be good for your core.
The same thing applies when you’re folding laundry. Don’t do it from the couch, use a table so you can stand up, and alternate legs.
Take Advantage of Standing
You have to stand in one place many times throughout the day, so you should take advantage of that time too.
Don’t just stand there, take advantage of the time to get stronger.
- Brushing your teeth
- Putting on makeup
- Standing at the stove making sure the sauce doesn’t burn
- Drying your hair
- Folding laundry
- Washing the dishes
- Do an occasional deep knee bend or a knee-to-chest raise (while holding on to the counter) to get even more of a benefit.
- Use a non-skid step or a yoga step and do step-ups on them
- Stand on a dyna disc
- Use wrist or ankle weights
Whether you’re doing housework, cooking dinner, gardening or doing the regular stuff when you get home from work, add weights to it.
Ankle or wrist weights will help you get a workout that won’t cost you any extra time at all.
Leave a pair of hand weights in a high traffic area. Every time you walk by them, pick m up and do some leg lunges or arm lifts as you walk down the hall or through the living room.
Then leave them at the other end of the hallway, ready for the return trip.
Make More Trips
If you’re taking things upstairs, putting away the laundry, bringing in the groceries or just picking things up, make more trips.
Instead of loading up with as much as you can carry, pick up a much smaller load each time. That will force you to make more trips, which keeps you active longer and increases your activity level.
What other tips do you have that can help you get a little healthier, fitter and stronger throughout the day?
Are you ready to get fit but just do not know how to get started? Do you want to lose weight and would rather work out in the privacy of your home instead of the gym? Then Leslie Sansone: Walk Away the Pounds – Walk Strong DVD might just be the answer!
In her Walk Strong DVD, Leslie coaches participants through a 30-minute two mile walk interspersed with 3 minute interval strength trainings. By building strong muscles, you’ll be able to burn fat faster while sculpting and shaping your legs, rear end, abs and arms.
This low impact DVD is designed to be used by people of all fitness levels. If you’re a beginner, you can opt not to use weights for the interval strength training and will be able to complete most of the exercises. Experienced participants will find the workout challenging, especially if they use 3- or 5-pound weights. The DVD shows close-ups of how to effectively do lunges and various lifts.
Commit to using the Walk Strong DVD a few times a week for a month or two and you will notice changes! You’ll also discover that the workout is fun because of Leslie’s upbeat personality. Workout alone, or invite a family member or friend to join you!
Finding it hard to stay motivated? Do you turn off the alarm, rollover in bed and tell yourself that you’ll exercise later in the day, knowing full well that “later” just won’t happen? Then maybe a fitness boot camp might just be the kick in the butt you need to get serious about working out again.
What exactly is a fitness boot camp?
A fitness boot camp is typically an outdoor exercise class that meets regardless of the weather. Camps vary in length and style. For the first hour participants are put through a variety of cardiovascular exercises, such as running, interval training, obstacle courses or hiking, followed by strength training involving exercise bands, body weight resistance and dumbbells. As a cool down, a form of yoga or Pilates is provided to help improve flexibility.
Are fitness boot camps for men or women?
Both! Some camps are designed specifically for men and some specifically for women. However, couples camps are becoming very popular.
Where are fitness boot camps located?
Boot camps are popping up all over! Contact your nearest fitness center to inquire about locations close to you. Or, invite a friend or two and plan a fitness boot camp vacation!
How fit do you need to participate in a fitness boot camp?
Most boot camps are designed for people who are in relatively good shape. Typically participants have less than 50 pounds to lose, are in the habit of running or walking, and have the stamina to hang in there with the workouts. However, because of the interest in boot camps, camps are now being provided for individuals who are obese and/or have rarely worked out in the past couple of years.
How expensive are the fitness boot camps?
Boot camps vary in price, partly due to the duration of the camp. Some local camps are offered three times a day, five days a week, year round. Individuals can choose to attend as often as they like. Other camps are run for a specific time period, such as 6:00 AM, Monday through Friday, for one month.
Are people getting good results by attending fitness boot camps?
Yes! For many individuals, they will lose 5-10% of their body fat and as much as 15 pounds. By the end of camp, their average walking/jogging mile will be two minutes less than at the start of the camp.
So why all the hype about fitness boot camps?
Participants will tell you that camp provides huge satisfaction. You’re expected to show up on time, give it your all, and push yourself harder than you’ve ever pushed before. During this time, you get to meet other people who are driven to do well and it’s encouraging. For many participants, because they have conquered boot camp, they are ready to tackle other areas in their lives that need to be improve upon.
So how about it? Is an exercise boot camp for you? Is this what it will take for you to get serious about working out? Have you been working out but need a challenge? A fitness boot camp just might be what you need!
There are many programs and products available on the fitness market that promise to be “the best” answer to your fitness prayers.
These programs all claim that it will be easy and will take only a few minutes a day for you to achieve a body that looks like it belongs in Hollywood.
Unfortunately, these claims are truly unrealistic and create a tragic expectation that fitness should come quickly and easily.
It doesn’t happen that way and any product that claims it does is lying to you.
There are many ways to maximize the efficiency and results of your program and choosing the right exercise plan is a key to making sure your fitness plan becomes part of your every day life and is something you look forward to instead of something that you hate.
Choosing the right program can engage your mind and body and provide results far beyond the better looking body that you were probably after when you began.
Identify Your Goals
The first priority when choosing an exercise program is to determine the goals you are trying to meet.
Do you want to:
- Lose weight
- Improve your cardiovascular fitness
- Reduce your risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease
- Achieve better flexibility and relaxation
These elements are the most common reasons people choose to begin a program. The best thing about a great fitness plan is that regardless of your main goal, you are likely to receive the other benefits as side effects of your fitness program.
Recognize Where You Are
Choosing the Right Exercise Program
You must understand where you are starting from, and begin with exercises that are not too demanding. This ensures you can successfully engage in activity every day without pain and risk of injury.
The old adage “no pain, no gain” is a highly exaggerated idea. Exercise should not ever actually be painful.
If you are completely unfit, you will likely begin with some light stretching, lifting hand weights and walking. However, the lower the level of intensity, the higher the time investment you will have to make.
The standard suggestion is an hour a day most days. The best aspect of this beginning phase of your exercise plan is that there is no need to join a gym to achieve your goals.
You can begin your journey toward better fitness just by:
- Walking up and down stairs in your home
- Parking in the back of parking lots
- Walking around the grocery store
- Many other “Conscientious Cardio” activities
Your Exercise Program
Your program should include Cardio exercise for a minimum of thirty minutes at least five days per week. Options to achieve this include anything that uses the large muscles of your body and increases your heart rate.
Walking, jogging, biking, dancing, mowing lawns, stairs, skating, etc. all count. You can even break these up into 10 – 15 minute segments so they can easily fit into your day no matter how busy you are.
You must include some strength training in your exercise plan, even if you are not looking to “bulk up”. Many women worry about lifting because of the fear of building big muscles. However, you will realize this isn’t an issue once you understand the correlation between muscle and calorie burn and their ability to have long and lean muscles. These types of muscles can give you a toned body without looking bulky.
If you are not looking to gain strength, you should focus on high repetitions with a smaller weight.
If you are trying to gain strength and muscle mass, you should focus on fewer repetitions with much larger weights.
You should include strength training in your exercise plan at least three days per week, but never two days in a row. Your muscles need time to recover between sessions when you are focused on using larger weights.
Flexibility is also an essential component to any kind of exercise plan. You can achieve spectacular benefits from participating in Yoga, Tai Chi, or another stretching program. A flexibility program will also provide relaxation, stress reduction, joint lubrication improvement and injury prevention.
This is the most commonly neglected part of fitness plans, but it can become one of the most enjoyable over time.
- For those that want extra motivation and guidance, group fitness classes are a fantastic way to keep up your motivation and ensure the safety of your program.
- Home fitness videos are excellent as well if you remember to stay working at your level.
- Personal trainers can also help you to achieve the perfect mix of activities for your lifestyle and goals.
Make sure that whatever you choose to do, that it is fun and enjoyable or you will have a hard time doing it for the rest of your life.
What Do You Think?
Do you have any other ideas that are important to be included in a good exercise plan?