Reasons for starting a fitness program are unique to your needs and preferences. They can vary from weight loss, physical transformation to improving overall health. So, lets say you have finally made exercise a priority and have eliminated all possible barriers (excuses). Here are your next steps to becoming a more fit and healthy you
1. Set Goals! Setting goals is an effective motivational strategy in starting and maintaining a fitness program. It’s important to always have a short and long term goal to work towards. We recommend setting small, realistic goals to start, such as exercising twice a week or taking a 10-min walking break at work.
2. Start Slow, Be Creative! If you’ve been a couch potato or are nursing an injury, it’s important to start slow and build your way up. Extend your warm-up and begin with light 20-30 minute exercise sessions till you build enough strength and stamina to go longer without provoking injury. We recommend selecting enjoyable activities such as hiking, yoga or light-weights.
3. Cardio: Adults should achieve 150 minutes per week of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity (i.e: walking, running). Feel free to slice and dice those minutes as is convenient for you; 30-minutes a day is a good to start. Next time you’re on a treadmill or elliptical do intervals of 2-min fast, 1-min slow for 20-min total. Use 5-minutes to warm-up and cool-down for a 30-minute cardio session.
4. Strength: It is also recommended adults perform strengthening activities on 2 or more days out of the week, targeting major muscle groups. Strength training will not only help build strong muscles and bones, it will also boost metabolism! Try this quick interval workout next time:
i. Warm Up
ii. Squats, triceps-dips, plank, push-ups, lunges- each for 45-sec with jumping jacks or mountain climbers for 15-sec after each drill.
iii. Repeat the above 2x through for a total body workout.
iv. Don’t forget to cool-down and stretch!
5. Flexibility: As we age, our tendons, ligaments and muscles tend to stiffen. Therefore, including a few stretches after your warm-up and cool-down help maintain a muscular balance between strength and flexibility. We recommend a yoga or pilates class for a good stretch.
Key components to a fitness program are cardio, strength, flexibility, endurance and agility. Mix and match these components to balance your fitness program and eliminate boredom.
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