Recent studies have shown that when people are given specific strategies to improve their activity levels, their motivation is higher than people that are starting out on their own without useful information to change their behaviors about exercise. The following strategies are simple, yet action-oriented to get you started on implementing a fitness program into your life.
Listen to fast-paced music when doing anything physical. Studies have shown that music with a quick pace will help to increase your heart rate, therefore helping you burn more calories. It may also put you in a more energetic mood, helping you keep moving longer. Don’t be afraid to “bump some jams” while you vacuum!
To increase your endurance, breathe fully and from your diaphragm when you exercise, particularly when running. This increases your oxygen intake and your lung capacity and lets you exercise longer. If you don’t know how to breathe from your diaphragm, you can lie down and put something on your stomach, then practice making it rise and fall as you inhale and exhale.
In order to maximize your running fitness, be sure to give yourself a break every six weeks or so. This will allow your body to recover and help to prevent injury. During this break week, it is advisable to not rest completely, but to cut the workload in half.
Make sure you eat out less, this promotes a healthy body. Eating out at fast food restaurants while exercising essentially beats the purpose of getting fit. You want to make sure you fuel your body with the necessary nutrients it needs and it can use to get the most out of your workouts.
You should do weight training in less than one hour. Also, your muscles can begin to deteriorate within an hour. It’s best to keep your weight lifting workout at less than an hour to maximize the benefits from your hard work.
One simple (and cost-free) form of exercise you can do is pushups. Pushups are relatively easy to do. You just place both hands on the ground, spread shoulder width apart, both feet on the ground, and push your body upwards and downwards. Pushups are a great workout for your chest and arms.
A modification to traditional running that can increase fitness is high knee running. It simply involves raising your knees above your waist while running. By doing high knee running, you increase strength in your core muscles by essentially doing a standing crunch while running. It’s also an extra workout for your thighs.
Fitness experts recommend doing slow and sustained stretches three to seven days per week. To learn how to perform stretches correctly without the worry of harming the muscle, you may consider hiring a professional trainer for a few sessions in the beginning of your fitness program to learn how to perform these stretches correctly. Oftentimes, if you join a gym, these sessions are offered free to members.
Add calcium rich foods, such as low-fat milk to your daily diet to boost the effects of your workouts. Try to consume at least 600 milligrams or more of calcium everyday. This about two glasses of low-fat milk. Also add other calcium-rich items to your diet such as broccoli, cottage cheese, low-fat yogurt, etc.
You can become a better runner by regularly lifting weights as part of your training regimen. There are studies that have been done that show that at least 8 weeks of strength training caused runners to be able to run up to 30 seconds faster than those who did not focus on strength training.
Staying on your fitness program is the single-most important gift you can give yourself and family. By significantly increasing your activity levels, the pay-off will be that you will feel better, look better, and the exercise will increase your energy level. Give yourself the gift of health by implementing a fitness and exercise plan into your life.