Lisa Wright, CFT, LCI
Do you want to improve your fitness starting THIS week? Well, it’s about time and the good news is you’re only five steps away from a healthier you.
Step 1: Perform your own fitness assessment
Your fitness may be better than you think. Recording your baseline fitness score will give you a benchmark against which to measure your progress. Consider recording the following:
- Your pulse rate before/after you walk 1 mile
- How long it takes to walk this mile
- How many pushups can you do at one time (from your knees or military style)
- Sitting front reaches. How far can you reach toward your toes without bending your knees
- Measure your waist at the belly button with tape parallel to the floor
- Your body mass index
Step 2: Decide on a fitness plan
There’s an old cliché, “Failing to plan is planning to fail”. As you design your fitness plan, keep these points in mind:
- Have reasonable fitness goals. Do you want to lose fat or gain muscle? Do you have a special event ahead of you? Have a clear and stated goal to work toward.
- Balance your exercise routine. Strength training at least two days per week is considered maintenance. 150 -180 additional minutes of cardiovascular activity per week would be necessary for fat loss. Mix it up, keep it fun!
- Pace yourself. Don’t jump off any cliffs with all of this. Begin slowly and consult a medical professional if you have any limitations.
- Build activity into your daily routine. Schedule your exercise time in like you would any other appointment. Split it up during the day, park across the parking lot, take the stairs, walk the dog – I know, you’ve heard all this before!
- Plan to include different activities. Cross train means mix it up! Keep it fun. Most triathletes are just this because it’s not boring. Run/walk, bike, swim, strength train, etc.
- Allow time for recovery. Your body will actually tone and condition during your rest time. Build this in as well. Soreness or injury is NOT a sign of progressing – feeling rested and ready to go again is your sign.
- Write it all down. Journal everything! I know this takes time. Putting it all onpaper is how to markedly review your progress.
Should you choose to hire us, at the end of your body composition and fitness analysis, we will make recommendations toward a customized fitness regime just for you.
Step 3: Determine what equipment you will use
Aside from a good pair of athletic shoes, you want equipment that’s practical, enjoyable and easy to use. You might even want a training session with us to learn about all the possibilities before making this purchase. Used and homemade equipment is another option.
Step 4: Ready, Set, Go!
Warm up and cool down. Use easy walking and gentle stretching before and after your sessions for 5 – 10 minutes. As your stamina improves increase the amount of time you exercise from 30 to 60 minutes six days of the week.
- Split train if you have to. If you really want to stimulate your metabolism, break up your sessions into two or three 20 -30 minute bursts. This might even fit into your schedule better.
- Make it fun.Be creative – we learned only last Friday that sandcastle building can burn up to 240 calories in one hour.
- Listen to your body.Out of the ordinary symptoms are sure sign that you may be pushing yourself too hard.
- Make decisions, be flexible.Whether for emotional or physical reasons, if you just don’t feel good, give yourself permission to take off a day or two. Getting started in the first place was the only hard part, a day off here and there will do you good.
Step 5: Check back in with yourself often
Retake your fitness assessment again (at the longest) 6 weeks from when you started and again every three to six months. This assessment will determine how it’s going and what you may need to tweak in order to keep progressing. You may be surprised at your progress and how well it is going. If it’s not broken then there is nothing to fix – just keep your momentum going.
For motivation, join our Facebook Fan Page and monthly e-newsletter. You could ask a friend to exercise with you, or find some new and interesting activity. Phase out your old habits with loving kindness as you embrace the new and healthier you.
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