5 Top Tips to Get Fit

Fitness brings many positive benefits into your life, including an increase in energy, a longer life and an increase in self esteem. The Mayo Clinic explains that physical activity can prevent chronic health conditions, promote weight loss and improve sleep. To reach a high level of fitness and to benefit from physical activity, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends moderately intense exercise 30 minutes a day for three to five days a week.

Push Hard

Push yourself and start using the talk test. The talk test will allow you to maintain an intensity of exercise at which conversation is comfortable. Once you have learned how to maintain a conversation, do not be afraid to push yourself harder. When you increase the intensity of exercise, it is the best way to burn calories and lose weight.

Lift Weights

Lifting weights will increase muscle mass leading to an increase in metabolism. The ACSM recommends lifting all the major muscle groups two to three times a week for 10 to 15 repetitions. For the maximum benefit, make sure that you are lifting enough weight. By the last repetition, it should feel as if you can no longer do another.

Change Your Routine

According to a study reported on the Shape website, the “Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research” found that subjects who varied the number of sets and reps from workout to workout saw greater strength gains over 12 weeks than those who made monthly tweaks. To continue to make fitness gains, change your routine every four weeks by adding in new exercises, and changing the order, sets and repetitions.

Portion Control

Even if the majority of your diet is healthy, it is important to pay attention to portion control and calories. The basic weight maintenance equation, says the Mayo Clinic, is that calories taken in must equal calories expended. Try eating smaller portions, keeping a food diary and increasing the frequency of meals. This will help regulate blood sugar, along with reducing calories.

Rest

It is important to allow the body enough time to rest so it can repair damage to the muscles. The Shape website recommends giving muscle groups 48 hours of rest between resistance workouts and not to target the same muscles two days in a row. Rest will also prevent boredom and allow your fitness routine to feel like a choice rather than an obligation.

About this Author

Ashley Schwader earned a Bachelor of Science in health and exercise science, from Colorado State University. She is a certified personal trainer through ACE and a certified Pilates and group instructor through AFAA. Her background includes personal training, nutrition, weight management, corporate wellness, and health promotion.