As the start of the New Year has begun, everyone is trying to change something. It could be finding a new romantic partner, learning to cook a new recipe for Sunday brunch, a new cardio workout to try, or a new job opportunity. Or, it could be the opportunity to get into the best shape of your life.
Who cares if you’re never before put your health as a priority? Start today! Whether your 25, 35 or 65, it’s never too late to live better, look leaner, eat cleaner and show off your fighter, ‘won’t-give-up-until-I-overcome’ attitude. Here are some of the best fitness tips – 7 to be exact – so that no matter what your age says (after all, it’s only a number) you have what it takes to high tail your fitness and send it skyrocketing to success.
1. Make thirty minutes of exercise a day as much of a priority as brushing your teeth. You wouldn’t leave the house each morning without brushing your hair or getting dressed, so why put your workout on the back burner of your day? The problem with skipping exercise is that it’s a slippery slope – it becomes a habit in a blink of an eye.
And when you skip workouts, you are more inclined to eat poorly, become sedentary and lose confidence in yourself. No matter the age, thirty minutes of exercise a day is doable. And, it’s not just doable, but necessary for a youthful spirit and alert mind.
2. Be fearless about strength training. Many women are fearful of weight lifting for fear of ‘bulking up’, while many men are tempted to skip cardio for fear of losing their bulk. Whether you are male or female, 20 or 50 years old, strength training has multiple benefits.
From decreasing stress, speeding up your metabolism and even promoting a sound night’s sleep (pay attention, insomniacs!) your body deserves to be as strong as you need it to be. Start at any age, and lift, curl and lunge your way to total fitness.
3. Create weekly, long term and short term fitness goals. The goal isn’t a fit body with six-pack abs and chiseled biceps. It’s not even a body void of fat in your arms, mid-section or back. It’s a lifestyle of good health, and a body that will give back to you over time, as much as you have put into it. So, treat it well!
Create weekly lists (preferably at the end of your weekend or by Monday morning) that highlights your small, and larger goals for the week. As you accomplish them, cross them off (nothing will feel better to you than that!) and focus on the milestones that you created and succeeded at – not the final destination.
4. Focus on what you’re putting into your body, not how much. Fitness isn’t just about exercising until your sweat, moan and groan; it’s about what you put into your body to give it fuel to carry you through your days. So don’t make the mistake of obsessive calorie counting as you method for trimming down and getting healthy.
Not only will it prevent you in the long run from losing weight and keeping it off, but it will put the nutrition-poor ingredients into your body –those ingredients that are impossible to pronounce, but found in nearly every processed food around.
Go easy on your body, and fill it up with dark greens (kale, broccoli, spinach), lean proteins, fruit, whole grains and plenty of water. As you eat clean, you’ll notice not just a boost in your energy level, but a happiness boost as well. Ever heard of the food/mood connection, or ‘you are what you eat’? So, eat the good stuff and feel good all around, and all year round!
5. Focus on each small step, not the end result. Weight loss, fitness and good health is a lifestyle, and a step by step process. Don’t focus on the destination, such as losing 50 lbs. or giving up all comfort food.
If you do, you’ll set yourself up for failure. But if you treat every day as a new opportunity to feel and look your best, trust us – you’ll reign as the winning champion every time.
6. Don’t give in to the hype of the fad diet. There’s no fad diet (a diet that is extremely strict but allows you to lose weight quickly) that works for the long term. And, in order for you to be fit and healthy for your lifetime, you can’t deprive yourself of carbs, fat, fruits, vegetables, and grains. You just can’t. So don’t, and stay healthy in body and mind by taking it one day at a time.
7. Change up your cardio! Running isn’t easy, but when you run every day you are working out the same muscles. The same goes for walking, skiing, jumping rope, and kickboxing. Instead, put some variety, fun and passion into your workout, and at the same time, increase your fitness results.
Try yoga one day, and Zumba the next. Give a ballet workout a try, while running in intervals on the treadmill during your next workout. Just keep yourself moving with moderate to high intensity cardio, (or whatever challenges you but isn’t too intense) and your endurance, strength and waistline will improve – just like you need it to.
You don’t need diet pills, or anti-aging creams to feel youthful, alert and productive. Your own fountain of youth is right here – daily, smart choices that over time, will lead to the best, healthiest and durable body you could ever hope for!