How’s it going with those New Year’s fitness resolutions? For many people improved fitness is a big goal for the new year, but keeping it up past the first few weeks can be difficult! This year when you feel like you’re gonna give up, MIX IT UP! A properly designed fitness program can get you maximum results in minimum time. Here are my tips to help you keep your resolution to get and stay fit in 2016.
Out With the Old…
If your cardio workouts are always done the same old way at the same pace and for the same amount of time, don’t expect to see much change in your fitness level. If you’re ready to make some serious changes you gotta mix it up.
Try this… Interval Training
Interval training can take your current cardio workout to the next level. You’ll burn more calories, increase your lung capacity and keep boredom at bay. Interval training can be applied to any mode of cardio work. It’s not as complicated as you might think. Interval training is simply alternating bursts of intense activity with intervals of lighter activity. For example, if you’re walking outdoors, you could walk faster between certain mailboxes, trees or other landmarks. Warm-up first then increase the intensity and work hard until you’re ready to catch a break then bring the intensity back down until your ready to take it back up again. That’s it! Keep it simple and always listen to your body.
Out With the Old…
If your cardio workouts have gotten boring and the weight lifting routine that once gave you such great results is no longer working, you’ve hit a plateau and it’s time to mix it up if you want to continue to see results.
Try this… Cross Training
Cross training is a great way to increase calorie burning and spice up your workouts. With this method, you choose different activities – either performed within the same workout, or alternate the different activities from workout to workout. Cross training is an ideal way to alleviate boredom and avoid plateaus in your training because it provides a constant mental and physical challenge. An example of a cross-training workout would be to start with 10 minutes of walking, followed by 10 minutes of light jogging, dancing or weight lifting, followed by 10 minutes of stair climbing or biking, and maybe finish off with 10 minutes of stretching. Whatever activities you enjoy can be implemented with this method, but mix it up regularly to help keep you motivated and increase your results.
Another option is to do a different type of activity each day of the week. This will keep your workouts interesting and prevent boredom and the dreaded plateau. For example, you might walk on Monday, do upper-body weight training on Tuesday, jog or dance on Wednesday, do lower-body weight training on Thursday and take a Yoga or Pilates class on Friday. Cross training gives you the opportunity to work all of your major muscle groups, and provides you with a continual well-rounded fitness plan.
Try this… Circuit Training
On your next weight lifting day try circuit training. Circuit training involves choosing 4-5 strength-training exercises, alternated with short periods of cardio (3-5 minutes) repeated for a number cycles. You’ll want to move fairly quickly through the strength training exercises to keep your heart rate up, but don’t sacrifice your form. Add variety to your workout by continually changing the exercises, the amount of weight lifted and number of reps from week to week or workout to workout. Be sure to strengthen and stretch all muscle groups — not just your “favorites” — to stay balanced and prevent injuries. By choosing exercises that work more than one muscle group — such as squats, lunges, pushups and pull ups — you will make the most of your time and significantly increase calorie burn and stamina. Try linking a few movements together such as a squat with a bicep curl with a shoulder press. Full body movements like this one are the most time-efficient and are also great for your core.
Remember to always listen to your body and use the RPE (Rate of Perceived Exertion) Chart to help determine your intensity level. Most benefits can be achieved in the 4-6 range but occasional visits to the 7-8 range can get you over the hump. Work at the level that feels right for you. Push yourself a bit but don’t overdo it! It’s always best to gradually increase your endurance, stamina and strength over time.
So remember, you CAN achieve your new year’s fitness goals if you plan your workouts, listen to your body and MIX IT UP! Here’s to a New Year and New You!
Regular exercise can help you control your weight, reduce your risk of heart disease and strengthen your bones and muscles. But if you haven’t exercised for some time and you have health concerns, you may want to talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise routine.