To achieve your fitness goals and create a body that runs at optimal performance levels there are a few things you should be doing. First and foremost is that you absolutely must be eating properly. Everything that you put into your body should have a purpose for being there. That means that you should be focused on a diet rich in lean proteins, healthy fats and complex carbohydrates. Don’t bother weighing yourself down with added sugars or extra calories, these things will just drag you down. In addition to getting your dietary intake under control, here are four more fitness tips you need for a healthy body and mind.
1. Choose Workouts You Enjoy
The most important rule (aside from abiding by a healthy diet) for a healthy body is choosing workouts that you enjoy doing. The reason for this is simple, if you don’t like doing the workout then you will find a reason to skip it. If you actually enjoy it though no matter how busy your day gets you will work to find time to fit it in. Whether you enjoy swimming, hiking, lifting weights or HIIT workouts just make sure you get moving, work your muscles and keep your heart rate at your target level for at least 30 minutes.
Have you ever heard the saying “There’s no such thing as too much of a good thing”? Well when it comes to your fitness routine that’s not exactly true. You see, if you enjoy swimming so you focus all of your workouts around the pool then sooner or later you will likely begin to view swimming as a chore rather than an enjoyable way to stay active. That’s why you should pepper in your second, third and fourth favorite workouts too. This way you can mix up your routine and add some variety to your life. Now you won’t begin to hate the activities that you once loved.
2. Focus On Your Form
When you are working out there is nothing more important than your form. Improper form can lead to pain and injuries that can push back your fitness goals by days, weeks or even months. If you happen to get lucky and don’t end up hurting yourself with your improper form at the very least you will still be hindering your progress. That’s because without form your workouts are not nearly as effective as they should be at burning calories or increasing muscle mass. Do not be afraid to ask a trainer to explain how to perform a workout or how to use a machine at the gym. That’s what they are there for.
If you happen to be working out at home by yourself be sure to check your form in a mirror every once in awhile just to make sure that you are on point. One of the best things about working out at home is that you can often go at your own pace without worrying about someone waiting to use your machine when you are finished, or an instructor going too quickly for you. Your weights, machines and other workout materials usually do not need to be shared at home. If you are using a workout DVD to learn yoga, pilates or a HIIT workout you can slow down the move, pause it or rewind it until you perfect your form.
Keep in mind that if you are working out alone you need to be extra careful to not overwork yourself and end up injured without anyone around to help you.
3. Track Your Progress
Schedule your workouts on a physical calendar that way you have a physical plan that you can stick to. This is the first step of personal accountability that leads to improved progress. Next make sure that after each workout you make notes, jot down if anything got easier or which exercise was the hardest. This is a good thing to look back on in the future when you feel like you haven’t come very far. At the end of each week record how much longer you were able to keep up your cardio routines and how much extra weight you were able to add to your strength training workouts than the previous week. Even minimal progress is worth noting.
If you want to add a little more pressure to your accountability to really ensure that you’re working out and pushing yourself to the brink of your limits then think about recruiting a friend to workout with you. Or start posting your progress on social media and let all of your online friends and followers push you towards becoming a healthier version of yourself. Most importantly, make mini goals for yourself with realistic timetables so that you can celebrate your progress along the way rather than waiting for yourself to achieve your overall goal before beaming with pride.
4. Don’t Forget About Strength Training
In case you haven’t heard strength training is one of the most valuable workouts you can do for your health. It helps increase your lean muscle mass, which increases the rate at which you burn fat. It helps improve your bone density, which decreases your risk of injuries. Most importantly though it helps make you stronger so that you can push your fitness levels higher than you ever imagined. Don’t be fooled into believing that strength training will make you bulky. That only works if bulking is actually your goal and you focus the majority of your attention on getting bigger.
On top of strength training being a great exercise to build a stronger body it also happens to increase your flexibility, boost your mood and improve your quality of sleep. If all of that isn’t enough to convince you to throw in a bit of weight lifting or resistance training into your routine then perhaps knowing that it will keep your workout fresh and interesting, improve your self-esteem and help you to see physical results faster will.
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