If you have spent any decent amount of time searching the internet for fitness advice, you have probably come to realize, the one thing the industry does not lack is “Tips”, but something it does lack is useful tips. These days, it is far too easy to just claim expertise in a subject, and start giving out advice. You would not believe some of the “advice” I have heard other people give out after personally being involved in fitness over the years.
I have heard everything from:
“If you do 1000 crunches every day you will have rock solid abs in 2 weeks no matter what you eat” to “You can eat as much as you want before 6pm and you will still lose weight.”
I hope that if you have read some of my other articles you can see the major flaw in both of these tips, but a lot of people fall for this kind of advice everyday. The only reason I can think of that people would fall for such bad advice is out of pure desperation, people are more desperate than ever to find “short cuts” to their goals, and getting healthy through fitness is no different.
To give you a break from a seemingly endless stampede of incorrect or just bad advice, I have included 10 of my own fitness tips that will really make a difference in your life.
If you are really trying to lose fat or gain muscle and not getting any results, you should find out your recommended daily amount of calories. Why finding out this number is so important is that if you know how much calories your body burns naturally per day, you can eat below that number each day to be in a calorie deficit and lose weight. Alternatively, you could eat slightly above that number, along with weight training to build muscle.
The National Academy of Sports Medicine recommends at least 30 minutes of some sort of physical activity per day to best help promote weight loss and a generally healthy lifestyle.
One of the first parts of their program people will drop from their daily routine is stretching; this can be a big mistake for your overall health as light daily stretching can be very beneficial for you. Regular stretching if done correctly will improve your joint flexibility, increase blood circulation throughout your body, and even improve your posture.
One of the biggest motivators to stay on track for a lot of people is a fitness journal. You can log anything from your workout regimen to your daily diet in a journal and look back on it anytime to see what worked for you.
For many people snacking choices can either make or break their diet, but if you snack smart, you can make snacking a real asset to your weight loss goals. The key is to pre package healthy snacks for you to eat throughout the day while you are in town, at work or at home. Pick out a few healthy snacks you like such as fruits, vegetables, 100 calorie snack packs or pretzels (Watch for large amounts of sodium though).
Remaining consistent in a fitness program is what I consider the key thing to remember. Whether you are trying to improve for a sport, lose weight, or build muscle. If you are constantly missing workouts or cheating on your diet then you will not get the results you deserve and you will likely give up altogether.
In every form of exercise you do constantly strive for progression. If you jogged 2 miles last week, this week do 2.1. If you benched 165 5 sets of 12 last week, go for 170 5 sets of 12 this week. Progression is what keeps the body working to improve; your body will have no choice but to progressively get stronger and leaner to keep up with your increased workload. Of course do not try to progress too soon, as this can lead to injury, just always look for ways to progress when you feel ready.
Like almost anything in life, you will likely see better results in your fitness training if you get your friends, family, or even co-workers involved. It will give you other people to talk to about your own goals and to motivate you. If your whole family knows you are trying to lose 10 pounds for example, they will be quicker to help you from slacking on your diet or workouts. Moreover, they will be there to cheer you on when you succeed.
One of the most common reasons people stop a program is they simply get bored of it. If you are doing the exact same routine of squats, lunges, leg extensions and curls for months who can blame you for getting bored? The key is keeping your workouts changing and dynamic to keep your intensity up , this can be done by simply changing the order of exercises or picking up a new program altogether. This is also beneficial for your progress physiologically as your body will not be able to adapt to your routine and you can continue pushing it.
This will probably be the easiest tip for a lot of people to follow as it just requires taking a break from your workouts. If you continue working out day after day, week in and week out, it can be very taxing on not just your muscular system but your central nervous system as well. This is why it is beneficial in the long run for you take a SCHEDULED week or so off every 3-6 months. When you return to your normal routine or maybe a new one like tip 9 recommends, you will feel more refreshed then ever. Who knows you may even break a few new personal records.
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Brad Kelly is a Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Performance Enhancement Specialist, Certified Correctional Exercise Specialist. He is currently designing truly unique and comprehensive programs to help individuals or teams lose weight.