Fit for Life

Deciding to get fit is a big decision to make and can be a scary one as it is difficult to know where to begin. But as we all know, getting and staying fit is the key to a longer and healthier life so sometimes we just need to bite the bullet and start an exercise programme.

The important thing is to find a programme that is right for you. If you make yourself go to the gym when you hate the gym, you won’t last long. Buying a year-long membership may be financially motivating but will not keep you going three times a week if you start to dread your visits.

Find exercise that you like doing. Perhaps you enjoy doing solitary pursuits like swimming laps, or perhaps you prefer the fun of games with friends like tennis or badminton. You should do whatever rocks your boat because you will be much more likely to keep it up.

Ideally a mix of cardio and resistance training is what you should be aiming for, and this will be the best way of building muscles and endurance. If losing weight is your aim then a balanced diet needs to be undertaken in parallel to your exercise routine, but remember that if you are exercising a lot then you do need to fuel your body and will need to take in more calories than if you lead a sedentary lifestyle.

Below are some tips on starting an exercise programme:

Nutrition

Good nutrition is a necessary part of an effective training programme. It will guarantee that your body will get all the benefits from your training and will have a big impact on how you perform and how you feel afterwards. Proper nutrition will also make sure that you recover adequately from your exercise and feel ready to face the rest of the day.

Build strength

Weight training is often overlooked as part of an exercise programme, especially by women, but it is in fact a necessary element of any good routine and will add power to the rest of your sports and help reduce the risk of injury. Weight training isn’t all about building huge muscles, as small weights with appropriate repetitions will create a sleeker silhouette and help tone problem areas.

Cross train

This is all about including a variety of exercise into your routine and alternating different sports. It allows your muscles to rest and recover effectively without losing any fitness benefits and helps to improve overall muscle definition and tone. It is also a useful thing to do to keep your programme interesting and motivating.

Interval training

Interval training is a very effective way to get fit and lose weight. It alternates short, fast bursts of intense exercise with slower and easier activities. This not only helps to prevent injuries associated with repetitive exercise but can be a great way of fitting a shorter routine into a busy work day.

Personal trainer

Particularly if starting to get fit after a long time of no activity, a personal trainer will help kick start your exercise programme. He or she will carefully consider what you can and can’t do and set you targets and routines. This takes the stress out of deciding what to do and is also very motivating. A good personal trainer will take note of previous injuries, weight loss goals, the time you have to exercise and the types of things you enjoy doing. Using all this information they will create the perfect programme for you and will also be around to make sure you do it!