Fitness How To’s: Three Essentials in Exercise

First, let me say that if you are working out and have some form of regular exercise incorporated into your life, congratulations! It is one of the easiest things to NOT do and make excuses as to why we don’t. I know, because for nearly a decade that was me. I came to abhor anything that would make me sweat, and it became easier and easier to not workout. As I got my workout legs back under me, I found three F’s that have served me well at age 40 in keeping up with the demands of some challenging workouts.

Essential #1 – Flexibility

I am not a particularly flexible person by nature. However, flexibility is a HUGE part of making sure that you not only have a good workout, but is critical in making sure that you can continue to workout. Be sure to have some light warmup stretches to ease into your workout. Be sure to engage in active stretching over the course of your workout, and post workout do some focused stretching on the muscle groups you worked that day. Don’t worry if you can’t stretch to the floor or discover you have as little flexibility as I do. Stretch to where you’re comfortable and don’t push into positions your body isn’t ready for.

Essential #2 – Focus

Once you begin your workout, ensure that you are giving focus to proper form. If you fail to keep the form and focus intended in your workout, you are wasting your time. This is not to say that your form has to be perfect. However, there is a marked difference in the results one will achieve by doing moves “similar” to the trainers and duplicating moves you are shown. Solid focus in your workout means you will have to give greater effort in your workouts, but that translates into some phenomenal results. You’ll be happy you did 🙂

Essential #3 – Ferocity

Have a ferocious mindset when you enter your workout. This does not mean that you push your body to the breaking point and beyond; what it means is that even when you have to modify your workouts, you want to make it to the end. Some days will be a breeze and you will be excited to “push play” (as we say in TBB) or just jump into your run or whatever workout you do. There are other days, though, when it is a severe act of will to just show up. When you enter your workout “zone” so to speak, be ready to bring it, and do not waiver in your commitment and determination. Final note: guard yourself against overtraining. After speaking to Focus and Ferocity, I know it can seem even counterintuitive to not go all out, but remember that you are in this for the long haul. Your endurance will increase as will your strength, but you must have the patience to allow your body to acclimate to the demands of a workout regime again. Thanks for reading, and stop by tomorrow as we’ll talk about two huge landmines to avoid so that your efforts are not derailed and your results stay on track!

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Fitness How To’s: Five Keys to Fitness Success

As we enter the final week of August I decided to do a countdown on my fitness page each weekday to focus on things you can do to end the month on a good note and be poised to start September off right! Tune in every day this week to get tips & reminders on how to accelerate your weight loss and achieve your fitness goals.

Day 1 – Five Keys to Fitness Success: Exercise, Nutrition, Accountability, Commitment, Adaptability/Resilience.

Exercise

There are a host of things we could look at, but let’s keep this simple. If you are serious about losing weight and/or getting fit the first item on this list comes as no surprise. It’s no secret that exercise is an essential part of fitness, no matter what level of exercise you engage in. It does not have to be high intensity, but you have to give your body some level of activity and elevate your heart rate. If you need this reminder as I did, renew your mind with the truth that it is ok to sweat a little.

Two inevitable questions that now follow: How much exercise? How hard should I go? In answer to the first question, make a plan to exercise at least three to four times this week. If you have been engaged in regular workouts you could even push to five or six workouts in the week. The level of intensity should be in line with what your body can handle, and only you know that. The real key here is to start slow if you’re just getting back on the horse or have never incorporated a regular workout routine before. You can always increase intensity the next day if things don’t seem challenging enough, but it would be terrible to get sidelined by an injury just coming out of the gate because of impatience. The duration of each workout is again going to be something you either know how to gauge because you know your body, or have to learn. If you are learning (or relearning) your body start with a half hour including cool downs. As you feel you can handle more consider gradually moving to 45 minutes and eventually even a full 60 minutes of activity.

Nutrition

Equally obvious is what nutrition you allow into your body. This is a huge deal because all the efforts of your workouts can be undone if you think you eat whatever you want simple because you “worked out”. Be smart, and identify some healthy meals you can use for breakfast, lunch, and dinner to ward off the hunger monster.

Accountability

“Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves; A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
I know there is a huge temptation to believe you can simply get it done on your own. The truth that we all know to be true is this: we do better with accountability. We thrive and gain strength when we have someone who goes through the struggle with us and helps keep us focused. Who knows? Maybe you’ll be the one providing encouragement.
Find at least one accountability partner, but if at all possible get a group of 3 or four. Give them the authority to ask tough questions and be prepared every now and again to tell on yourself.

Commitment

Don’t be in it for the short term. Make the commitment for the long haul. Temporary results are incredibly frustrating as the other side of the yo-yo diet always seems to leave us worse off than when we started. Make the commitment that you have decided to take ownership of your health and fitness goals and BE COMMITTED to them!

Adaptability

How does the saying go? “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans”. Be prepared for the fact that your ideal plan to bring a fitness regiment into your schedule may not go entirely according to plan. You will have to “tweak” things, and possibly make sacrifices to get workouts in and be resilient enough to adjust to the curve balls life will inevitably throw your way. You can do it! It just might not look the way you envisioned it at the beginning 🙂

Your thoughts? Talk to me below! Comeback tomorrow as we give more focused attention to nutrition! (If no option to like or comment appears, click on the article title and scroll back down. Thanks!)