I thought I would take a few minutes this week to look at some of the best ways for you to exercise effectively within the constraints of being who you are and doing what you do. We all have commitments whether they are work related or family related and we are all busy, but there is no doubt that regular exercise keeps us fitter, healthier and younger. Keep reading for my 8 top tips for effective exercise!!
1. BE CONSISTENT
I believe this is the number one most important factor for effective exercise. Be consistent, consistency will give you results. You should be thinking about exercise as you would brushing your hair or your teeth every morning, something that is a routine part of your life. The health benefits of exercise are cumulative, and feeling better about yourself and in yourself are all motivating factors which will help to keep you on track.
2. ADD VARIETY
When you perform the same exercises and workout routines repeatedly, the body will adapt rendering your workout less effective. Infact, the nervous system, muscle-skeletal system and other physiological systems can adapt to a workout routine in as little as 6-8 weeks. Eventually your workouts will not offer you the same challenge, and your fitness will plateau.
To maintain a healthy and challenging exercise regimen, its important to diversify your workouts with a variety of activities. Make sure you cover the five main elements of fitness: Cardiovascular exercise, Strength, Core, Balance and Flexibility.
Include some restorative exercise in your routine - whether that is 10 minutes of deep breathing or a full hour of yoga or pilates - treat your body to some TLC every week, you will reap the benefits in magnitudes.
3. KEEP YOUR GOALS REALISTIC
Don't strive for perfection or an improbable goal that can't be met. You are constantly bombarded by the next "get fit quick" gimmick, but in reality most fads do not work. Exercise is not a one size fits all thing, and you need to work within your comfort zone in a way that suits you. Be realistic about what is possible for you in the life that you lead and remember the story of the tortoise and the hare ... be patient and committed and you will set yourself up for success.
4. BE INVENTIVE
Working around what works for you is vital - you do not NEED a gym to exercise. You can do an interval workout going up and down the stairs at home, you can do an effective workout with just a mat, some weights and bands from the comfort of your own home. Check out my Vimeo channel for plenty of easy workouts that you can do anywhere.
Have your workouts fit around the time that you have, you can reach all your EPOC marker (sweaty, hot, out of breath and feel the burn) in just 20 minutes.
5. ENJOY YOUR EXERCISE
Lets face it - if you don't enjoy it your are not going to do it!! You do not have to lift weights to get strong - if dancing is your thing then get your groove on and get your exercise that way. Find a class with a fun group of people you can have a laugh with, enjoy a coffee after the class, have a game of tennis. Get a neighbour and workout together or go for a walk ... make exercise FUN!!
6. EAT WELL
Whether you re looking to lose weight or just to be healthy and well you need to have a healthy diet, no exercise program will get you there alone, and you need to combine it with a sensible diet program. Diet is 80 % of the battle. You can work out all day but if you eat like crap, you are not going to find any results. Please check out the blogs on my website for healthy eating tips.
7. STAY HYDRATED
Staying hydrated is an essential part of staying fit and well, especially in this climate. When you exercise you lose sodium and potassium through your sweat. Replacing those and lost fluids is very important in order to repair the muscle fibers of the body post exercise.
8. EXERCISE MUST BE ENERGISING
Whatever exercise you have chosen, it must feel you feeling energised and invigorated. If you are feeling drained and depleted you need to have a look at what you are doing and change something:
Are you meeting the nutritional and energy requirements of the exercise you have selected in your diet.
Are you drinking enough?
Are you OVER- exercising?