Setting a huge goal like running a marathon or losing 100 pounds may not be the best way to get fit. These goals can feel overwhelming and cause you to give up when you don’t see instant results. Instead, set small, attainable goals that you can gradually incorporate into your lifestyle.
To reduce your soreness following a workout, be sure to perform adequate cool down exercises. This cool down period allows your muscles to loosen up and relax after your workout is over and signals to your body that the workout is over. Failure to cool down properly after exercising can cause additional soreness and even cramping to occur.
Finding your target heart rate can make your workouts more effective. The target heart rate is the heart rate at which your body is using the most oxygen, and therefore burning the most calories. Ideally your target rate is approximately 60 percent of your maximum rate. You can get a rough calculation of your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from the number 220.
If you are new to fitness, start slowly. It may be tempting to push yourself beyond your limits, especially with the enthusiasm that comes with beginning a new fitness regime. Pushing yourself too quickly is the fastest way to get yourself injured, as your body is not ready to deal with the added stresses you place on it. Injuries can sideline you from your workout for weeks, so start with small and realistic goals and work up to more demanding workouts.
If you want to get better results from your fitness routine, measure your progress — literally. When you need motivation for a goal, pick something related to the goal for which you can track statistics, like your body fat, your waist size or the distance you can comfortably run. Take measurements regularly and write them down, so you can quantify exactly how close you are to your goal. This technique has been shown to improve motivation, as it helps people believe in the reality of their accomplishments.
Set goals. Whatever exercise you choose to pursue, set weekly goals and track your progress. You may set any goal appropriate for your fitness level, but the key is to persistently follow through on your plan. Record your daily workouts on a chart or keep a simple tally indicating that you completed the exercises you had planned to do.
You can’t expect to see results right away, remember that. You have to stay focused and dedicated to your plan and a big part of that is your mentality. You can’t expect to have abs in 2 weeks when this is your first time trying to get into shape, it takes months to get that lean body you are searching for.
As you can see, there are many better ways to gradually ease fitness into your lifestyle than making sweeping long-term goals. Follow the tips mentioned in this article for making small lifestyle changes to improve your fitness and before you know it–one small step at a time–you will be on your way to that marathon.