Seven tips to take your fitness regime to the next level
If you want to step-up your training this year, our health and workout tips will help you take your fitness regime to the next level.
1. Invest in a food scale
Buying a food scale means you can be more accurate about how much you’re eating and drinking. This will help you to lose and manage your weight effectively. Once you start using a food scale, you’ll be amazed at the difference it can make. You can use your scales to monitor and control your portion sizes. Most people eat much bigger portions than the recommended amounts. Using a food scale will help make sure you’re not overeating.
2. Re-establish your goals
Fitness goals are important. They can make a real difference to whether or not you’re successful in achieving your ambitions. They give you focus and help you plan to achieve. Make sure you set goals that are SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound. Having one or more goals can provide motivation and focus. Rather than training for the sake of training, you are training to achieve something personal to you.
3. Set time scales for your progress
Once you’ve set your goals, break them down into manageable steps and set time scales and deadlines. Keep monitoring and reviewing your goals. Strive for continual improvement. As you achieve your goals, set new ones, and keep up the momentum of success.
4. Do more sprint training
Including sprint training in your routine can improve your speed and muscle strength, as well as helping with weight loss. Sprint work helps improve metabolism, which means you’ll burn more calories. It can improve your physique, making you leaner and more toned. It works the legs, glutes and core, burning the fat and building muscle. It’s high intensity, so it’s important that you train safely and sensibly.
5. Try new exercises
When you’re training it’s important to challenge your body. This could include lifting more, running a longer distance, or taking part in another sport or activity. To improve your fitness, you need to step out of your comfort zone, otherwise your body will not adapt and your fitness will plateau. Don’t be afraid to change your fitness regime. Experiment and see what works and what doesn’t. Training is an ongoing process. Having a varied programme including aerobic exercise, strength, flexibility and core work can improve your fitness and help keep you motivated. Your body shouldn’t get used to the same routine. Mix things up and enjoy it.
6. Find new motivators
Keeping motivated is essential if you’re to achieve your fitness goals. Think of new ways to motivate yourself such as music, visualisation or technology. Think about using Apps or websites to compete against yourself and other athletes. Buy a new soundtrack for your workout, or try a new workout class. Visualisation is also a good way to stay focused and imagine your success. Many elite athletes, such as Andy Murray and Jessica Ennis-Hill, use visualisation to help them prepare for their competitions. If it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for you.
7. Introduce measures to track improvements
It seems obvious, but you need to track your improvements. There are many different ways to do this, but make sure you measure before, during and after your training programme. This will help you to evaluate how successful your training has been. You can measure muscle gain and fat loss. Good ways to test your fitness include races, or time trials at specific distances such as a mile or 5km. You could test how many reps of a particular exercise you can complete in a given time (we wrote about apps that can help you keep track of your fitness).
So give these tips a go and let this year become the year you took your fitness to the next level.