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According to the National Center for Health Statistics, only 20.9% of Americans over 18 meet physical activity guidelines. Losing weight and getting into shape is not an exact science. What works for one individual may not work for another. However, there is one thing that will work for anyone who is looking to lose weight or increase their level of physical fitness- an effective fitness training program.
This consists of exercises you enjoy doing, along with a fully laid out plan on how to achieve your fitness goals. Establishing a fitness plan will not only help keep you motivated, it will also hold you accountable.
Designing an Effective Fitness Training Program
There are 3 basic steps to designing an effective fitness training program. Following them will help to bring your fitness planning to fruition.
Determine your overall goal and your current level of fitness. This is quite possibly the most important step in designing a workout routine. If you do not have a clear vision of your fitness goals in mind, how will you know what steps to take in order to achieve them? A good way to do this is to write down everything you would like to accomplish with your new routine, such as increasing strength, reducing your body fat percentage by 10 percent, being able to run a mile without stopping, full body workout routines or to complete a 5 day workout routine. Be precise.
Next, you should determine your actual level of fitness. Are you a beginning couch potato who should take it easy for the first few weeks, or are you an experienced athlete who simply wants to improve your running time and can perform much longer cardio sessions than a beginner? Your current level of fitness will determine where you need to start on your fitness training journey.
Research which forms of exercise will help you move closer to your goal, and make a list of the ones that are appealing to you. The majority of individuals who are looking to start a new fitness routine are looking to lose excess body fat. It can be a daunting task to determine which exercises will be the best to help you do this. Although any exercise is better than no exercise, if you do not enjoy the activity you choose, chances are you will not stick with it, and fall short of your goals.
Track your progress. Many individuals keep journals or spreadsheets to help them track their progress. Being able to physically see the length of your daily workouts or how many inches and pounds you have lost can be a great motivator. You may also be able to see if your weight lifting reps are increasing, giving you a good idea as to whether you are gaining strength.
Whatever your fitness goals are, they are easier to keep track of by writing them down. If carrying around a journal and pen is not your style, there are many fitness trackers available that can make this action easier. They have become popular very quickly and they are getting better all the time.
Getting More out of Your Workout
Now that you have the foundation for designing an effective fitness program, let’s take a look at a few steps you can take to get more out of your workout. It doesn’t have to be boring either, fun workouts can make it much more enjoyable. Even with the most sound fitness program out there, there are just a few things you can do to make sure you are getting all the results you’re looking for.
Warm up properly
No matter what your fitness goals are, before you perform any type of exercise, you first need to warm up properly in order to avoid injury and muscle strain. The type of exercise you are about to perform will be a key factor in which warm up exercises should come before.
Toe touches and side bends went out with the 80s. If you are unsure of which warm-up moves to perform, a few easy jumping jacks or several minutes of jogging on the spot should suffice.
Try new things
Performing the same exercises for weeks on end might cause you to hit a plateau, or become so bored with your workout that you quit entirely. If you enjoy cardio exercises, try a Zumba class. If weights are more your style, try using a kettle bell to break up your everyday routine.
Ample rest is pertinent to any successful fitness routine. The body needs periods of rest to help itself heal and replenish its nutrient stores between workouts. The only way to achieve results is through recovery periods. Whereas sleep is an important part of this recovery, it does not mean you have to turn into a couch potato one to two days out of the week. Static stretching, gentle swimming and even yoga may be utilized as an effective active recovery practice.
The Nutrition Aspect
The old adage ‘bodies are made in the kitchen’ is fairly accurate. If you do not fuel your body with the proper foods it needs, you will simply not have the energy to power yourself through a workout. Without this ‘fuel’ your body will not have the nutrients it needs to make necessary repairs during your periods of rest.
You can’t out exercise poor eating habits. Processed junk foods will hinder any process you may make in your fitness journey, no matter how much exercise you perform. It’s important to form healthy eating habits to help you to be at your best. The following tips will help you choose foods that can help fuel your body for optimal performance.
Avoid any commercially processed foods
This includes cookies, chips, hot dogs, sugary breakfast cereals, and frozen meals of any kind. These foods usually contain high levels of sodium and sugar in order to make them appealing. They can actually cause weight gain no matter how much exercise you perform.
Vary your diet
Try to avoid consuming the same meals, day after day. Individuals who do not have a wide variety of foods in their diet can sometimes be nutrient deficient. Try to incorporate plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables in your meals to provide your body with the vitamins and nutrients it needs to give you sustained energy levels.
Taylor your diet to suit your fitness goals
Long distance runners should aim for ample servings of carbohydrates which come from whole-grain sources. Those looking to build muscle mass should consume higher levels of protein. If weight loss is your focus, you should consume foods that are low in fat and calories, and high in fiber and protein. No one diet will fit everyone.
Personalized Fitness Training will be Effective
As you can see, weight loss and increased physical fitness can be a bit of a headache to figure out. However, once you have a clear picture of your goals and a solid plan on how to achieve them with your training, all you have to do is commit yourself to following it through.
Once you get into a routine, it becomes easier, especially when you start to see some results. Because you know you have an effective fitness training program designed for you, it should give you the momentum and the results should begin to come sooner rather than later.