Here are 20 quick and easy fitness tips to get you on your way to better health and fitness.
1. Mental attitude
Having the right mental attitude to fitness is critical. Your fitness goals are achievable if you have a positive attitude. Start by believing that you can get in shape and achieve the level of fitness you want.
2. Find a fitness regimen that works for you
There are hundreds of workout styles and gym classes. Do you want to do cardio fitness? Interval training? Resistance workouts? Do you want a personal trainer who can develop a personalised fitness routine for you? All fitness classes have their benefits, so do your research and find out what will work for you. Most importantly – try it out! You’ll quickly discover what kind of fitness exercise you enjoy.
3. Work on your fitness with a buddy
Join a fitness class or workout with a friend, sharing tips and inspiring each other along the way. It’s much easier to meet your health and fitness goals if you have a buddy motivating you.
4. Anytime is fitness time
You don’t have to hit the gym to get fit. Make the most of your commute by walking or cycling to work. Likewise, swap your chair for a fitball. Use your lunchbreaks to slot in an extra workout and your tea breaks for a stretching session. If your goal is weight loss, look for opportunities to stand rather than sitting, as this burns more calories.
5. Exercise in short bursts
You don’t have to exercise for hours at a time to have an impact. Findings from Arizona State University show that exercising in short bursts of 10 minutes, three times a day, can have similar positive effects to doing one 30-minute session, so if you can’t get to the gym or out for a run, do what you can in your available time.
6. Take the stairs
Burn calories and get a cardiovascular workout by taking the stairs instead of the lift. At home, use the stairs like a treadmill. Running up them will increase your heart rate and help you on your way to fitness.
7. Make use of commercial breaks
Add in a quick workout during commercial breaks while watching television to improve your fitness. Get up and do some squats, crunches or press-ups. Or grab a resistance band and start building up your biceps.
8. Family fitness
Make family time fitness time. Grab your partner or kids and jump on your bikes, walk to the supermarket or even play tag in the garden. Getting the whole family on board your fitness wagon will make it a lot easier to stay motivated.
9. Hydrate to the max
For optimum health and fitness, your body needs water. Studies show that water helps detox the body and can help with weight loss, so be sure to drink at least eight glasses a day.
10. Set goals
Whether you’re aiming for weight loss or just want to improve your general fitness, be sure to set SMART goals. That’s Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-based. This way they’ll be much easier to reach.
11. Eat well
There’s no point in taking on board all these fitness tips and exercising your way to the perfect body if you keep eating junk food. Combine exercise [add link to Exercise article] with a healthy diet, filled with lots of fruit and veg. Conversely, a healthy diet will give you the energy you need to exercise.
12. Sleep well
Your body needs at least seven hours of sleep a night to perform at its best, so make sure you hit the hay early. You’ll be amazed by how much a good night’s rest can boost your energy levels and improve your fitness.
13. Sweat your way to fitness
Sweating might not feel like one of the best fitness tips, but it’s actually good for you in a number of ways (so long as you remember to hydrate). Sweating helps the body release toxins, increases your heart rate and helps with weight loss.
14. Be happy
We exercise better when we’re in a good mood, so put a smile on your dial and dive into that workout. And even if you’re not happy at the start of your workout, remember that exercise will change your mood so you’re far more likely to be happy by the end!
15. Don’t quit in winter
Put in the hard work over the cooler months and you’ll be looking and feeling your best come spring. Then you can enjoy summer socialising knowing you’ve done the hard yards.
16. Focus on your core
Without a strong core it’s easy to injure yourself. Doing exercises – particularly Pilates exercises – will help strengthen this area of the body and also help enhance your posture and general fitness.
17. Practise good form
Make sure you’re performing all your exercises correctly, otherwise you could hurt yourself and ruin all your fitness efforts. 12WBT Members have access to an Exercise Index, giving detailed explanations and video demonstrations of hundreds of exercises.
18. Do some interval training
Short bursts of high-intensity activity can be more beneficial than long, slow workouts. So add 30 or 60-second blocks of sprinting to your runs.
19. Embrace technology
Make the most of all the technology designed to improve your fitness. Buy a heart rate monitor so you can count how many calories you’re burning, a Fitbit activity tracker to count your daily steps, distance moved and calories burnt, and a good set of scales so you can weigh yourself regularly and find out if you’re on track with your weight loss.
20. Go easy on yourself
Health and fitness needn’t be all or nothing. No-one can keep up their routine 100 percent of the time. Instead of feeling guilty, consider approaching it as if you’re doing a test. So, 80 percent would be a great result – if you can stay on track for 80 percent of the time, you’re doing really well. Then it’s just a matter of trying to improve.