6 Simple Strategies to Improve Your Overall Fitness

Gym Buddies High 5Improving your overall fitness can help you enhance your health as well as feel more confident.

But before you do any work on improving your fitness, let’s first get a benchmark of where you are at by evaluating your current physical fitness level. After that, depending on how fit you are, enhancing your level of physical fitness may be as easy as starting an exercise program or possibly something more intense if you might be looking to achieve particularly high fitness goal.

Regardless of your level of fitness that you want to achieve, here are several strategies that you may use to improve your overall fitness.

Strategy #1: Set Your Goals First

Having fitness goals or a series of small goals that you’re working towards will help you to stay focused and can even help in keeping you motivated. See to it that you set your goals that are time-based, realistic, action-oriented, measurable, and specific.

Once you set your goals, you should always track your progress. Keeping track of the fitness progress is a good way to be motivated. Monitoring your progress may also make it simpler to see once you reach your fitness goals. You may track the progress in various ways.

Strategy #2: Follow a Healthy Balanced Diet

What you eat can make a huge difference in how you feel and the results. That is the reason why it is crucial to follow a healthy balanced diet as you reach all your fitness goals. Various things that you must include in your diet are complex carbohydrates including whole wheat pasta, brown rice, quinoa, and whole wheat bread. You should also include lean proteins, vegetables and fruits in your diet.

Strategy #3: Avoid Unhealthy Choices

As you are working hard to improve your fitness, it is always important to stick with healthier foods only. You must do what you can in eliminating unhealthy choices. Try reducing the intake of foods that are processed, fried or greasy, high in sugar, and have high amounts of saturated fats.

Strategy #4: Make Some Changes in Your Lifestyle

When making some changes in your lifestyle, it is important to consult your doctor first. There are people who have restrictions on exercise and diet levels based on the medical conditions. That’s why it’s best to check with the doctor before making some major changes to your activity levels or diet. If you are smoking, then stop it. The reason behind it is that smoking may interfere with all your fitness goals and this may lead to life-threatening diseases including emphysema, cancer, and COPD.

Strategy #5: Get Rid of Alcohol

Like smoking, drinking alcohol will never bring any good to your overall fitness and health. As a matter of fact, it could hinder you from achieving your fitness goals. Remember, alcohol adds empty calories to the diet and it may also cause fatigue, dehydration, and some health issues. Never consume more than a drink every day if you’re a woman and if you’re a man, don’t drink more than two daily.

Strategy #6: Always Exercise

Your overall fitness will never be the same if you exercise regularly. There are numerous exercise programs you can take for consideration today, yet for you to know what’s best for you, try consulting a physical fitness trainer. In this way, you will be guided while doing some exercises at home or at the gym.



Celebrate Reaching Your Training Goals with a Luxury Limousine Ride

Sportsman with arms up celebrating success

How many training goals have you got right now? Maybe 1, 5, 10 or more? And for each of those goals what reward will you give yourself when you reach it?

The funny thing is that most people have goals. Some lots of goals. But without setting and giving yourself actual rewards for the achievement of those goals you can easily lose your momentum.

For example you may be starting a weight training program. Right now you can lift 50kg for 3 sets of 6. Your goal is to be able to lift the same weight for 3 sets of 15.

When you first start you are looking at the goal of reaching 3 sets of 15. Your training is progressing and each new session you can lift more repetitions in each set.

Finally some weeks later you have achieved your goal and complete 3 sets of 15 for 50kg. Once you have reached this goal you think well what’s next. Now I want to lift 60kg for 3 sets of 15. And so you start making your way up toward that goal.

This is what most people do and sure you are making progress in your training however without taking time out to celebrate your wins you are constantly on a cycle of always chasing the next goal.

Instead when you set the goal, also set a reward that you will treat yourself with once you reach that goal.

For smaller goals your need to have something that is not too crazy, like buying a car or going on a holiday. Simple treats like going out to an expensive restaurant, buying an expensive bottle of wine or scotch, or hiring a luxury limousine ride are perfect for those small to medium sized goals.

Luxury limousine ride? You may ask. Well yes. Here is why.

Hand opening limousine doorChauffeured limousines are typically reserved for those special occasions. You may have ridden in a stretch limo for your school formal or for a close friends wedding. You can also hire a luxury sedan limo for airport transfers or corporate events.

The stylish and premium look and feel of a limousine is nothing short of enjoyable and exciting. Also having your driver well dressed in a suit makes a statement and you can always remember your accomplishment better when you have a tangible memory to associate it with.

How easy will it be to remember the time to you finally ran 10km under 35 minutes if you celebrate with a luxury limousine ride around town?

Going all out and hiring a stretch limo with your pals would be great but what if you did it with just you and your partner? That would be memorable. If you also through in a dinner and made the limousine ride a dinner transfer you would be really making a lasting memory in your mind.

So now is time to re-evaluate. Have a look at your current goals and make sure you have adequate rewards set for each. Obviously for harder goals you want to set a better reward. After all what is keeping your motivated to hit that goal?

Remember if you are struggling to find a reward for a small to medium sized goal – allocate a luxury limo ride. The style, comfort and luxury for you and you travel companion will be unforgettable.

Hard & Fast Workouts – The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread?

Three Sweaty Boot Camp Workout WomenHave you ever heard of hard and fast workouts? They are also known as High Intensity workouts. For anyone who has realised their benefits they will be spokesmen or women for this method and you will often hear claims such as – this is the best thing since sliced bread.

Why sliced bread? Well I guess it must have been a real struggle back in the day when you had to slice your own bread. I mean think about it. We can just grab a loaf of bread and make as many sandwiches as we like. If you have to think about how many sandwiches you needed to make then make twice that many slices to create the sliced bread. It would slow down your prep time and just drag out the feeding process. Sliced bread truly was a historical change. And hence now whenever there is a breakthrough this reference is often used.

So back to the hard and fast or high intensity workouts.

This simply refers to a method of working out where you subject your body to strenuous activity for a short burst of time. Think of it like a sprint as opposed to a light jog. This high intensity of the workout actually forces your body to push itself to the extreme of working out. And there are many benefits in doing so.

Weight lifters have been using this techniques for many decades now.

  • When you want to build muscle it is recommended to lift as much weight as your can in order to achieve 6-8 or even 4-6 repetitions. On the last lift you should be struggling and putting in all your effort.
  • However if you want to build strength it is recommended to lift enough weight to be doing more like 10-12 repetitions or even 8-10. Again the last sets should be pushing it out.
  • But if you only want to achieve a toning effect on your muscles then it is recommended to do long repetition sets. Sets of 15-20 or even more repetitions will achieve a toning effect. The muscle building and strength gained from these longer sets will be less noticeable but instead participants will notice a slimming effect as they tone.

As you can see from the example above the short bursts of energy needed in mass weight lifting for short repetitions actually build the most muscle. How? The high intensity workout actually puts a lot of stress on the muscles and they actually create many slight little tears in the muscle itself. After the workout your body enters a recovery stage which can last for days afterwards and this is where the muscle building occurs. As the body repairs itself it makes these muscles stronger and larger to be able to handle the next time that this is encountered.

In other forms of hard and fast workouts such as sprinting, bike riding, boxing, dancing and other intense cardio workouts this straining effect is also put on your internal organs such as your heart and lungs which are working overtime to fuel your body with oxygenated blood to carry out the activities. Also your blood pressure increases during high intensity workouts and this helps clean out your veins and arteries as blow flow is rapidly increased.

So apart from flushing out your blood vessels with a high intensity workout your heart, lungs and other internal muscles (also known as organs) are working overtime and need to enter a recovery stage. During this stage they rebuild themselves larger and stronger to handle next time. Also any other muscle that was used in the workout also goes through this beneficial stage of repair. And this is why we are now realising that hard and fast high intensity workouts are so beneficial. In fact they could be the best thing since sliced bread for the workout world.

But please take care. Pushing your body to extremes with any physical activity does carry risks. And you should always start with a light workout and work your way up to high intensity. After each workout monitor your recovery time and feeling in your muscles. The last thing we want is anyone having a heart attack while trying to strengthen their heart.

Relax your Muscles in a Nice Hot Bath

Some people take their muscles for granted. Eating unhealthy foods, not exercising or stretching and down right not taking care of their muscles at all. After all our muscles are vital to our survival. If you didn’t have any muscles you couldn’t move any of your limbs. Heck your heart is a muscle so without any muscles you couldn’t even pump blood around your body!

Bottom line is – we should be more appreciative of our muscles and take really good care of them.

Obviously eating the right foods to provide a suitable balance of essential nutrients and vitamins can ensure your muscles have the right fuel to mend, repair and grow. Also you need to regularly stretch and exercise your muscles so they do not become inactive and shrivel away to nothing.

But you can also treat your muscles to relaxation. Relaxation techniques include massage, meditation and the good old humble hot bath.

Soaking in hot water is very therapeutic for your muscles. It allows them to release tensions and soften up. This is a great way to relieve tight muscles which may be caused from stress or strains. By adding selective bath salts to the hot water you can also achieve cleansing and aromatic effects on your body too. Look for the different benefits from various bath salts available at your local health or body shop.

A good point to remember is it’s not just being in the water that does wonders for your muscles. Also your environment whilst soaking in the bath or hot tub also plays a large part on how well your whole body can relax.

MaldivesThink about it. What would be more relaxing? Sitting in a brand new hot tub with bubble jets located in a brand new recently renovated bathroom with exquisite tiles and large mirrors, with an open window that looks out over clear blue water with not a person in sight.

Or, sitting in a small, old and dirty bathtub that is made of plastic and is broken. The room it is in is dark and moldy and hasn’t looked like it has been cleaned in years. Get my point? Your environment when you are soaking is just as important as the soak itself!

This is why people choose to go to a private spa resort for hot tub soaks. But going to a club every time you want a soak is a little inconvenient.

Alternatively you can rearrange your own bathroom to create an ambient and peaceful setting. Sure you may not have the window over looking the unoccupied crystal clear blue water in your bathroom but you can surely work with what you have. And if your bathroom is a total nightmare then why not send in the experts!

A professional and experienced bathroom renovator can work wonders in transforming your old and dated bathroom into a modern day masterpiece. Sure bathroom renovations can cost a pretty penny but when you consider the value added to your home and the increase in your standard of living you can surely weigh up the value.

To maximize the success of your bathroom renovation and to really achieve pure muscle relaxation make sure you plan out your bath type (above ground or built in) and location (facing a wall, mirror or window) to achieve the most pleasure and relaxing enjoyment when soaking in your hot tub.

Also choose matching bathware, fittings and fixtures to ensure a good flow in your bathroom. When you soak your muscles in a nice hot bath you want to be at peace and allow your whole body to relax, both mentally and physically. A well designed bathroom can help you achieve this. And just as equally a poorly designed bathroom can work against your relaxation. Remember the previous example?

Ask a professional bathroom renovator what would be the best layout for your existing bathroom. Most bathroom renovators are experienced at design or will have a designer in their team. Seek their advice and also go with your gut. Visualize it in your mind and then create away.

When you finally have your bathroom the way you desire then ensure that you set time aside to have a nice relaxing bath at least once a month, if not once a week. You will be amazed at how good your muscles will feel when you do this consistently. And with your newly created bath space your mind muscle will be at ease too.

Easiest way to get in Shape – Consistency…

SlimTonedFemaleWhat is the easiest way to get in shape? Being consistent. That’s it. Its a really simple philosophy, but is that all there is to it? Well that depends…

You see you might say well I see this big guy on the train every morning as I go to work. He is consistent. He always has a Macas bag in his hand. That is consistency right? Well yes that is right. But being consistent at eating Macas for breakfast every day is not the way to get into shape. At least he has his consistency down so we will give him points for that.

Yes, consistency is the key to getting into shape. In fact consistency is the key to achieving anything in your life! Think about it. If you made a conscious effort to read for 30 mins every day for the next 5 years, do you know how many books we will go through? Think about all the valuable knowledge you will gain from this education. Even if you were reading non-fiction the whole time your reading speed and skills would increase, and so would your vocabulary. You would indeed gain intelligence in the process. All from following a consistent approach to reading.

So how do we use this to get into shape? Well I am sure you have figured that out by now. It simply means following a consistent approach to doing all the activities and lifestyle choices that will get you into shape. In simple terms:

  • Following a varied and nutritious eating plan – consistently
  • Incorporating physical exercise into your daily or weekly schedule – consistently

It really can be that simple. No-one ever got in great shape by changing their eating habits for 4 weeks and then going back to the way they were. Where is the long term consistency? And no-one ever became more physically fit by working out once a year. They got fit by consistently working out a set number of times per week.

Sure everyone has different work schedules and available time throughout their lives but as long as you follow the process of consistency you will achieve the dream body you have always wanted, or may have had many years ago. Even just committing 10 mins a day, 3 days per week is a great start. If you can make this part of your consistent weekly routine you will notice results over time.

You want quicker results? Well you simply need greater focus and commit to more invested time. Either way you cannot try to look for shortcuts and quick fixes. There is no point trying to work out non-stop for 1 whole week of the year and then do nothing for the rest of the year. Instead incorporate the consistent approach into your life. When you get used to the level of working out, see if you can increase it. The same with eating try to focus on removing junkie foods from your weekly diet and change them with healthier options. Before you know it you will be in the best shape of your life. All with consistent changes!

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