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Nina Jacques  

10 Tips for Fitness Success

Fitness can be a fun way to meet new people, spend time with friends, and stay active in your community. But it can also be intimidating! This is especially true if you don’t have clear plans. Follow these ten tips to stay on track and keep your fitness goals, so you can keep having fun, too!

Getting into shape is a challenge, but it can be a lot easier if you consider some of these fitness tips. 

  1. Pick a goal. Deciding on a specific goal—like walking 10,000 steps a day or losing 20 pounds—can help you stay focused through the ups and downs of weight loss. 
  2. Get a workout buddy. A study from the University of Maryland found that working out with friends increases your motivation to stick with your fitness routine. 
  3. Find a workout you love. You’re more likely to keep it up if you enjoy your workout. 
  4. Work your whole body. Working all your major muscle groups—including your lower back and abdominal muscles—helps you get stronger, fitter, and leaner and can also help reduce injury. 
  5. Choose exercises you enjoy. Workouts don’t have to be long and gruelling. Take a brisk walk, go dancing, or build strength and endurance by doing a combination of cardio and strength training. 
  6. Stretch your muscles. Stretching before and after a workout is just as important as warming up and cooling down, and it can even be life-saving. Stretching your muscles (and your body) can help prevent injuries, increase your flexibility, enhance athletic performance, and increase the likelihood of weight loss.
  7. Flexibility. Flexibility is one of the single most important factors in achieving fitness success.
  8. Know your limits. It’s important to know your limits when it comes to health and fitness. Exercise and fitness are about making your body feel better and stronger, but it’s never a good idea to push your body past its limits.
  9. Don’t resist resistance. Resistance training is the key to fitness success. Resistance training is exercise using resistance machines, free weights, bodyweight, or a combination of both. Resistance training builds muscular strength and endurance, increases lean body mass, improves joint function, and is an excellent source of cardiovascular exercise.
  10. Know what you’re doing.  If you’re unsure about what moves to do, what exercises to do, how to warm up or cool down, or if you’re doing the right exercises for your goals, it can leave you feeling frustrated and discouraged. Because whatever your goal may be, be it to lose weight, gain strength, or even just get moving more, knowing what you’re doing is key to reaching it.

Fitness has come in for a lot of criticism in recent years, and it often seems that even those dedicated to staying active have reservations about hitting the gym. But it doesn’t have to be as daunting as you think.

Fitness is not all about achieving big muscles. Fitness should be about maintaining good health. Studies have shown that a healthy heart, strong muscles, good bones, a strong immune system, and good blood sugar control are all important for overall good health. Involving yourself in a number of activities like walking, jogging, swimming, or yoga, will make you fit. Fitness is, therefore, not just about helping your body function well but about keeping your body and mind healthy.

When embarking on the somewhat scary process of committing to a fitness plan, it’s helpful to have a few simple tips to get you started. Getting fit is a lifestyle change so try to think of this as an experiment—not a deprivation. Choose activities that are fun and enjoyable. Set goals that are attainable. Give yourself grace when you slip up. And most importantly, enjoy!

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