What Steps Can You Take To Improve Your Fitness Levels?
The benefits of being physically active are well documented. Not only does it improve your fitness levels, but it can also help you sleep better and even reduce the risk of heart disease.
The key to getting started is finding a goal that works for your lifestyle. Whether you want to lose weight or just get more toned, there's a workout plan out there for you.
Here are our top tips on how to start improving your fitness levels today:
Note: Before we get into the article, I suggest you seek advice from your doctor to ensure it is safe for you to do what we're suggesting.
We are not qualified to give medical advice and this is only for reference.
Create an Achievable Fitness Goal for Yourself Starting Today
Setting SMART goals is a great way to get started. SMART goals are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely.
So let's break it down...
SMART goals are:
- Specific - If you're looking to lose weight then you need to be specific about the amount you want to lose. If you're not specific you can give yourself the excuse to give up at the slightest sign of difficulty.
- Measurable - If your goal is weight loss, then it's measurable by how many pounds or kilos you can lose in a certain time period. Or if your goal is to gain muscle, measurable would be a number of lifts per day/week, etc. Of course, this is purely subjective to what your goals are, but the point is you need to make it measurable.
- Achievable - There's no point in setting a goal if you know there's no way for you to achieve it. You need something that is realistic and achievable, so your confidence stays high throughout the process.
- Realistic - The goals you set out to achieve need to be relevant to the life you want – if your goal is just for fitness, then it's not really going to matter how muscular or lean you are. You'll often find that the task is a lot harder if you don't make the goal relevant to you and your life. Being realistic with your goals will mean you're more likely to achieve them.
- Timely - By setting a deadline for when a goal should be reached, you're setting yourself up for success. It also means that there's something to work towards and get excited about – it can make the process of achieving your goals more enjoyable as well.
The 10,000 Step Rule
If you walk on average 10,000 steps a day, you will likely achieve a good level of fitness.
This is the equivalent of about five miles (eight kilometers) in one day or walking over four hours continuously without stopping.
To assist you in doing this, you could try buying one of those fitness tracking devices and apps that count your steps for you.
If this is too difficult, then try to walk at least one mile (about two kilometers) a day on four days of the week.
This can be achieved by walking 30 minutes each day or about 20 minutes five times a week.
Your journey to fitness will be a long one, so there's no point in starting at a high level of intensity.
Start off slow and build up to more intense workouts as you become fitter.
You can start with walking, then when that becomes too easy, increase the speed or try adding some hills into your route by going on trails in nature for example.
Do A Little Each Day
It's all about consistency! Every little thing you do will add up to make a big difference.
To get started, try doing five minutes of some type of exercise every day and then work your way up to something more intense as that becomes easier for you.
Be Patient With Yourself
Try not to get discouraged if you don't see quick results.
It's a process and sometimes it takes longer than others, but as long as you stay consistent with your fitness goals the rewards will come.
This is one of the main reasons why it's important to create a plan for yourself and stick with it.
A fitness routine is something that needs to be tailored specifically for your body, so take the time you need to figure out what works best for you.
If at first your workouts are not giving you the results you want then try changing up things like frequency of days per week.
Mix It Up
Mix up the type of exercise you're doing to keep things interesting and avoid getting bored.
You could try a variety of exercises such as running, cycling, swimming or dancing for example - there are so many options.
This will also ensure that your body is working all the different muscle groups too which will help improve your fitness levels overall.
Make It a Priority
By making getting fit a prioritized goal, you're more likely to be successful.
Set yourself a schedule and stick to it - don't put off your workouts until tomorrow because chances are that tomorrow never comes.
It's important not to compare yourself either with others or what you used to do - this will only lead you down the path of disappointment.
Where possible produce a fitness calendar to keep you motivated and make sure to reward yourself when you achieve a goal.
Join a Fitness Group
It's amazing how much easier getting fit is when you have other people to share those struggles with.
Joining a fitness group is so important because it's not only about the workouts - it's also about getting outside of your comfort zone and having fun while motivating each other at the same time.
You also have a qualified trainer that is there to teach you the ropes. They'll set out an overall fitness plan and will be able to answer all of your questions.
There is also less chance of injury when you are surrounded by other people who share your fitness goals.
This is because the exercises will be performed at a slower pace, allowing you to develop the correct form.
Joining an exercise group is not only beneficial for your fitness - it's also great for meeting new people who have similar interests and goals as you do.
The only downside with this option is that it can be expensive and time-consuming if you're not careful - these groups create an expectation
Have fun when trying to improve your fitness levels.
Try to come up with different ways of doing the same thing, so that you are not bored and always getting results. Do some research on unusual exercises or new routines - this will help keep things interesting for both of you!
This is important because it's too easy to lose motivation when every day looks identical.
Create a playlist of songs that motivate you to work out harder
Once you've been training for a while, it might be time to create a playlist of songs that motivate you the most while you're working out.
Playlists are great because they allow you to change up your routine and keep things fresh, but make sure it's not too long, or else it might become overwhelming - start with about five songs for now.
It's a good idea to pick tunes that you like and are upbeat so they'll motivate you to keep going.
This is important because it's easy for the mind to wander if your playlist isn't right, but this can also lead to giving up many of those extra reps that will help improve your fitness levels.
The 10,000 step rule is a great way to get started. It’s not about the number of steps you take in one day; it’s about how consistently and frequently you move your body each week.
If that seems like too much for you right now, try starting with just three hundred or five hundred more steps each day than what would normally be enough for you until your fitness level increases.
Once those small incremental changes become a habit (after two weeks), increase them again by 300-500 per day until eventually reaching at least 10,000 every week!
The best way to stay motivated is by setting achievable fitness goals for yourself. After all, making your goal too difficult can be discouraging and the opposite of motivating.
You'll have more fun with exercise this month if you make it enjoyable for yourself each day. Plus, there's less chance of quitting when you know what your target weight should be or how often you want to work out in order to reach it within 3 months.
The benefits of staying healthy and active are many. You'll have more energy, feel happier, sleep better, be less stressed out, lower your risk for heart disease or diabetes and even live longer.
But it can take time to figure out what works for you.
Be patient with yourself as you try different things like joining a fitness group or trying new classes at the gym.
Don't forget, It's worth making health a priority in your life because how we look on the outside reflects our overall well-being on the inside - so make sure that both areas are thriving by investing in them today.
What tips do you have for people who want to stay healthier?
Feel free to share them below.