Physical fitness refers to your body’s ability to function and perform tasks. If you work to improve your level of fitness, you will be able to lower your body fat, build muscle, and improve your cardiovascular health. You will also find that your everyday physical activities are less taxing. By following the steps in this article, you can start to feel the positive effects of improved fitness.
First, get a sense of your current level of fitness. Consult with a personal trainer in this process if you have the opportunity. If not, start with tasks that you think are within your abilities. For example, if you know you can run a mile, time yourself while doing so. If this is outside of your abilities, try something easier, like a jog around the block. If you are doing strength training, start out with light weights on basic exercises and gradually increase until you can tell you are approaching your limits.
Based on the evaluation of your current fitness, set some reasonable goals for yourself. Make sure the goals aren’t too far out of your abilities, since this can put you at risk for injury or discouragement. Still, make sure that you do challenge yourself. If your goals aren’t challenging enough, your progress will not be as fast as you may want it to be.
Keep a record of your progress. Try keeping an exercise journal in which you write down repetitions performed and weights used if you are strength training, or distances and times if you are doing aerobic exercise. If you are setting nutrition goals as well, you may want to make a food log in the same place. A written record of your workouts makes it easier to look back over your progress and get ideas for how to improve your plan.
You may need to make your exercise plan easier if you are not making good progress. If you notice excessive soreness, pain, or exhaustion, look at your current workouts and nutrition to see where you can make improvements.
On the other hand, if your workouts generally feel easy, you probably need to increase their difficulty. Push yourself to run a bit faster or longer, or increase the weights you use for strength training. For you to make ongoing progress, you need to challenge your body with continually changing workouts.
While strength training and cardiovascular exercise each have their own benefits, combining the two will give you the best results possible. These two types of exercise can be performed on the same days, generally with strength training done first, or on alternating days. Strength training can help you maintain muscle while losing fat through aerobic exercise, and aerobic exercise can challenge and strengthen your heart and lungs in ways that strength training won’t. The two types of exercise complement each other in a well-designed exercise program.
Try to do something every day to get you closer to your physical fitness goals. Even on your rest days, when you don’t do strength training or strenuous aerobic exercise, a brisk walk can get you a little closer to better fitness without wearing out your body. By making exercise a part of every day, you will be more able to develop healthy habits.
By following the tips in this article, you will start to see steady improvements to your level of fitness. These simple steps will help you achieve greater strength, endurance, and longterm health.