Putting Your Best Fitness Foot Forward
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Setting goals and resolutions to improve fitness is a great way to take control of your health, but the fitness journey can be challenging. In order to put your best fitness foot forward, Mary Edwards, MS, Cooper Fitness Center Fitness Director, offers her top five tips:
Know your “hot” button, the reason behind your desire to become more fit. As Drs. Kenneth and Tyler Cooper refer to in their book, Start Strong, Finish Strong, you must find your reason for exercise commitment. We all have different motivations that drive us to reach our goals, so know what ignites your passion to remain committed to your exercise routine and health management. Everyone should have and know his or her reason for wanting to get fit!
Be realistic. Every New Year, millions of people come running to fitness centers on January 1 or 2 to revolutionize their life and shrink their waistlines. However, it’s important to understand the journey toward better health and fitness is a lifelong process and should become a lifestyle commitment, not just a short-lived attempt to slim down. Give yourself some grace and allow yourself to set and accomplish small and realistic goals on your way toward achieving larger goals.
ONE thing. Pick one thing you know you can change in the new year…not 12. Again, this makes your goal-setting much more realistic and attainable. This will also allow you to focus on one specific task and not become overwhelmed by too many new patterns or goals. For example, you may pick to begin incorporating one day of full body strength training to your weekly routine or eating unrefined carbohydrates only, such as sweet potatoes, quinoa or whole-wheat breads or starches.
Educate yourself. What better investment than to understand how to take care of your body? Consider meeting with a professional trainer to improve your strength training plan or learn how to maximize your calorie burn through cardiovascular training. You can also dive into some great fitness material. I always like IDEA Health and Fitness Association’s articles and our Cooper Fitness Files articles. Both are scientifically sound and provide great suggestions for a variety of topics on fitness and health.
Commit with a friend. Research has shown working out with a partner increases accountability, motivation and intensity of workout session. It is always nice to have a buddy encourage you in your pursuit of fitness. If you prefer to exercise alone, you may consider downloading an app, such as PumpUp, that will provide a steady stream of encouragement on your own timeframe. Other fitness tracking apps also allow you to connect with friends virtually, so you can challenge each other and work toward your goals together, even if you’re not on the same exercise schedule.
Making the decision to work toward a healthier lifestyle is the first step, and fitness plays a major role in the process. Once you’re committed to making healthy changes, stick to your plan and surround yourself with people and situations that support your goals. For more information about how Cooper Fitness Center can help you get started on your fitness goals, visit cooperfitnesscenter.com or call 972.233.4832.
Article provided by Cooper Aerobics Marketing and Communications.