What does fitness mean to you? Are you looking to build a lean and muscular body? Are you looking to run a marathon? Are you looking to lose weight? Are you looking to find a way to perform your daily activities with less pain and more energy?
Whatever being fit means to you, there are simple things you can do to boost your fitness level and reach your fitness goals.
Listen To Upbeat Music While You Workout
It is clinically proven fact that listening to music can help increase your fitness endurance by as much as 15% and make exercising a far more pleasant experience.
Dr Karageorghis, the leading researcher in the study that came to this conclusion, explains his findings: “The synchronous application of music resulted in much higher endurance while the motivational qualities of the music impacted significantly on the interpretation of fatigue symptoms right up to the point of voluntary exhaustion”. (source)
Go To Fitness Classes
The energy in the atmosphere of fitness classes has been scientifically proven to not just help boost your endurance levels but also improve your overall mental and physical health. Of course, anyone who has ever attended a Zumba class, or any other fitness class, knows that there’s just something about being in such a class that gets one’s heart pumping and one’s energy flowing.
Luckily, this mysterious energy hasn’t escaped the attentions of scientists.
Currently, doctors, researchers and fitness professionals are becoming increasingly more aware of the fact that those who exercise in groups or with a partner are far more likely to enjoy the full physical and psychological benefits of exercise. This is because current studies have shown that working out is good for your body but working out in a group may just help save your life.
One such study, conducted by the University of Taiwan researchers, and published in the March 2008 issue of Birth Journal, concluded that Taiwanese women who participated in a group exercise support program were less likely to have postpartum depression than those women who did not.
Likewise, a cancer study conducted by Ohio State University researchers, and published in the June 2007 issue of Journal of Cancer Survivorship, concluded that group exercise programs significantly improved the physical and psychological well-being of women being treated for early-stage breast cancer.
Learn more about the health benefits of group fitness: Is There Strength In Numbers?
Ditch Your Old Workout Routine
There is nothing wrong with having a fitness routine. After all, we are creatures of habit. However, in order to boost your overall fitness endurance, you must, occasionally, break out of your comfort zone and try something new and challenging.
For example, if your workout routine consists of going to the gym for 1 hour a day, 4 days a week, and spending 30 minutes on the elliptical machine and 30 minutes on the treadmill, you will never be able to boost your fitness endurance beyond your current level. This is because our muscles have an adaptability characteristic often referred to as “muscle memory”.
Muscle memory means that after a certain amount of time, your muscles will adapt to the demands of your workout routine and cause it to become ineffective. Once muscle memory sets in your muscles and metabolism begin to simply cruise through your workouts, causing you to hit both a fitness and a weight loss plateau.
The most effective way to stop muscle memory from setting in is to try a (H.I.I.T) high intensity interval training workout at least twice a week.
High Intensity Interval Training (H.I.I.T) is an exercise strategy designed to boost your overall exercise endurance and physical agility. These types of workouts utilize the power of interval training. Therefore, in order for a workout to qualify as a (H.I.I.T) workout it must include short intervals of maximum intensity exercise, separated by longer intervals of low to moderate intensity exercise.
For more information regarding (H.I.I.T) workouts check out A Perfect (H.I.I.T) Workout
Keep An Exercise Journal
Keeping an exercise journal is the most effective way to keep track of your fitness progress. Your exercise journal will also help you keep track of where you were and how far you’ve come in regards to your fitness goals.
In order for your exercise journal to be as effective as possible it must contain the following factors:
- A clear listing of all of your fitness goals. Setting Fitness Goals
- A detailed account of all of your workouts at the gym including the amount of time you spent engaged in cardio and weight training workouts and fitness classes you attended.
- A detailed account of the amount of weight you are able to lift and how many reps you are able to engage in.
- A detailed list of the cardio machines you use and the settings used.
- A detailed account of estimated calories burned during your cardio workouts.
- A detailed account of your mood before and after all types of workouts.
- A detailed account of all supplements used.
- A detailed listing of all of your pre-workout and post-workout snacks and meals.
- A detailed measurement of all of your major muscle groups (ex: biceps 15 inches, etc.) and updated every 4 weeks.
- A detailed measurement of your weight and body fat percentage, updated every 4 weeks.
- A detailed account of all of your rest days and cheat days.
Visualize Your Success
Can you see it? Can you envision yourself slipping on those size 8 jeans? Can you see yourself crossing the finish line of your first half marathon? How you answer such questions will determine whether or not you are successful at boosting your fitness level and reaching your fitness goals.
Engaging in a mental practice called, creative visualization, can help you stay focused and motivated. Creative visualization is a lot like fantasizing in the sense that it encourages you to dream about a better, thinner, fitter version of yourself.
However, what makes creative visualization different from fantasizing is the fact that creative visualization helps you create a self-fulfilling prophecy. Self-fulfilling prophecies help you build a powerful psychological bridge between belief and behavior and eventually lead to your success.
For more information regarding how creative visualization can help you lose weight please see: Visualization: An Effective Weight Loss Method?
Brag About It!
Yes! Why not brag about your success to your friends, family, neighbors, gym acquaintances and anyone else who will listen? After all you’ve earned it!
Sharing your fitness milestones and weight loss achievements with others will help motivate you as well as keep you accountable in the presence of those who now know you are on a fitness quest.
photo courtesy of: daveynin