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The start of the New Year is a great time to set new fitness goals and work towards living a healthy, active life.
There’s something about January 1st that motivates people to strive to be better versions of themselves. The start of the year is an ideal time to set new personal fitness goals , try out new exercise routines and revamp nutritional habits. But with so many options and so much health and fitness information online and in magazines, it’s not surprising that a lot of people have questions about how to get started with a new plan.
The following answers to common fitness questions can help get you on your way to achieving your New Year fitness goals.
Getting started with an exercise plan may seem daunting, but once you get going it will feel very natural. The most important thing is to listen to your body. Push yourself enough so that you feel like you’re challenging yourself, but not too hard that you risk getting injured or feeling terribly sore the next day.
There are several sources that recommend about 30 minutes of exercise, five times a week for weight-loss and general health. This is classified by moderate to vigorous physical activity. However, let’s say your goal is to run a marathon. In this case, you’ll need to train for a lot longer than 30 minutes at a time. If your goal simply is to lose weight or improve your overall fitness level, 30 minutes may be all you need. Striving to achieve the minimum recommended amount of activity is important for everyone.
Eating a snack that contains carbs and protein before a workout can provide you with energy, keep you focused and give your body what it needs to build muscle once the workout is over.
There are so many great exercises that target the tummy area, but your diet is the most important factor for weight loss. One of my favorite ab exercises that I add to my weekly workouts is:
Improper use of equipment. They perform exercises incorrectly and end up injuring themselves. So, don’t be afraid to ask a trainer how to use the equipment.
When you only have 20 minutes to squeeze in a workout, first try to do 10 minutes of cardio. This can be a mix of jumping rope, burpees, jumping jacks and high knees running. Then spend another 10 minutes focused on functional, strength-based exercises, such as squats, lunges, push-ups and planks. If you work at a high intensity and take short, active rest periods, 20 minutes can feel like an hour.
It’s okay to workout if you’re a little tired. Powering through exercise can actually help energize you. Exercising regularly has numerous benefits. It can improve your muscle strength, boost your endurance and deliver oxygen and nutrients to your tissues to help your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. When your heart and lungs work more efficiently, you have more energy to go about your daily tasks.
Use the start of the New Year to your advantage. Set some new goals, devise a fitness plan and make this your best year ever.
Samantha Clayton is responsible for all activities relating to exercise and fitness education for Independent Herbalife Members and employees. Through in-person training sessions, educational tools and materials, and her blog (www.discovergoodfitness.com), she ensures that the important role of exercise as part of a healthy, active life is understood by all. She also helps create, organize and promote employee fitness programs and activities as an integral part of the company’s corporate wellness program.
A native of Liverpool, England, Samantha initially worked as a consultant for Herbalife for two years and led the Herbalife24-Fit program, the company’s first comprehensive fitness training program and DVD series.
Before joining the corporate ranks, Samantha was a professional athlete. She represented Great Britain in the 2000 Sydney Olympics in both the 200m and the 4x100m relay events. Prior to the Olympics, she won two medals in the Olympic AAA trials – a silver medal for the 200m and a bronze for the 100m – as well as a silver medal in the 4x100m relay during the European Junior Championships in 1997. Her personal records include 11.40 seconds in the 100m and 23.02 seconds in the 200m.
Samantha is a personal trainer and group exercise coach through the American Fitness and Aerobics Association (AFAA) and International Sport Science Association (ISSA).