Four simple and effective ways to stick to your fitness regime

At the gym

 

Let’s face it, many of us could probably do with getting a little bit fitter, and losing a little bit of weight in the process. On paper, getting fit and healthy and losing weight is a relatively simple procedure. You eat healthier food, and you do more physical exercise. In reality however, the entire process is slightly more complex than that. Many people decide to go on health and fitness kicks in order to get themselves fitter, healthier, and happier, and for the first few days, possibly even weeks, things will go great. Then, they may hit a plateau or have an especially bad day, and will suffer from a lack of motivation which could cause them to decide to skip their workouts. As time goes by this will become more and more frequent and before they know it, they’re right back to square one. We all suffer from drops in motivation and have days where we simply can’t be bothered to do anything, but it is how we react on these days that can help define us as people. Here are four simple and effective ways to help you to stick to your fitness regime.

Have a goal or target in mind – Rather than just deciding to get fitter and healthier and see how long you can stick things out, try to set yourself a goal or a target before you begin your new regime. This could be a target weight, or simply a target date, such as a holiday or a social event perhaps. Having a goal in mind will keep you driven and will give you something to aim for.

Train with friends or family – Sometimes exercising on our own can become boring and tedious, which is why training with a partner, such as a friend or a family member will be so beneficial. It will help keep things fun, you will be able to encourage and motivate each other, and you will also be able to help each other and keep each other safe, especially when weight training, as a spotter can be hugely beneficial.

Visualise your goals – Ask yourself what you’re actually training for? Are you trying to lose a little body fat, build muscle, fit into an old pair of jeans, or simply improve your health and your life in general? Whatever your goals may be, take a few minutes each day to really visualise them in your mind. Imagine how much better you’ll feel when you’ve lost that excess body fat you’ve been carrying around since Christmas, or how much happier you’ll feel when you’re able to fit into clothes that you’ve not worn in years. Visualising your goals will help keep you motivated and driven, and will inspire you to never give up.

Take pictures before, during, and after – Sometimes when we lose weight or build muscle, we don’t really notice ourselves by simply looking in the mirror, so we may not see what other people do. For that reason, take pictures before your new regime, during, and at the end and see firsthand just how much you’ve improved. Seeing the results with your own eyes will help prove to you that what you’re doing is working, and will only serve to motivate you further in the future.

All about long slow continuous training

running

 

As far as getting fit and healthy is concerned, it simply cannot be denied that physical exercise is absolutely vital if you truly want to boost your fitness levels and become healthier as a result. Whilst physical exercise is hugely, hugely beneficial, some people do tend to struggle because there is just so many different varieties to choose from. There’s high intensity, resistance training, low intensity, circuit training, and many more forms of exercise so how do you know which is the most beneficial? Well, one form of training that has been grabbing all of the headlines lately, for all of the right reasons, is one known as long slow continuous training, or LSCT for short. For that reason we’ll now be taking a more in-depth look at this form of physical exercise, so you can decide whether or not it could be right for you.

What exactly is LSCT? – LSCT is basically a method of exercising at slow and steady speed and intensity, for prolonged periods of time, typically longer than 20 minutes in length, with no rest or intervals during the training session. The reason why experts believe this form of training to be so beneficial is because it typically allows the human body to work from its various aerobic energy stores, thus helping to boost fitness and endurance levels. LSCT is especially popular amongst marathon runners and long-distance athletes.

How is it performed? – Basically, just as the title suggests, LSCT is performed by taking almost any type of exercise, jogging, swimming, cycling etc, and simply exercising at a slow and steady pace for a prolonged period of time. The main goal is to help strengthen the heart, which is a muscle, to help prepare it and make it better equipped to deal with prolonged periods of physical exertion. Say you went jogging, rather than sprinting as fast as you can, or alternating between high intensity exercise and low intensity, sprinting then walking for example, you’d simply start off at around 60% of your full capacity, and would jog at a slow and steady pace for as long as possible, making sure to maintain the same speed and intensity for the entire workout.

What are the benefits? – As mentioned, the main intention of LSCT is to boost endurance levels and to better condition the heart. For that reason, after a while of following this style of training, users can expect far better aerobic output, increased endurance and physical fitness levels, as well as strengthening and conditioning the heart, being fitter and healthier in general, and burning body fat of course.

What are some safety concerns to consider? – Generally speaking, LSCT is one of the safest forms of physical exercise on the planet because the body is not fully exerting itself at full intensity. One of the main concerns however, is that as the workout begins to go on over time, lactic acid can build up in the muscles, which could result in painful muscle cramps, and possibly even muscle tears too. For that reason it’s crucial to warm up and stretch properly and thoroughly before undergoing any form of LSCT based workout.

Four reasons why cycling is such a great form of exercise

Cycling

With worldwide obesity levels recently peaking at their all time highest, it’s safe to say that those of us from this generation are probably not as fit or as healthy as we could be, and that’s being polite. Keeping our weight under control and ensuring that we’re as fit and as healthy as we can possibly be is simply vital in order to live a long, happy, and healthy life, which is why more and more people are finally doing something about their health and are making a conscious decision to do more exercise. We all know that physical exercise is very good for us, but many people shy away from it as they think they have to spend hours upon hours on a treadmill in a noisy gym somewhere. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that of course, but if that idea doesn’t really appeal to you, then there are several other options that you can consider, one of which being cycling. Cycling is a fantastic form of physical exercise, and it possesses a number of various benefits and advantages as opposed to other forms of exercise. Here’s a look at just four reasons why cycling is so beneficial.

It’s a great form of cardiovascular exercise – Cardiovascular exercise helps strengthen the heart, it helps to reduce harmful cholesterol levels, it helps to increase aerobic output, it helps us to lose weight, and much, much more on top of that. Cycling is an absolutely fantastic form of cardiovascular exercise, so you can get fitter and healthier when you cycle, as well as help to strengthen your heart and reduce the risk of heart disease or other similar conditions.

Cycling is great for the muscles – Another great benefit associated with cycling is the fact that it is so beneficial when it comes to strengthening and toning the muscles in our body. The entire body gets a workout when we cycle, especially our lower body. Take a look at the legs and butt of a cyclist and you’ll see exactly what we mean. They’ll be lean, muscular, and toned, with not an ounce of fat on them.

It’s a great way of losing fat – As touched upon previously, as cycling is such a great form of cardiovascular exercise, it’s absolutely ideal for anybody looking for a way of shedding unsightly pounds from their waistlines, or any other part of their body for that matter. If you were to cycle for one hour at a steady pace, you’d burn an average of just over 300 calories. Now, if you’re cycling uphill and navigating over difficult terrain, you’ll be working harder so will burn even more calories than that. The harder and faster you work, the more fat you’ll lose.

Cycling is a fun way of exercising with friends and/or family – If you’re looking for a fun and exciting way of exercising with your friends and/or family members, then why not head out to your local rural beauty spot and go for a bike ride in the great outdoors. You’ll get some fresh air, you’ll be able to marvel in the natural beauty of nature, you’ll see wild animals and other sights, you get to socialise with friends and family, and you get a great workout in the process. Oh, and you’re also cutting back on your carbon footprint by not using the car so you’re also helping the planet in the process.