With life getting busier and busier, we can sometimes forget about taking care of our health.
Health and fitness often go together. Getting fit plays an important role in our health along with nutrition.
Over the years, I’ve noticed that simpler routines work better.
We’re more likely we are able to keep doing them. This allows us to consistently do our workouts and achieve the health goals we set out for ourselves.
3 Simple Fitness Tips for Better Health
1. Choose Activities You Like, and Have Fun
One of the best things about fitness is that there is no definite way to go about it. We get to choose what type of workout we want to do.
When it comes to exercise, picking something that you like doing. It is best if you can have fun while working out. This scenario often yields the best results. One of the reasons for this is that we tend to keep doing things we enjoy doing.
You can choose to run, brisk walk, lift weights, dance, play a sport or cycle. These are only a few activities that allow us to get in the physical time we need. The key is to be able to get moving.
The gym is not for everyone.
Some people don’t like the closed atmosphere. Meanwhile, others aren’t comfortable working out with people they do not know. While effective a gym membership isn’t the only way to get yourself fit.
Another option is to engage in fun hobbies.
There are many hobbies available. Hobbies that revolve around sports are great options. They only promote fitness and cardio but also allow us to be more social and part of a group.
2. Increase Intensity Gradually
A big part of getting fit has to do with intensity. You can workout every day but if you don’t challenge yourself with the right level of intensity, you’re probably not going to reach your fitness goals.
One of the best ways to gauge your exercise intensity is by using our heart rate. This tells us how hard our body is working.
The key to exercising heart rate is to get the right balance.
- Working out at too low an intensity doesn’t give our bodies enough of a challenge. This leaves us short of any intended fitness goals or desired results.
- Working out too hard too early causes the opposite. Doing too much too soon can lead to injury or make us hate exercising so much we don’t come back.
So how to go about it?
The first step is to get your Maximum Heart Rate. To do this:
- Subtract your age from 220.
- The result is the maximum heart rate you should have during exercise.
So, for example, if you are 30 years old. Then your maximum heart rate during exercise is:
200 – 30 = 190 beats a minute
According to the American Heart Association, keeping our exercise heart rate between 50% to 85% of our maximum heart rate is a good goal to shoot for.
If you’re just starting out or have been out of training for a while, shoot for the low end of 50% and slowly work your way up. Exercise isn’t a sprint but a marathon.
Even if you start at 50% of your maximum heart rate and work up slowly, after 6 months you’ll be close to the 85% top of the range. So there’s no need to rush.
As a gauge, the Mayo Clinic states that, working out at:
- 50% to 70% of our maximum heart rate = Moderate exercise intensity
- 70% to 85% of our maximum heart rate = Vigorous exercise intensity
By increasing intensity bit by bit every week or every 2 weeks, we gradually improve our fitness without burning ourselves out.
3. Set Goals and Keep a Journal to Track Your Progress
As much as it is important to keep our workouts fun, it shouldn’t be too fun or just all about fun. Otherwise, after a while, we’ll just be playing.
One great way to keep tabs on ourselves is to keep a workout journal. This allows us to keep track of progress.
For me, it keeps me accountable. Seeing a number of consecutive ‘blank’ days on the journal quickly tells me that I’m starting to slack off and need to get myself back into gear.
The journal isn’t just there to keep us honest but also to set goals and also track progress. Writing down what we’ve done including the exercises, the number of repetitions or distance and intensity our workouts were on given days lets us look to see if we’re going somewhere.
Often people judge results from the bathroom scale, but that doesn’t always have to be the case. It could be by performance, distance, time or any other metric.
The training journal is one of the most important not to mention simplest things we can all use to monitor our fitness levels, workouts and see if we’re putting in the work.