By planning, recording and monitoring your fitness goals you are far more likely to safely build a higher level of fitness. The best ways to plan, record and monitor your improvements is by using a set of tools / tips so you can see how far you have come each step of the way.
Fitness tip #1: Take a before photo and measurements. Increased fitness will lead to toning all over your body. Taking a photo of what you looked like before (make sure you are in a bikini or in a bra and panty set) is a quick an easy way to see progress. Even more so is checking your measurement every 2 weeks to a month. Ensure you measure each leg, arm, your waist, chest and stomach and that you know the exact spot you did this so you can compare the next time. Remember it’s not all about what the scales say. With increased fitness comes increased lean muscle which weighs more than fat so you could find that your weight remains the same but your body becomes more defined and leaner. And of course take a photo once you reach your goal to help compre (or along the way - see tip #5)
Fitness tip #2: Keep a diary of your motivation levels and mood. Keeping a written record of how you feel every day will really help you see how far you have come mentally. You should record things like your motivation levels, whether you exercised that day, if you ate healthy food (or not), how you slept, compliments you have and just generally your level of happiness. This will be a great insight it to what affects your mood and motivation and will help you put those things into your day that keep you on the right track.
Fitness tip #3: Put together a fitness plan. “Obstacles are what you see when you take your eyes off the goal” ~Henry Ford. In other words in order to achieve a goal you need to plan for it so you don’t get distracted by the obstacles of everyday life. Ensuring you have planned your workout into your week is critical to ensure that it takes a priority. It’s also important to plan the type of exercise you are aiming to do. If you are building general fitness you will need to do a combination of weight training, cardio training and if possible diaphragmatic breathing.
Fitness Tip #4: Dress for success. Fitness goals mean different things to different people. For some its about muscle tone, for others weight loss and for others it’s about endurance and stamina. Regardless of your focus make sure you have the correct workout wardrobe. From your head to your toes you need to be wearing the correct activewear and fitness clothes to ensure that you are comfortable and supported. Incorrect workout gear can lead to both frustration and injuries so don’t take this tip lightly.
Fitness tip #5: Set continuous goals. When having a tough goal to reach its important to set mini goals to keep you motivated and make the task at hand seem less overwhelming. So if you want to run a marathon start by looking to run 5 kilometres. Sign up to a fun run, then gradually increase to 10 and register for a longer run. Half marathon is next and eventually you will have achieved your goal in a gradual and safe way. But remember it’s not just about achieving your goal, often we set ourselves a target, only to lose motivation once we have achieved it. Ensure that you keep setting yourself goals so you always have something you are working towards, always looking to improve yourself.
Fitness tip #6: Surround yourself with like minded people. Keeping fit for some people can be a complete lifestyle change. Do not underestimate the impact this will have on both your family and friends. Once you start prioritising exercise over brunch plans some of your friends may become a bit iffy. Make sure you try and connect with others that have the same goals as you. There are heaps of groups online that are free to join. For example meetup.com has groups with a variety of levels of fitness. Join a few, make some friends and ensure that you are surrounded by people who are happy, positive, motivated and even better, who know how you feel and can give you the support and encouragement you need, when you need it.
by Melanie Becker
Melanie started Female For Life in 2009, to read more about the brand and her journey, see the About Us page