It’s almost 2015, and if you’re a fitness person, here we go again. All that holiday food, the parties, and the celebrations have left you a few pounds heavier on the scales. A little extra layer of fat may be jiggling around your abs, under your chin, or on your legs, butt, or gut. The guilt of fattening food and sedentary living has once again left you feeling down in the dumps about your body.
What do you do? You set a New Year’s resolution to lose weight and get in shape once and for all- no more excuses. But there’s just one problem- there’s no magic pill or quick fix that’s going to deliver you the results you want overnight; you’re going to have to work for it and put in some extra time and effort. If that’s the case, then why waste your time doing exercise that doesn’t work? Here are the key exercises you need to spend your time doing beginning on January 1st:
Yoga: a tight body with tight muscles is like a tight rubber band with no elasticity- eventually, it’s going to break. No weight loss or body toning goal you set out to do will succeed if you injure yourself. By stretching out your muscles, you improve your body’s “kinetic chain”, which is the functional ability to perform exercise without getting injured. It all begins with flexibility. The more flexible you are, the more athletic you’ll be, and the more you’ll be able to do the exercises that get the best results!
Running: If cardio for you consists of walking on a treadmill or doing an elliptical machine in a nice “comfortable zone”, say level 5-6, then you’re not working hard enough to drop body weight. You don’t need to become a marathon runner anytime soon, but even successful “interval”-style running would be sufficient to get you in better cardiovascular condition and help speed up your metabolism more.
If you’re currently not in shape enough to handle a long distance run of 3 or more miles, no problem- you can still do 1-2 minute jogs mixed in with 1-3 minute walks, which is called interval training. Eventually, your runs will improve and you’ll be able to go longer. You could also add sprints to your cardio workouts as well. Just make sure you’re stretched out and have a fresh pair of running or workout shoes to give your legs the support you need and to make it easier for you as you gear up for your runs.
High intensity weight training: this is different than ordinary weight training. Ordinary weight training has you wandering around the weight area, relaxing between your sets, or taking prolonged rests between sets. High intensity weight training has you training at 80-100% of your max intensity with little to no rest between sets. Not only does this stimulate more muscle fiber needed to grow and get stronger, it also is more efficient in burning calories, losing fat, and increasing your metabolism after your workout. With this style of training, make sure you’re on a professional weightlifting program as even with this kind of intensity, if you’re doing the exercises wrong or in the wrong order, or even using the wrong amounts of weight and have incorrect form on the movements, your progress will be limited. And always consult with your doctor before starting any exercise program.
Diet: of course, you’ll also want to eat a healthy diet. Cut out the fat foods, and make sure you stock up your kitchen with lots of green leafy vegetables, chicken, turkey, and low glycemic index carbs. You want to make sure your body has the energy it needs to thrive, but also avoid any foods that are unhealthy for you like simple sugars, snacks, and unnecessary trans-fats and saturated fats. Plan on eating 5-6 meals a day every 2-4 hours and adding plenty of healthy snacks like fruits and lean protein shakes to give your body the fuel it needs to produce positive changes in body composition.
This is the New Year where you will finally get in shape once and for all by doing it right, and by doing what works the best. Have a blast with your workouts and have a happy and healthy New Year!