With the new year upon us, it’s time to set some resolutions to get healthy and fit! But instead of just talking about resolutions in the abstract sense, you really need to take some tangible steps to focus on and achieve your objectives. Over the next 12 months, here are some definite strategies you can use to help you reach your fitness goals.
1) Get on a schedule
Whatever fitness routine you practice, turn it into a habit. By definition, a habit is “something that a person does often in a regular and repeated way.” Therefore, you need to pick a specific time every day to exercise.
The World Health Organization recommends “at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week” which breaks down to 30 minutes 5 days a week, while strength training activities should be done 2 or more days per week.
2) Intensify your workout
Whether beginner or advanced, you always have the capacity to progress in the level of your workout. Motivate yourself by setting small goals to increase the intensity of your workout on a monthly basis.
For example, if you start out doing 20 sit-ups a day, write down the goal to increase it by 5 more sit-ups each month. By next year, you’ll be doing 80 sit-ups a day – imagine your abs!
Also, you don’t necessarily need to increase the amount of time you spend working out. For example, you can increase the intensity of your fitness routine by increasing the resistance levels in strength training and Pilates.
On the Pilates Power Gym, you have the option of using between one and four resistance bands on each exercise. Why not set a goal to increase the number of bands used every 6 months? As a result, you won’t be working longer, but harder resulting in a much more toned body.
3) Follow a nutrition plan
The logic is simple, yet it is the hardest thing to do – eat less calories to lose weight. But how do you decrease your calorie intake without feeling hungry?
Many nutrition experts recommend eating more protein and less carbs, and also eating smaller meals and snacks six times per day. However, instead of reinventing the wheel, it’s easier to follow a meal plan that has been created by a fitness and nutrition expert.
For example, when you purchase the Pilates Power Gym, you get a guide to weekly nutrition plans for 9 different calorie levels (ranging from 1200 to 2000 calories per day). This weekly nutrition menu suggests foods for 3 meals and 3 snacks per day to teach you how to eat healthier and lose weight in the process.
4) Add variety to spice up your workout
Don’t fall into the trap of getting bored with an effective workout! There are many ways you can add variety to an exercise routine by either trying new equipment or new exercises.
For Pilates fans, there are a multitude of apparatus and accessories you can utilize to make your workout new and exciting. Pilates equipment includes the ladder barrel, the Wunda chair, the Cadillac and the Reformer. These pieces of equipment, like our own Pilates Power Gym, offer a wide range of additional Pilates exercises not possible on the mat.
On the Pilates Power Gym reformer alone, you can add a cardio rebounder, a pushup bar and even get more intense resistance bands to diversify your workout.
5) Incorporate body, mind and soul
If you’re not doing any form of yoga or Pilates in your fitness routine, make this year the time to start! Aside from the physical benefits, Pilates and yoga teach you how to connect your mind to your body through concentration and meditation, respectively.
Taking time to relax and focus your mind can relieve stress, something that we all need. According to the American Yoga Association, “yoga helps you to access an inner strength that allows you to face the sometimes-overwhelming fears, frustrations, and challenges of everyday life.” By building coping skills with a daily routine of exercise, breathing, and meditation, yoga can reduce stress.
Furthermore, the creator of Pilates (or “Contrology”), Joseph Pilates, believed that deep mental awareness of your breathing, working your core, controlling your movements, fluidity of motion, precision of exercises and being mentally present during your workout were essential to physical health. Exercise without mental concentration, he thought, was literally a waste of time.
(Note: Always consult your doctor when you implement any changes in exercise and eating habits)
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