The 5 Keys to Fitness and Weight Loss Success
- Consistency and frequency: workout with weights 3 to 5 times a week, never work a muscle more often than every other day (many get better results with 2 or 3 days in between) - but rarely less than twice a week. It's ok to skip once in a while, or to workout on a Wed rather than Tuesday, etc., but consistency is important. Do you often skip brushing your teeth? Of course not, and your muscles need the same devotion. A great schedule is Tuesday - Thursday - Sunday - those are the least crowded alternate days at most gyms. Another popular workout is 4 days a week.
- Technique: Focus on forms of exercise that directly affect the muscles. Compound exercises (those which work groups of muscles) are a great start and the mainstay. Learn what to do and how to do it correctly.
- Intensity: The balance has to be right. Too heavy and you will injury yourself; everyone knows that; but too light and you'll never make any progress, too! See Measuring Physical Activity Intensity (National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, CDC, HHS)
- Diet: Avoid eating a lot of empty calories, sugars, junk foods, lots of fat, salt, etc. Don't go to extremes: I'm not a vegetarian and I will enjoy buffalo wings from time to time; but not in huge quantity nor frequently.
- Lifestyle: Don't be a couch potato, enjoy active not passive events. Things like gardening, rollerblading, hiking, traveling, biking. Movies and concerts are great, but try not to sit and watch tv; and even when you are on the phone, walk around picking things up, straightening up, etc. In general; sit than lie down, stand rather than sit, walk rather than stand, and be involved in an activity than walk.
America Needs It
General Tips for Fitness Results
Weights or Aerobics?