7. Burn Calories – Aerobic or cardiovascular exercise is important for the health of our heart, lungs and blood vessels. Cardio exercise burns calories and can help with maintaining our weight. But Don’t overly rely on cardio or any one type of exercise for that matter. If you are looking to lose weight, cardio can help burn calories but does not significantly increase your metabolic rate or the amount of calories that your body burns at rest.
If you enjoy cardio or want some extra activity to boost fat loss or improve your health, you can’t go wrong with going for a walk most days of the week, or on days you don’t strength train.
8. Give Muscles Time Off – Your body needs time to rest in order to recover properly and get stronger. For basic health and fitness, you will need to do some activity on most days of the week. A good rule of thumb is 2-3 days of some type of aerobic exercise such as walking or riding a bike for 30 to 60 minutes and 2-3 days of training with weights for 20-30 minutes. If you are not able to do this amount of exercise at first, start with less and increase gradually. Where you start with your exercise program is not as important as being consistent and improving over time.
9. Move in Many Ways – The more ways you move, the better. The body is made to move. Incorporate as many movement patterns as possible into your workouts. Include squats, lunges, push, pull, hinge and twist movements for the best results.
10. Increase Intensity Over Time – You do not have to start your exercise program by running marathons or lifting heavy weights or joining a high intensity exercise program at a gym. In fact, these are sure-fire ways to guarantee that you will not become a lifelong exerciser and will probably get injured. Start slowly with something that you can do consistently and add time and intensity as you become more fit.
11. Focus on Getting Stronger and Improving Your Performance – This is important. By focusing on strength and improving your performance, your body will continue to change and you will see results. Shift the focus from burning calories to increasing muscle.
Focus on what you can do and make it a goal to get better, slowly and consistently. This can be accomplished by adding more weight to exercises, performing more reps with the same exercise, using a more challenging variation, or decreasing rest periods between exercises.
12. Emphasize Form, Not Weight – Pay attention to your form when you lift weights or run or perform any activity. Start with good posture on all exercises. Proper form reduces the chances of injury and lays the foundation for peak performance.
13. Enjoy the Process – Fitness is a process. Do not be in a rush to reach your goals. Aim for steady progress over time. Enjoy each step of the way.