A new year brings new beginnings, resolutions, and a better you! Now that 2015 is in full swing, it’s only natural to be thinking about how you can live a healthier lifestyle and finally achieve the fitness goals you’ve set for yourself. So whether you want to drop a few extra pounds, tone up, or form healthier habits, now is the perfect time to start. Here are 7 tips to consider while heading back to the gym this month.
• H20 Intake- Hydration is key! While it’s important to stay hydrated throughout the entire day, be sure to drink at least 15-20 oz. within 1 to 2 hours prior to your workout. While you’re exercising try for 8 oz. every 15 minutes.
• Heart rate- There are many health calculators available online to help you calculate your specific target heart rate. In general, exercising at about 60% to 75% of your maximum heart rate is considered the fat burning zone. Amp that up to 75% to 85% of your maximum heart rate and you’re reaching the aerobic/cardio zone.
• Stretch it out- There are many theories on when the best time of day to stretch is, but the bottom line is that it’s just important that you do it at all. In general, stretch when your muscles are warm and try for a minimum of 2-3 days a week.
• Reppin’ it- Strength training is making a huge comeback in 2015. As a general guideline, beginners should do one set of 8-16 reps of each exercise (until fatigue) and advanced exercisers should try for 2 to 3 sets.
• Shake it up – It’s easy to get caught up in the same routine and end up in that dreaded plateau. Mix it up by attending a new fitness class or use a machine you’ve been too afraid to try until now. Incorporating new exercises will shock your body into seeing results.
• Cardio vs. Strength training – Depending on your fitness goals knowing the right order will help you achieve your goal. If you’re looking to lose weight, cardio before strength will maximize your calorie burn as well as increase the afterburn potential. If you’re trying to build muscle its best to focus your energy on lifting weights first, cardio later.
• Schedule it- Experts say it takes about 21 days of an activity for a new habit to form. Set time aside every Sunday to plan out your workouts for the week and note it on the calendar.
Here’s to a healthy 2015!