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Balance High Impact & Low Impact
It’s great to push your body to the limits to help you progress to a higher level, but low-impact exercise is important too. Because it focuses on endurance, it builds stamina for the body and for the cardiovascular system. This is going to help you with all your workouts, and improve your general fitness.
Pilates Isn’t Just For Recovery
Too many people think Pilates is just about helping the body recuperate. They think it’s not burning fat so, if the goal is to lose weight, then it won’t help them. This is wrong. Pilates works the core, which is the key component in all training. If you have a strong core, you’re going to have good form and you’ll avoid injuries. Remember too: your core isn’t just for workouts – we use it all the time in day-to-day life. Because it’s so good for the core, I would make Pilates a class in school if I could.
You Don’t Need Any Equipment To Get Started
Equipment is great – I love a hip thrust bar for when I want to push it further – but there isn’t any need to use equipment for general exercise. Your body is enough for you to handle and bodyweight training can be really effective.
Recovery Days Are Important
Don’t skip a recovery day, and don’t blame yourself if you need to take more than one day. Sometimes the body just needs more time to recuperate. On a recovery day, I love a saltwater bath or a massage – hot stone and deep tissue work wonders. If you feel up to it, light exercise like yoga classes or stretching/mobility exercises can aid your recovery. Just listen to your body: if it’s telling tells you it is not recovering well or you feel tired, respect that.
Set Yourself Goals
It helps to set some goals, both long term and short. For example, in three months I want to have been able to run a certain distance. I set myself weekly and monthly goals to help keep track of my progress and stay motivated. I also motivate myself with treats, be it a cheat meal or tickets to an event.
Plan Your Week
At the moment, I want to improve my running so my training is all about endurance. I have five days a week of training, with one day of active recovery and one day of complete rest. On the five days, I do up to 40 minutes of cardio, followed by an hour of weight training using machines and some functional exercises. When planning my weight training, I divide the muscle groups up – for example, two big muscle groups in one day and then switch for the next day – to ensure I’m not overworking one group and or completely missing another one.
Eating Well In General Is The Best Workout Fuel
If I'm eating well in general, I don’t need anything before I exercise – I have enough nutrients to power me through. If I'm not eating well, I lose power quickly. When I have low energy, I will opt for a protein shake. Apples are a great snack if needed – they have natural sugars for an energy boost and are only 100 calories.
Try To Avoid Sugar
I try to avoid sugar as much as possible because it can play havoc with my whole body. But I don’t cut out fats. Healthy fats are nutritionally essential. I find lots of protein with healthy fats and few carbs is a good way to go.
Limit Processed Food
The more a food is processed, the more of its nutritional benefits it loses. I cut out hot dogs about ten years ago, but it is tricky to stay completely clean, so I try to stick to these general rules: oats are better than bread; and potatoes are better than pasta.