Secret Workouts Tips Katrin Davidsdottir, Sara Sigmundsdottir and Kristin Holte

Experts and successful exercisers reveal the top tips and tricks they use to get the most from their fitness routines.

Getting and staying fit can be a challenge. For many of us, it’s hard just to get up off the couch. So what’s the secret of people who have managed to make exercise a way of life?

Follow an Effective Exercise Routine

The American Council on Exercise (ACE) recently surveyed 1,000 ACE-certified personal trainers about the best techniques to get fit. Their top three suggestions:

 

  • Interval training. “In its most basic form, interval training might involve walking for two minutes, running for two, and alternating this pattern throughout the duration of a workout,” says Cedric Bryant, PhD, FACSM, chief science officer for ACE. “It is an extremely time-efficient and productive way to exercise.”
  • Strength training. Even 20 minutes a day twice a week will help tone the entire body.
  • Increased cardio/aerobic exercise. Bryant suggests accumulating 60 minutes or more a day of low- to moderate-intensity physical activity, such as walking, running, or dancing.

 

However, chances are that you would have already felt confident enough to start introducing weights for simpler movements. There is no harm if you have already done that. But, after you are at a level where you can do all weight-bearing exercises, make a conscious effort to work harder on the movements you were weaker in.

The load-bearing exercises that you ought to stick to for now are the simple ones, such as front and back squats, dead lifts, bench presses, shoulder/military presses, upright rows or high-pulls, bent-over rows and lunges.

For the next two to four weeks, follow the principle of progressive loading and gradually increase the weight you use for each exercise.

It is best to maintain a diary to record how many reps you manage at different weights. This will help you track progress.

 

Make sure you’re eating healthy

Ask almost any personal trainer and they’ll tell you that regardless of your training goals, healthy eating is the backbone. Food is what fuels your body to reach your goals, and without proper nutrition through quality foods, you’re likely to stall. Maintain a balanced diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, complex carbohydrates, complete proteins, and healthy fats like fish oils and flaxseeds.

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