How to Make Exercise a Permanent Habit

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Perhaps you’ve never set foot in a gym – or maybe it’s been awhile since you’ve been on a regular exercise program. So, how do you start? These tips will point you on the road to a lifetime of better health and fitness.

If you’re presently inactive, and especially if you’re over 40, it’s best to get a doctor’s clearance before you start exercising. Talk to your physician if you’re on medications or if you have a serious health condition like hypertension or high cholesterol. After this, commence slowly to avoid exercise burnout or injuries. 3-4 days a week for 15 minutes of activity is a great place to start.

Whether you’re on the road to becoming the next action hero, or you just want to look and feel better, you must take the first step. Set realistic goals and check out the myriads of ways you can get fit! Try lifting weights at home for a time, then join a gym when you hear of a good membership deal. Meet a friend and go for a nightly walk, work up to a 5K race, then sign up for a local marathon.

Don’t be shy about mixing things up. Doing the same workout everyday gets monotonous. Besides, after you do the same activity daily for 6-8 weeks, your muscles adapt to it and you burn fewer calories. Try circuit training or interval training: Alternate short bursts of cardio with resistance training for a dynamic one-two punch! 

Always do strength training. Even if you prefer activities that center on cardio where you burn tons of calories and strengthen heart and lungs, you need to practice some form of weight training. Strong muscles burn more calories, build stronger bones, increase flexibility, and they look good, too! You don’t need to become hardcore to reap the benefits of free weights, weight machines, kettle bells, and resistance bands. Work each muscle group at least 10 minutes once a week with a variety of movements. Make sure to take one or two days off between each lifting session. Always learn proper form. You can avoid injuries and perfect your technique by hiring a trainer, reading fitness magazines or going to online videos.

You’ve got to learn to eat properly when you’re working out. Some guys when they begin a program, because they want to lose fat, seek to cut way back on calories and starve themselves into thinness. This is the wrong approach. Exercise burns extra calories and raises your metabolism even while you’re asleep. Cut out fast foods, processed foods, refined sugars and eat smaller meals and snacks, every 2-3 hours. Before a workout graze on healthy carbs (fruit, yogurt, nuts, hard boiled eggs). After a grueling gym session replenish with a few chicken breasts, an English muffin and peanut butter, or a protein smoothie. To lose fat and build muscle always make sure to increase your activity level, eat healthy and light, and never eat heavy before bedtime.

 

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