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8 Totally Easy Steps To Better Fitness
by Lynn Bode, CFT

Fitness and weight loss truly do not have to be complicated. Picking one specific goal to work on each week is a relatively painless way to get motivated and get moving. Below is a list of eight ways to make a healthier you. It's recommended that you take just one step per each week — so consider it an eight-week fitness training plan.

(Article continued below.)

Step 1: First determine where you are at and what is keeping you from where you want to be.

You've told yourself dozens of times that tomorrow you are going to start exercising. Yet tomorrow has come and gone, and you still haven't started moving. So, what's holding you back? What excuse seems fitting today?

It's time to face your excuses head-on so that you can overcome them and choose to live a healthier lifestyle. Face your excuses head on to completely discount them. Start by making a list of reasons (excuses) that you don't exercise.

Step 2: Educate yourself about the facts and the myths.

Stop beating yourself over the head in frustration because you just can't seem to lose weight or get fit. More than likely you just aren't armed with the right information to help you be successful in reaching your weight loss goals. There are so many diet misnomers floating about that it's easy to feel like you're drowning. The first step toward success is distinguishing fact from myth and using the power of knowledge.

Step 3: Begin with easy ways to start moving.

Think you don't have any time to fit in physical activity? Think again. Stop thinking in the traditional exercise way. 100 years ago there weren't any health clubs or treadmills or fitness balls, yet somehow the majority of the population was NOT overweight (quite contrary to our treadmill obsessed society). They used their daily lives to keep them in a healthy weight range and that's a great place for you start with too. Sure, our lives are very different than our turn-of-the century counterparts, but we can still use our daily activities to help us move.

Step 4: Workout when and where it's right for you, and with the best equipment.

You can literally start making progress in fitness without any equipment at all. So you certainly don't need a gym membership to get healthy. Working out at home can be not only an economic choice, but a truly smart and beneficial one.

For an effective home gym, all that is required is a little bit of planning. Don't fall into the trap of purchasing random fitness equipment because of fancy advertising for the latest infomercial fad or the great "sale" at your local fitness store. That type of purchasing leads to a house littered with equipment that's only use is as a clothes hanger or dust collector. This often happens because the equipment is either useless, poorly constructed or quickly loses its value because it doesn't progress with your fitness level. Keep your equipment purchases inexpensive, effective and fun.

Step 5: Set your plan.

It's easy to understand why some feel overwhelmed about beginning a new fitness routine. Virtually every day the media is bombarding the public with the latest "diet research," oftentimes contradicting what may have been reported just weeks earlier. And infomercials swear that 20 minutes of this or 15 minutes of that is all that is required to look like a Hollywood star.

With so much information (and misinformation), it can be hard to decipher what fitness regimen will really deliver results. But truthfully, it's not difficult at all to determine what workout will provide health benefits.

An easy way to get started is utilizing the FITT principle. This acronym stands for Frequency, Intensity, Time and Type. Use the FITT strategy when planning your workouts.

Step 6: Now is the time to really start getting more serious. Ensure you are both eating right and exercising right.

If you've stuck to the plan thus far (and not tried to combine weeks together — jumping ahead won't help you and could hinder your progress!), you should feel very empowered. This means you are truly making fitness and wellness a part of your life because experts say that it takes about six weeks to turn a new behavior into a daily habit.

But, it's not uncommon for people to do great with one part (usually cardio workouts) yet struggle with another. For some reason strength training is still a tough sell for many (particularly women). Yet strength training has amazing benefits. Make sure you are doing at least two strength-training sessions per week.

Step 7: Start monitoring your levels.

Just moving, as previously discussed, is a great way to start. Then including true cardiovascular workouts gets you focused on the right path. Now you need to ensure that you're working at a challenging enough level. Check your heart rate and ensure that your intensity is where it should be for effectiveness.

Step 8: Add interval training.

To propel you to the next fitness level, burn more calories, increase your speed, improve your power and more, it's time to learn more about Interval training.

A simple definition of interval training is short, high-intensity exercise periods alternated with periods of rest. These higher and lower intensity periods are repeated several times to form a complete workout. Here's a basic example: walk for 5 minutes at 3.5 MPH, walk for 1 minute at 4.2 MPH and then repeat this sequence several times.

Start incorporating interval training right now.

Want to put tangibles to this eight week program? Visit http://www.workoutsforyou.com/workout_ebook.asp for a 22-page e-book that provides specific details on how to make this eight week program work for you.

About The Author:
Lynn Bode is a certified personal trainer specializing in Internet-based fitness programs. She founded Workouts For You, which provides affordable online exercise programs that are custom designed for each individual. Visit: http://www.workoutsforyou.com for tips, sample workouts and more. Fitness professionals, learn how to support your clients online, visit: http://www.trainerforce.com.

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