physical activity: 4 simple tips to improve your physical condition

Ready for a new challenge? Take your fitness to the next level with these effective tips.

When you’re new to exercise, fitness gains come fast. But once you put on your running shoes or start exercising regularly, you need to work harder to challenge your body. You can achieve this by changing the duration, frequency and intensity of your training. The trick is to avoid doing so much that you end up hurting yourself or burning out.

Safely improve your fitness with these 4 tips

1 Assess your current fitness level

Start by assessing your current situation as well as your strengths and weaknesses.

Where are you physically? Take stock of these 4 parameters:

What you’re already doing (exercise mode), including cardio and strength exercises
The intensity of your work (intensity)
How often you do it (frequency)
How long you do it (duration)

2 Set new goals

Then look where you want to be. What specific and realistic goals can you set for yourself to improve your fitness? Maybe you can jog or swim for 45 minutes instead of 30. Or you can add flexibility exercises to your routine. Maybe you want to train for an event like the 10K or a half marathon.

3 Do more

The best way to improve your physical condition is to increase the intensity of your exercises. Intensity refers to the amount of work you do. The fitter you are, the more you need to exercise to feel motivated and get results. By pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, you’ll get the most effective workout possible. Which is important, especially if you don’t have much time that day to exercise. If you train at a lower intensity, you will have to train longer or more often to get the same effects on your fitness. To get in shape, start by increasing the frequency of your activity (number of days per week). As you improve, increase the duration of each workout and finally the intensity.

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How to increase the intensity of your workout

Move faster

Walk faster or start running if you have walked or jogged before. The faster you move, the more work you will do in a given time.

Add a vertical challenge

Run or walk up hills, or up the grade on a treadmill. Add a step lift for aerobics.

Increase resistance

Increase pedaling resistance on a cycling machine. For strength training, gradually lift more weight.

Cross training

Participate in a variety of activities, some of which are more demanding or more vigorous.

Try Interval Training

This means interspersing short bursts of high-intensity activity (like a 10-second sprint) with intervals of low- to medium-intensity activity, like walking.

4 But Don’t Overdo It

If you exercise for several hours a day every day, you risk injury or fatigue and exhaustion. Plus, you won’t get a lot of extra fitness gains. To avoid overtraining, gradually increase the total time, distance, or intensity of your exercise. Alternate hard and easy workouts from day to day, and allow time for rest and recovery.

Once you’ve reached a new level of fitness, take a moment to congratulate yourself on how far you’ve come!


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