Monday, February 27, 2012

13.1 Fitness Tips

Next weekend I will run my fourth half marathon. Yep 13.1 miles. As I prepared for this race over the past several months, I found myself asking how are others doing with fitness goals they set at the beginning of the year? They may have even called them... resolutions? As a part-time fitness instructor, people always ask me for fitness tips. So inspired by an article I read in the Wall Street Journal written by Jason Gay, and, in honor of my upcoming half marathon, I offer 13.1 things to remember about fitness:
1. Commit to a regular exercise schedule. Try to go at least 4-5 times a week. Include a mix of strength training and cardiovascular conditioning. Some days will be tougher, others will be easier. Do it anyway.
2. No one in the history of fitness has ever lost a pound while walking on a treadmill at a speed of 3.0 talking on a cell phone or while reading a magazine on a recumbent bicycle. 
3. Stop it with the fad diets. The only tried-and-true method to lose 10 pounds in 48 hours is food poisoning. Eat foods from the earth and drink water. 
4. Practice good gym etiquette. There are two types of members: those who wipe down the equipment after using it, and those who are the most disgusting, rude people in the world.
5. Avoid the male or female gym rat who knows everything there is to know about fitness yet has never been trained, certified or accomplished any real fitness goals personally. Please ask them to stop creeping around machines and start working out.
6. You cannot out-train poor eating habits. Take 10 Minute Abs or 30 Day Abs. Flat abs are made in the kitchen. It makes me sad too that Nutella is not a health food.
7. There's a spinning instructor everyone loves, and the one everyone hates. Find out why. If the class is effective, it's hard, you will sweat. If you're relaxed and chatting with friends, you're at brunch on a bike. 
8. You don't need to buy expensive running shoes or muscle shirts to get fit. Running shoes are for runners. They only work if you run in them. Muscle shirts are for people with muscles and, members of rock bands.
9. If you are just thinking about going to the gym--- that burns anywhere between 0 and 0 calories. Get up and go whenever it fits your schedule. Just go.
10. Rest, recover and stretch. It matters in your overall performance. 
11.  P90X, Crossfit, Spin, Zumba, whatever you do... move intentionally, intensely and then try something new every 4-6 weeks. Muscle confusion can bust a plateau...or confusion in general!

12. Don't compare your flexibility, speed or endurance with anyone else. Know your body, its limitations according to age/fitness level and push it to a point just outside your comfort zone. Weekly.

13. Exercise regularly, eat clean, drink water and eat less of everything.
.1 The secret is...there is no secret.. Sorry. The end.