Less can be more:
Often when people are beginning a new fitness regime they set themselves some very tough targets. 'I'm going to train every single day' is a popular one, or 'I'm not eating chocolate ever again!'. While it's great to have such enthusiasm - we can often be setting ourselves up for failure. If we tell ourselves we need to be at the gym seven days a week and only go four times - we feel like we've failed to meet our target instead of being happy we got to the gym four times! When starting out we need to make sure we are setting targets we can easily reach in order to stay motivated and build momentum. Aim for two gym sessions, one cardio and one yoga. Or one pilates, one tennis game - whatever suits your needs. Once this is a habit you can start to add to it, but don't go too hard too fast, this will only lead to burnout.
Try three-minute cardio intervals:
Staying on a treadmill or any kind of cardio machine can get boring if it's for a long stint. That's why I put short, intense three-minute bursts of cardio into my programs, as it's a really great way to keep the heart rate elevated and the fat burning throughout the session. I like to use the rowing machine, elliptical or versa climber and do twenty seconds on, twenty seconds off for six rounds. If you aren't in the gym, try doing this routine in sprints outside or up a flight of stairs. If you're at home, then high knee sprints are a killer on-the-spot move.
Work your core:
This can be an obvious one, but how often are you really challenging your core? Try to make sure one of your workouts each week has some weighted compound movements in the gym. Front squats with a weight (I like kettlebells) are excellent for abdominal strength. Deadlifts, Cable Wood Chops and TRX Knee Tucks are all exercises that really challenge your core stability. Try not to get stuck doing the same exercises every week - variety is key to ensure you don't hit a plateau.
Prevent injury by warming up and cooling down:
As we get older our body can begin to tighten up. Our fascia refers to our network of soft connective tissue in the body. Put it this way, if our fascia is tight, then our muscles can't move freely, limiting our range of motion and inhibiting our ability to train smarter and harder! Warm up with dynamic stretches such as breathing squats to open the hips, hammy to hip flexor stretches and lying 90/90 shoulder rotations. Cool down with a similar routine but just hold stretches slightly longer and allow your nervous system to calm down to reduce cortisol (our fat-storing hormone) post-workout. I have a great warm up routine in my 7 DAY QUICKIE program if you need something to follow - check it out.
Check out Tegan's 7-Day Quickie program at teganhaining.com