The 5 Keys to Fitness and Weight Loss to Success
- Consistency and frequency: workout with weights 3 to 5 times a week, never work a muscle more often than every other day (many get better results with 2 or 3 days in between) - but rarely less than twice a week. It's ok to skip once in a while, or to workout on a Wed rather than Tuesday, etc., but consistency is important. Do you often skip brushing your teeth? Of course not, and your muscles need the same devotion. A great schedule is Tuesday - Thursday - Sunday - those are the least crowded alternate days at most gyms. Another popular workout is 4 days a week.
- Technique: Focus on forms of exercise that directly affect the muscles. Compound exercises (those which work groups of muscles) are a great start and the mainstay. Learn what to do and how to do it correctly.
- Intensity: The balance has to be right. Too heavy and you will injure yourself; everyone knows that; but too light and you'll never make any progress, too! See Measuring Physical Activity Intensity (National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, CDC, HHS)
- Diet: Avoid eating a lot of empty calories, sugars, junk foods, lots of fat, salt, etc. Don't go to extremes: I'm not a vegetarian and I will enjoy buffalo wings from time to time; but not in huge quantity nor frequently.
- Lifestyle: Don't be a couch potato, enjoy active not passive events. Things like gardening, rollerblading, hiking, traveling, biking. Movies and concerts are great, but try not to sit and watch tv; and even when you are on the phone, walk around picking things up, straightening up, etc. In general; sit than lie down, stand rather than sit, walk rather than stand, and be involved in an activity than walk.