How to hit your peak: maximising your fitness

Who wouldn’t like to keep fit? Yes, it can be hard work, especially if you’ve let things go for a while, but keeping and being fit can give a real boost to how you feel, not just physically but mentally as well.

Exercise is good for you – ask any health expert – as long as you do it right. There’s no point in rushing into it from Day 1 if you haven’t been doing much, if anything, before. Ease yourself into a routine and start simply. Decide what you want to achieve over a number of weeks and months and aim towards this. Take your time and work on a gradual build-up of your strength and stamina.

Here are some ideas to get you going.

Aiming for your peak performance

OK, the chances are you’re not in the Jessica Ennis-Hill or Mo Farah bracket in terms of athletic performance. That doesn’t mean that you can’t aspire to performances that suit you, and you can always improve.

So what should you look for when developing your fitness programme?

  • Diet: This is as important as the exercise you do. If you eat lots of fatty foods, you won’t be helping your body when exercising. Yes, you need carbohydrates, but you need the benefits of fruit and vegetables as well. Water is essential to replace lost fluids when exercising, and fruit juices are a good source of vitamins as well as the liquids you’ll need.
  • Exercise: Walking is one of best ways to start getting your body in shape. You can do it outside when the weather is right or get a simple treadmill so that you can walk whatever the weather. When you have built some strength in your legs, you can move to jogging to help stimulate your system. If you like the water, then swimming is a great way to boost your exercise. You use lots of different muscles, and the water buoys you up so that you can work harder than you might have though possible. You could try cycling as well and put your energy into pedalling. However, you also need to keep alert on busy roads and always wear a helmet for protection.
  • Equipment: Generally, you should wear loose clothing for exercise. You could also consider compression stockings as you build up your fitness – they are said to improve circulation , and anything that can help you with developing your fitness regime is worth investigating.

Pace yourself

The key to getting and keeping fit is not to try to do everything at once. Your body may need time to adjust to the new challenges you want to explore, so don’t worry if it seems to take some time for the changes you want to manifest themselves.

Gradual work really does pay dividends, and over a period of time, as long as you keep up with your exercise and diet plans, you will find that you feel better, your health will improve and you can move on, if you want, to harder work to become fitter than you thought you could be.


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