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How to Get Fit Fast

Get the most from from your exercise program with these tips


Updated May 27, 2014

Woman in Gym stretching personal trainer watching
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Whether you're training hard for a marathon, or just looking to get the most from your exercise workout routine, these tips can help you get fit faster and reach your fitness goals while you avoid injuries.

  1. Get a Personal Trainer
    Sometimes to get the most out of your training program you need objective advice from a professional. We get very set in our ways and habits, which can be a good thing for consistency. However, it's hard to make upward progress when you do the same thing week after week, year after year. Following a program written by someone else can take the pressure off and give you new ideas.

    Also read: Do You Need a Personal Trainer?

  2. Eat Well
    Proper nutrition and effective training go hand-in-hand. Eating right is an essential component of all athletic activities. Eating well is the best way to be sure you get the most from your training and performance. What you eat before, during, and after exercise has a major impact on how well you perform and how well you feel. Good nutrition also allows you to maintain high quality training, good recovery and good race day performance.

    Also see: Nutrition for Sport

  3. Rest and Recover
    This is an often overlooked part of effective training. If you don't plan rest or schedule recovery days in your training, you limit your ability to train. Your body actually gets stronger after exercise stress, so you need to allow down time for rebuilding muscle tissue. An effective training program will have regular periods of rest and recovery. This also allows adaptation to the exercise -- you return bigger, stronger and faster. Rest also allows you to recover mentally and emotionally and avoid exercise burn-out.

    Also see:

  4. Get Support
    It's extremely helpful to have support for your training program, whether it's from training partners, friends or family. But it's also important to be sure that you follow your own training plan and needs. If you work out with others, be careful that you don't get sucked into training at their intensity or for their duration. If you scheduled an easy day, but your buddy decides to hammer, you need to let go and follow your plan. All too often training partners can encourage us to over or under train. Do what you need to do for your program.

  5. Listen to Your Body
    Effective training requires you to follow a game plan, but have enough flexibility to alter the plan based on how you feel. If you are tired, ill, stressed, injured, or notice your heart rate is elevated, you need to be able to pay attention to the message these signs are sending. Slowing down, resting, or changing the activity are all appropriate compromises. You should also learn the Warning Signs of a Serious Injury

  6. Cross Train
    Alternating exercise is a great way to train effectively. Not only do you develop overall muscle conditioning, but you allow muscles to rest and recover without losing your fitness and get a mental boost from alternating activities.

    Also read: The Benefits of Cross Training

  7. Strength Train
    Building strength is one of the fastest ways to improve your sports performance and train more efficiently. You can spend hours running, cycling or playing your sport, but a few weight training sessions each week will add strength, power, and help reduce your risk of injury.

    Also read: Efficient Strength Training

  8. Consider Interval Training
    Interval training has been the basis for exercise routines for years. It involves alternating short, fast bursts of intense exercise with slow, easy activity. Interval training works both the aerobic and the anaerobic system, and it results in improved conditioning of the cardiovascular system. It also helps prevent injuries often associated with repetitive exercise by allowing you to increase training intensity without overtraining or burn-out.

    Also read: Interval Training | 30-Second Sprint Workouts Build Fitness Fast

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