Tuesday, August 7, 2007

K.I.S. Keeping It Simple...with the 5 keys to fitness

Health and fitness can be a complicated subject with the vast array of information available. We are constantly being bombarded with the newest discoveries in ground breaking research, publication of the latest fad diet and more tips and tricks than anyone can keep track of. How can the average gym goer decipher the good from the bad? What is the clear cut, no fluff secret to total fitness?

Here's the K.I.S. (Keep It Simple) strategy focusing on the five keys to reaching your goal. You can use this simple guide to help, making sure you have all of the components in place and ensuring your success.

1. Nutrition
This is by far the most important key to reaching you goal, be it reducing body fat, increasing muscle or improving sports performance. Without this component in place, you will never achieve optimum results.

A. Portion Sizes
I. Consuming more and moving less leads to stored fat, or weight increase. Consume less and move more and you'll achieve fat loss. The key is to know exactly how many calories your body needs to reach your specific goal.

B. Type
I. You won't get to your goal by eating highly processed, unbalanced foods.
II. Keep it fresh and clean.
III. On average, most people need a macronutrient (carbs, protein, fat) balance of 60/20/20.

2. Cardio Training
This component will make you slim and trim while keeping your heart healthy and beating strong. It's also important to find balance and synergy. Too much can derail your progress, leaving you frustrated and unmotivated.

A. Frequency
I. 30 minutes of moderate daily activity is a must.
II. Most people are successful in cardio training with a more intense frequency of three to five times a week.

B. Intensity
I. Use Maximum Heart Rate formula to determine the appropriate intensity that best suits the goal.
II. Beginners: 50%-60% of MHR (Maximum Heart Rate)
III. Advanced: 65%-85% of MHR

C. Time
I. Beginners: 10-20 minutes
II. Intermediate: 15-45 minutes
III. Advanced: 30-60 minutes

D. Type
I. Walking is best for beginners
II. The best kind of cardio is the type you enjoy doing.
III. Keep it interesting with variety.

3. Resistance Training
This key component will help you become a lean, mean optimum performing machine. Increasing muscle density will increase your metabolism, thus decreasing body fat. Increases in strength does not equal increases in size. Everyone, including women, needs to incorporate integrated strength training into their routines.

A. Balance
I. Improves functional, or everyday performance.

B. Coordination
I. Keeps communication between mind and body movement strong.
II. Core (stabilization) training prevents injury and improves strength performance.

C. Flexibility
I. Ensures muscles contract efficiently, maximizing results.
II. Helps to improve other aspects of fitness programing (increases speed, decreases weight, increases strength

D. Strength
I. Increases metabolism, thus decreasing body fat
II. Creates not only muscular looks, but also "toned" look or definition.

4. Rest
Stress and over training can lead to injury or halt progress. By creating a progressive program, you can methodically train while allowing for proper recovery.

A. Rest Day
I. Take one day off a week from working out
II. Allow for 48 hour recovery time after lifting routine (per muscle group)

B. Sleep
I. Make sure to get 6-8 hours of restful REM sleep to ensure full recovery

C. Cheat Day
I. Decreases the feeling of deprivation that often sabotages a fitness program.
II. Balance and moderation is key as over indulgence will halt success.

5. Education
Knowledge is power. By understanding the basics, you will master the essential skills it takes to be successful in achieving your fitness goal. Education is also an incredible motivator.

A. Form
I. Provides an understanding of body movement and helps you to achieve perfect form.

B. Progression
I. Provides you with the knowhow to advance through platues

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