These five tips for improving your fitness in the New Year come from Justin Cox, who submitted to us our first “in shape” column for the Winter 2014 issue of in, which is being made available Thursday throughout the greater Bemidji area.
1. Start slow.
You have more than 12 weeks left in your lifetime. There is no reason to cram all of your efforts into one short timeframe. Too often, people start hot and heavy and fizz out before a month or two has gone by. The best program is one you can do consistently for the long run.
2. Focus on strength.
Get stronger with large, full-body movements such as the barbell dead lift, bench press and-pull ups. These exercises will strengthen the entire body, give you a huge bang for your buck time- and energy-wise, and make your fat-loss efforts work better.
3. Be efficient with your time.
If you honestly only have 20 minutes to work out, then work out for 20 minutes and be done. Workouts do not have to take an hour per day. I, personally, only work out about a half-hour most days.
4. Be consistent.
The reality is there is no perfect program. They all will work. What will separate a workout that works from one that does not is your ability to consistently do it. If you only work out once every couple of weeks, you will not see results.
5. Focus on nutrition.
You can get twice the results from your fitness routine with half the effort if your nutrition is dialed in. Focus in on lean proteins, healthy fats, fresh vegetables and healthy carbohydrates at every meal. Don’t forget to drink half your bodyweight in ounces of water every day.
Justin, a certified strength and conditioning specialist, is the owner and founder of Elite Performance & Fitness in Bemidji. To read more from him, you can find his blog at http://elitefitnessbemidji.com/