How to Keep Fit This Spring

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By Andrew Chow

Spring has sprung and Melbournians are preparing their wardrobes for warmer weather. It’s also the time of year to start shedding some of the winter weight gained by too many nutella doughnuts.

Here are five tips to begin living a healthier lifestyle and to lose weight in the process.

Tip 1

Before starting on this weight loss adventure it is recommended that you get a full physical and blood from your local doctor. This is done because you need to know where you’re starting physically in order to make any improvements. Checking your cholesterol, vitamin levels, and blood pressure is important in order to figure out a fitness routine that will work for you.

Tip 2

Start walking.

The recommended minimum amount of cardio is 30 minutes, three times a week. But start off slow and listen to your body.

According to the American Heart Association, those 30 minutes of cardio need to be “vigorous” but if you’re not used to exercising regularly, walking is a good way to get started. From there you can build up to a walking-jogging combo, and then begin a running routine (30 minutes a day for three to five days). Eventually, you can work up to 45 minutes of cardio, three to five times a week, to see faster results.

But if you’re short on time, one recommendation is to add in cardiovascular exercises that get your heart rate up, such as jumping jacks or jump rope.

Tip 3

Begin strength training.

All you really need for strength training is your body, there’s no need for machines or weights.

A recommended routine consists of a mix of basic exercises to work all of your muscles: sit-ups, push-ups, planks, lunges, and squats, 20 of each, and repeat two to three times, for two to three days a week.

Tip 4

Diet.

Exercise is good and all, but a well thought out diet is also needed. It is recommended that you follow an 80/20 rule when it comes to your diet. This dictates that you eat well 80 per cent of the time, and then splurge 20 per cent of the time. Doing so will keep you from binge-eating unhealthy foods, because you’re treating yourself now and then.

Tip 5

Quit Smoking.

In order to get the most of these fitness routines and to make it less difficult for yourself it is recommended that you stop smoking.

Quitting smoking can reduce the risk of lung diseases and respiratory complications within one to two years, according to the American Lung Association. After two weeks, the lungs begin to repair themselves.

In the end a healthy heart and cardiovascular system will make exercising and following a routine much easier. Furthermore, exercise can help you get through the stress of quitting and help you make healthier choices.

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