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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Build your confidence with these fitness guidelines

The theme for this summer’s is confidence.

As you shed your winter layers going into spring and summer, are you happy with your core? It may be time to kick it up a notch.

We all know the guidelines to be fit, but you can never be reminded too often:

Set goals

Pressure always pushes you to perform. Find a reason to be motivated to work out regularly and eat healthily. Perhaps you’re involved in a triathlon, wedding or vacation. Be proud of your performance.

Hydration

Hydration is possibly the most overlooked topic in health and nutrition. We always seem to mention it, but never stress the importance of proper hydration.

The human body must maintain 55 percent to 80 percent water to function properly. To avoid dehydration, the body requires 2 liters of water daily. If you’re active, you may need to replace more than 2 liters per day.

Water helps prevent disease, decrease body fat, regulate temperature and maintain brain stimulation.

Rest

This is another topic that must be taken more seriously. Without rest, your body can’t repair and replenish. Organs and systems will shut down when overused.

Six to eight hours of sleep are needed every day to maintain a healthy lifestyle. If you don’t rest, you won’t get the benefits of exercise.

Nutrition

Eat first, eat balanced, eat often. These are three rules you can follow for proper nutrition.

You must never skip breakfast. Starving your body holds onto fat and shuts down systems in the body. Balanced meals help your body function, repair and improve.

Protein, healthy fats, fiber, vitamins and carbohydrates must be balanced and included in each meal.

Without proper nutrition, over time, exercise will be of no help to your physique. Eating often keeps your metabolism burning at a high rate and refuels the body to allow it to function the entire day.

Regular workouts

Anything worth having is hard to get. There is no easy way to be fit.

There is never enough time. You must make time. Be active four times a week for at least 30 minutes.

Obesity is a real epidemic in America. More and more people are using technology and fewer and fewer are using their bodies.

Life is happening at a faster pace, and we take less time to think about ourselves and prepare. Don’t become victim to all the diseases associated with being overweight and out of shape. Do something about it.

Here are some of our favorite ways to get and stay fit at Fit It In:

Work out with someone. Even if you think you like to work out alone, I guarantee you aren’t getting as much benefit from it as you would if you did it with someone else.

It has been proved that those who work out with a partner or trainer get 40 percent more of an effect from their training.

Place some pressure on yourself. Step outside the box. Sign up for a race or competition or event that pushes you to be better.

At Fit It In, we strive to be 1 percent better every day. There is no maintenance or settling.

Swim. The summer is just about here. Swimming is a full-body workout that will push your limits without the physical impact.

Try doing just 10 laps a day and increase each week throughout the summer. By fall, you could be swimming 100 laps in one workout. Imagine the machine you’d be building of yourself.

Beach workouts are our favorite part of the summer. We bring ropes and medicine balls just to add some flare to our training.

There is nothing like getting to the beach early, warming up with a light jog down the sand and diving into an amazing 20-minute beach blast workout followed by a dip in the waves.

Here are some exercises you can do to rev up your summer confidence:

Pushups: Try a variety, including traditional, spiderman, mountain climber, plyo-pushups, suspension or medicine ball pushups. Do your max every time.

Burpees: This is a favorite at Fit It In. Try the traditional burpees or the new advanced burpees.

Plank to pushup: Test your core and upper body by starting in a front plank position and pushing yourself into a pushup position on your hands. For an added challenge, do the pushup on every repetition.

Lunges: Work those thighs for swimsuit season.

Squats: Shape up your legs and glutes for the summer.

Side plank up-downs: These will help hit the obliques and shape your hips for the sunshine.

Try these exercises in this order. Do 10 repetitions and three cycles, or set a timer for 15 minutes and count how many circuits you can finish.

Is that still not enough? Try doing 10 sprints immediately after your 15-minute density circuit.

Don’t forget to do it with someone for an added level of intensity.

Fit It In runs the fourth Sunday of the month. Danielle Tetreault is a personal trainer and the owner of Fit It In Fitness, 4 Townsend West, Suite 11, Nashua. She can be reached at fititinpt@hotmail.com, or visit her website at www.fititintraining.com. She offers semi-private training, group training and fitness challenges.