Fitness and health go pretty much hand-in-hand. But there are plenty of other reasons to want to improve your fitness as well.
Breaking down your motivations for getting fit is the first step to achieving your goals. Do you want to improve your health? Do you want to become more fit so you can take on challenges like climbing Mount Everest and explore the world more fully? Do you want to be more confident in yourself and your body?
Getting fit improves your physical and mental health, as well as opening your life up to more exciting opportunities. Here are some seemingly simple (but not necessarily easy) lifestyle changes that you can make to reach these fitness goals.
We’ll start with one of the big ones.
It’s no secret that smoking does an absolute number on your health and fitness. As well as the obvious damage to your lungs and the increased cancer risk, smoking causes organ damage throughout your body, especially your cardiovascular system. It can also increase your general stress.
As well as reducing the risk of developing potentially dangerous smoking-related health conditions, your general fitness will improve shortly after you quit smoking.
Unfortunately, quitting smoking isn’t easy. It’s a good idea to explore different methods of quitting so that you can ensure the best results. These might include going cold turkey, which is the hardest option, cutting back on cigarettes gradually, or using aids. Many people use nicotine pouches to quit smoking, for example. It’s a good idea to consult a doctor when making this change.
As well as cutting out harmful habits like smoking, you should also consider what you eat and drink.
Excessive alcohol use is also very bad for your health and fitness, and you should definitely cut it down when training. But other drinks, like sugary drinks, can also cause potential problems as they contain a lot of calories but little nutritional value.
You should eat nutritionally dense and balanced foods that provide enough calories for your training regime. This isn’t a case of cutting weight and starving yourself, you want to fuel your body with healthy and, ideally, tasty food.
Food isn’t the enemy of fitness. It can be your greatest ally.
You don’t suddenly and magically become fit just because you really want to. You also have to put in the work.
If you just want to improve your general fitness, which is a great goal in and of itself, the most important thing is that you exercise regularly. The type of exercise you do doesn’t matter as much as the regularity and the intensity. Walking and long hikes are a great way to improve your general fitness, and you don’t even need a gym membership.
But if you want more specific results, you need to focus on specific exercises. Strength training and cardio training are both parts of a balanced workout, but depending on your goals, you will focus on one more than the other. Research the best workout routine for your needs and work towards it.