I am in training (which feels pretty hardcore at the moment) for a fitness test in a few weeks. I have done my own research and asked friends who treat their body as if it is a temple to find out the most effective ways to become stronger more quickly….

  1. Do forms of exercise you enjoy… There’s no point in joining a gym if you’re never actually going to go! I love Pilates and yoga, so this is my starting point. Some people love running on the beach, swimming, cycling, paddle surfing or rock climbing – make sure you do something you feel passionate about 2-3 times a week.
  2. Mix cardiovascular exercises, which get your heart racing fast, with muscle strengthening exercises, such as weights or power yoga poses.
  3. Do stretches daily as these will help with the aches you will feel a day or two after working hard.
  4. Get someone to massage your sore aching muscles. This will also help to dissipate the lactic acid, which contributes to you feeling sore.
  5. Drink plenty of water! At least 2 litres per day.
  6. Eat well! You cannot build new muscle if you have not provided your body with suitable nutrition. Eat 3-4 healthy meals a day with snacks such as fruit and nuts in between. Make sure you eat plenty of protein, which will supply you with amino acids to make more muscle.
  7. Interval training will quickly increase your cardiovascular endurance. This is when you sprint for 1 minute, then walk fast for 2 minutes, then sprint again. You can do this 3 or 4 times until you feel yourself able to sprint for longer and need less rest. You can do the same with cycling or swimming too.
  8. Vitamins and supplements, such as creatine, may help to top up your energy levels, but make sure you drink enough water if you are taking these kinds of supplements, as some can affect your kidneys. You can ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice on these.
  9. Try and be active throughout your day- take the stairs instead of the lifts, jog or power walk to work. By incorporating more exercise everyday, you will get more fit much more quickly, and you will also stay fit.
  10. Be happy!!! Exercise and eating well will help you to release natural endorphins, which will make you smile naturally. Be proud of yourself for doing all this hard work and take pleasure in the new, strong, beautiful you!