Note that this article assumes you are already reasonably fit, and want to increase your fitness level. If you consider yourself to be unfit and want to become fit, see How to Get Fit.
1. Write down your fitness goals. Lose 10 lbs, run a 5k race with my kids, improve my appearance. This will help you focus on why you want to increase you fitness, besides the overall health benefits. Be sure you are fueling you new fitness plan with proper and healthy nutrition.
2. Begin or ramp up your exercise program. Many people who are fit already exercise already, but sporadically. Oftentimes to increase your fitness level you need to start exercising regularly, as part of your daily routine.
Check with your doctor to be sure it is safe for you to begin an exercise program. A personal trainer can also assess your current condition and let you know if a doctors approval is warranted.
This plan should include – Frequency, Time, Duration, Location, and Type. Set aside a certain time of the day that will be used just for fitness with no interruptions.
Find a workout partner. This will help you stay on track. Find someone else who is thinking about “getting more fit” and set some goals together.
3. Review your progress regularly. Monitor your weight, body fat percentage and resting heart rate. Start with some benchmark testing such as max push up or pull up test.
4. Never overdo it. This is a big reason why many do not continue with an exercise program. Start off slow, and add intensity slowly over time.
5. Set attainable short term goals. Be realistic, if the goal is to lose 20 lbs do not expect that result in a week. That is no realist nor is it safe. Write down your goals, and refer to it often to keep yourself on track. Reward yourself for reaching short term goals. (If you lose 2 dress sizes in 2 months, go buy that dress you have had your eye on!)
6. Most importantly find an exercise plan that is fun. If you like to bike or swim, make sure that is part of your routine. Whatever your exercise interests are be sure to include, strength, resistance, and flexibility training.
7. Stick with it: Exercising more often should not be a short term fad but more of a lifestyle. Yes workouts get overlooked on occasion simply due to our busy schedules but if they become more of a priority you will miss less. Use variety to keep it interesting. Like to run? try a new route, trail run enter a 5k race. Anything it takes to stay on track.
To read more similar stories, check out our Fitness section.