Stay on track

You're probably too used to this routine by now: you're gung-ho about your fitness resolutions, and a couple of months into it, your resolve fizzles, and before long, you are on the verge of giving up. The reason is very simple: you either set unrealistic targets or didn't have a practical plan. For example, before you set out on a long drive, you make a mental note of the route. If you don't, you know you'd waste a lot of time and fuel. It's the same with fi tness. The countless hours you spend working out, and all the effort will go waste without a proper modus operandi. First off, get this straight: to get fi t, focus on five important aspects: cardio, strength training, stretching, sleep and diet. This will not only help improve your fi tness performance but also prevent injuries.

Follow these 10 steps to stay on the fitness-track.

Read up and stay updated on fitness knowledge, so you don't miss out on minor tips and tweaks to your routine.

Hire a qualifi ed Personal Trainer. The best way to know if a PT is good is to check the results he has achieved with his other clients.

If you're looking to lose weight, aim to lose half a kilo of bodyweight per week (3500 calories). This means a daily cut of 250 calories from food and 250 through exercise. This way you'd cut 500 calories in 7 days (a 3,500 calorie defi cit per week).

If you've just started working out, aim for: a 30-minute jog, 8 continuous pull ups, 20 push ups and 50 bodyweight squats for atleast six to eight months.

If you're making a comeback to serious training, Bench Pressing and Squatting the equivalent of your own bodyweight should be your aim. Ten sprints over 200m should take care of your cardio. Aim to hit these in four to six months.

Take a one week break from training every 12-weeks to help your body recover and to avoid boredom.

Training for six days a weeks, will not give you a superman-like physique. So don't go down that route. Your overenthusiasm could often lead to overuse injuries or worse, a loss of interest.

Mark your training time in your diary just as you would jot down the details of an important meeting which cannot be changed no matter what!

Announce or a lay bets with your friends or colleagues about the weight loss or strength gain that you plan to lose or gain in the next four months. There's no better way to push yourself.

Perform a fun group activity such as dance aerobics or spinning. Group exercises can be motivational, plus you get to be around fi t women. But mainly learn to train by yourself so that you become self-reliant.

Deckline Leitao, who holds a sports science degree from South Africa and a PG diploma from the UK, is one of India's most qualifi ed trainers.

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