As founder of Active8me, I feel passionate about fitness and health. And as a two-time Olympian I have learnt a lot about exercise, nutrition, mindset and overall fitness. I want to share these fitness tips with you today – to help you cut through all the conflicting information out there and to help you be successful on your fitness and health journey. I truly believe that life is better lived fit and healthy and I truly believe that every one of you reading this holds the key to your own transformation and success.
So here are my 10 best fitness tips so you can get the body you want and the health you deserve. And importantly, these tips are as applicable to you whether you’ve been a professional sportsperson like I have or if you’re just starting out and want to get fitter. We all struggle with time, we all need to motivate ourselves and we’re all looking for results. Adopt these tips and I have no doubt that you will see change.
No.1 of Jeremy’s Fitness Tips: One brick at a time – just be consistent
Over the years I’ve seen so many people start with the best intentions and stop. They set these really high expectations and aims at the start. “I’m going to work out 6 days a week!” But they can’t and don’t keep it up. Just set realistic goals that you can fulfill. Week after week. So instead of 6 sessions a week, make sure you do 3 sessions EVERY single week. You’ll feel good about yourself for doing what you set out to do and that will be a positive motivator for you. Consistency will then feed on itself and you’ll build a great foundation.
No.2 of Jeremy’s Fitness Tips: Trade steady-state cardio for high intensity interval training
High intensity interval cardio training is the best way to burn fat. It will skyrocket your heart rate and trigger your anaerobic metabolism, without eating away your muscle tone which is important as keeping your lean muscle allows you to burn more fat and calories throughout the day. Remember, fitness is intensity dependent – NOT time dependent.
No.3 of Jeremy’s Fitness Tips: Train first thing in the morning
I’m not a morning person, but training in the morning is the best time of the day to train for a number of reasons. There is less chance of things getting in the way and de-railing your workout as there can be when at work or at night. You burn more fat as you jumpstart your metabolism at the start of the day which helps it to stay elevated for longer. You are more likely to eat a healthier breakfast. You’ll be more energized for the rest of the day and even if you accomplish nothing else the rest of the day, you’ll still feel a sense of accomplishment.
No. 4 of Jeremy’s Fitness Tips: Train with others
Having someone else to work out with makes a huge difference. It makes working out more fun; they can keep you accountable; they can support and motivate you; and you’re more likely to exercise rather than be unreliable and let them down. If motivated professional athletes have training partners, don’t you think it makes sense for everyone.
No. 5 of Jeremy’s Fitness Tips: Keep it interesting – exercise is supposed to be fun
Doing the same things over and over again gets boring very quickly. So keep things fresh and interesting. It doesn’t matter what you do – just move. Go for a swim; do yoga; go for a surf; play tennis; go for a jog; climb a mountain; do some weight training; or try a dance class. Whatever you find enjoyable!
No. 6 of Jeremy’s Fitness Tips: More habit, less motivation
I think people place too much emphasis on motivation. Motivation is what gets you started, but habit is what keeps you going. I can’t tell you how often it has been just habit and discipline that has got me out of bed. I don’t really feel motivated to do it, but I know I’ll feel better for it. It is habit not motivation that moves me. Motivation can wane. Habit can be a great servant.
No. 7 of Jeremy’s Fitness Tips: Don’t stretch – warm up
Did you know that static stretching before activity can reduce your power output and increase your risk of injury? Instead, perform an active warm-up where you gradually get moving, do some gentle stretches, increase your heart rate and fire up your nervous system ready for your workout.
No. 8 of Jeremy’s Fitness Tips: Trade machines for free weights and do compound exercises
Rather than use machine exercises, use free weights (dumbbells, barbells, medicine balls etc) to build strength. Also, try and do compound exercises (exercises that involve multiple joints/muscles) rather than isolated exercises (exercises that work only one muscle/muscle group/joint at a time). This is because compound exercises and free weights use more muscles and recruit more muscle fibres which helps you burn more fat and build strength in ways that are more functional for your body. Some examples of compound exercises include squats, chin-ups into burpees, lunges, deadlifts, bench press, bent over row etc.
No. 9 of Jeremy’s Fitness Tips: Recovery is way more important than people think
Ask any professional athlete what one of the most important aspects of their training is and they will say rest and recovery. This is because they recognise that the workouts themselves only provide the stimulus for change. The change itself (an improvement in fitness level, building muscle) takes place during the periods between workouts. Your body needs time to rest and recover, so have days off from training, sleep well, go for a massage etc.
No. 10 of Jeremy’s Fitness Tips: Set a goal and write it down
If you don’t know where you’re going, how are you going to get there? Without a goal or vision for your training your motivation will wane. Research shows that those who have goals and record their progress are more compliant and see better results than those who wing it. So first define what you really want to achieve (and why), and then go for it.