10 Top Sports Fitness Tips

by Lona Sandon, MEd, RD, LD

Health Talks

1.  Get 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity most days. 

Lona Sandon, RD, LD

2. Mix up your workouts to include both cardiovascular and muscle training exercises for a whole body fitness improvement plan. Cardiovascular exercise helps keep your heart healthy while muscle training exercise can improve posture and strength. 

3. Try interval training to improve cardiovascular fitness and burn up calories. Interval training requires you to alternate bouts of high intensity with lower intensity during your workout.

4. Lift heavy enough to make a difference to build muscle. When strength training, the weight should be heavy enough to tire out the muscle with about 12 repetitions. Allow muscles at least one rest day between hard strength building workouts. 

5. Always start with a warm-up. A few minutes of light aerobic activity followed by gently stretching the major muscle groups you are about to use will get the body temperature up and help prepare your body for the workout.  t can also help prevent injuries.

6. Cool down with 10 minutes of stretching. Being physically fit includes being flexible. After your workout, your muscles will be warm and flexible. This is a good time to stretch them out which may help prevent muscle soreness and injury.

7. Wear the right clothing. Light-colored, sweat-wicking clothing will help keep you feeling cooler when exercising outdoors in hot weather. If exercising in cold weather, be sure to wear a base layer that wicks sweat away under your warm layers. Also choose clothing right for your sport – cyclists wear padded shorts for a reason.

8. Consider cross-training. The benefits of cross-training include less risk of overuse injuries, less boredom from doing the same thing, and gets more muscles involved for overall fitness. 

9. Choose the right shoes. Uncomfortable or poorly fitting shoes can impact the effectiveness of your workout. Take your time in picking the right shoe with the right fit. Test them out in the store before buying. Get fitted at the end of the day and with the type of sock you would normally wear.

10. Schedule in a rest day or two. Overtraining can lead to poor performance rather than improving it. It can also increase your risk of injury and respiratory infections. Give your body enough time to rest and recover. 

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