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If you’re like most people, you are most active in the summer months. This makes summer the perfect time to start or revitalize your fitness goals. Whether your new years resolution has slowed down or you just want to get healthier, starting a new fitness plan provides many benefits. In addition to trimming your waistline, regular exercise and nutritious eating will help you feel better and more energized, think more clearly, and live a longer, healthier life. Here are some tips on starting your workout routine and how to stick to it this summer.

Start Sensibly

Don’t begin your exercise program too ambitiously. The key to success is to start slowly and increase the difficulty of your workouts as you become more fit. Those who overdo it often experience muscle soreness, become discouraged and quit. Rather than trying to run three miles on your first day, begin by running a mile and increase your distance gradually as your fitness level improves. Most importantly, remember that feeling dizzy or ill is your body’s way of telling you that you are working too hard. This is especially true in hot and humid weather. Don’t force yourself if you start to feel weak or faint. If this happens, take a break or stop your workout for the day.

Fitness at the Right Pace

Exercise should be fairly comfortable for you. Your pace should be just below the point at which you start to breathe quickly. Exercising at this pace produces two desirable results: it mobilizes fat burning and helps you develop endurance. This means that for maximum fat burning, longer, slower exercise is more beneficial than short, strenuous workouts. If you are reasonably fit and exercising at the proper pace, you should burn between 400 and 600 calories per hour during any aerobic exercise. This includes riding a stationary bicycle, walking or running on a treadmill, or using a stair climber.

Respect Your Recovery

Many people follow the saying “Go Hard” when it comes to working out, but you should focus on training as hard as you should, not as hard as you can. Pushing yourself to the limit without allowing your muscles to rebuild, risks injury and slow your progress toward your goals.

Avoid over training by doing high-intensity sessions followed by recovery days. For example, the day after a hard workout, do 20 minutes of light aerobic exercise, followed by stretches, mobility exercises, activation drills and foam rolling. You’ll speed up  recovery, release tightness and tension, avoid soreness and help your muscles build.

Along with recovery days, you need to get the right kind of rest. Eight hours of sleep each night is the recommendation, but if the quality of that sleep is poor, you could hinder your progress. Factors including the quality of your mattress, the darkness of the room, and your sleep schedule all affect your bodies ability to repair properly and make a huge difference in the quality of sleep. Make sure your bedroom is cool, quiet, and dark and get a consistent routine for going to bed.

Counting Calories Means Trimming the Fat

The media is full of varying reports on how to lose or maintain weight. It’s no wonder that you may be confused about what foods to eat and what to avoid. Most experts agree that eating a well-balanced diet low in fat is the key to losing weight. Since fat contains more than twice the calories of carbohydrates or protein, high-fat food equates to higher calories. While lowering your fat intake is important, it is also important to monitor your overall caloric intake. Your ideal caloric intake depends on your age, body size, and level of activity. Generally, women ages 23 to 50 need an average of 2,000 calories per day, while men in the same age group require about 2,400 calories per day. There are a variety of fitness apps that can help you track your dietary intake and estimate your caloric needs.

Routine exercise and healthy eating can dramatically lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and a number of other health problems that can lower your quality of life. Your health should always be a priority, and following these tips will help you start a fitness routine you can stick to. For more information about healthy eating, visit For further help staying healthy, call our agents at 724-929-2300 to speak about a health insurance plan to fit you or discuss coverage options and receive a free quote today.