Ever heard that saying, “Every journey begins with a single step”? Well, if you want to become the fittest version of yourself, your single step may not be as hard as you think! Use these 10 tips and you’ll be well on your way to becoming stronger, leaner and fitter!

1. Schedule and commit to your workouts. My business coach always says, “If it isn’t scheduled, it isn’t real.” I think this rings true for everything, especially when it comes to your workout because it’s usually the first thing that gets pushed aside when stress starts to build with errands and deadlines. If you want to become the fittest version of yourself, you’ve got to schedule and commit to your workouts – preferably at the same time or on the same days from week to week.

2. Save time and get better results by doing shorter workouts. One of the reasons people fail to start an exercise program is because they think they need to workout for hours a day so when they don’t have that much time, they don’t even get started in the first place. But here’s the thing…you don’t need to do super-long workouts, just effective ones, like HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), which are the exact types of workouts I’m a master at creating! Work at your maximum capability during the workout and take only as much rest as you absolutely need to in between sets. Don’t get distracted, but stay focused. Tip: It’s better to do 10-30 minutes at your maximum capability than it is to do 1-2 hours half-heartedly.

3. Have a goal. When you first start a fitness program, your motivation is most likely at its’ highest, so making a special effort to workout (when you normally wouldn’t) doesn’t seem so hard. But a after a few weeks, when the motivation starts to dwindle, it becomes a lot harder to stick to your program. That’s why having a goal can be a really great source of motivation when you don’t feel like training because you’ll have a special reason to keep pushing forward. Whether you register for a 10K run, want to drop a dress size or take part in a Tough Mudder, choose a goal that will motivate you to keep going.

4. Plan your workouts in advance. Know what you are going to do before you get to the gym, go for a run or workout at home. Preparing what you are going to do puts you in the right mind-set before your workout and it’ll give you some structure. There are a variety of ways to do this such as splitting the days you work upper and lower body, or mixing restorative yoga sessions with power yoga or even practicing a martial arts pattern vs kicking drills. However you choose to do this, having a plan will save you time and add structure to your program. Need a plan? Download one of my free workouts here.

5. Do your workouts in progression, especially if you are a beginner or haven’t worked out in a while. Start simple and build up your strength, endurance, flexibility and coordination over a period of time, i.e. 4-8 weeks. If you try to rush your results or over extend yourself you’ll only end up getting injured! Even if you workout on a regular basis, monitor your progression and be willing to change and adapt if your fitness ability or goals change.

6. Support your workouts with healthy eating habits. You’ll get the maximum benefit from your workouts when your body is nourished properly with lean proteins, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats. Don’t eat poorly because you workout. Eat well to have more energy and super-charge your workouts! Download my free healthy recipes here.

7. Incorporate “rest” days. Your body will respond much better to your workout schedule if you incorporate days of rest. Rest could be defined as not working out that day at all, or it could be doing some type of cross-training. So for example if you regularly do cycling, switch it up on your “off” days and try some yoga or swimming instead. Also make sure that you are getting enough sleep so that your body can repair and rejuvenate optimally.

8. Learn proper technique and form! I’ve see so many people performing exercises incorrectly and it pains me when I see this because I see an injury waiting to happen. You also don’t want to waste your time doing exercises ineffectively. Whether you are a beginner or you’ve been active for years, it’s important to learn proper technique to prevent injury and get the maximum benefit from your workout.

9. Prevent injury by incorporating a proper warm up and stretching routine into your program. People often skip the warm up and cool down because they are in a rush, but this is a sure-fire way to get hurt. Not only is the warm up important for creating blood-flow to your muscles, which helps to increase your range of motion during exercise, it also helps you to mentally prepare for the workout. And don’t dismiss the importance of a stretching afterwards. Think of it this way. As you perform contraction after contraction during your workout, your muscles are left in a shortened state. Stretching helps to reset your body to a natural position and posture and I highly recommend that if you want to increase flexibility, you hold your stretches for a longer period of time. Get my FREE stretching recommendations here.

10. Track your progress. If you want to become the fittest version of yourself, it’s important to note your level of fitness at the start of your journey so you’ve got something to compare to after a few weeks or months. Acknowledging how far you’ve come is an excellent way to stay motivated and to continue to work towards your goal. This doesn’t have to be complicated though…it could be as simple as keeping an exercise log. Look back after 4-8 weeks and give yourself a huge pat on the back!

About the Author

Bianca Schaefer is a 360 Holistic Health who inspires a global community to take charge of their lives through nourishing their body, mind and spirit with delicious healthy foods, an active lifestyle and a mindset that believes anything is possible! Her mission is to help others realize their greatest potential and use their unique talents to be an inspiration to others. Find out more about Bianca on her personal website, www.BiancaSchaefer.com