You've poured blood, sweat and tears getting in shape. You've reached your goal weight and have managed to keep it in check for some time now. But, every once in a while, you go off track of your fitness routine and find it hard to get back on the right path.
To keep your waistline in check, Michelle Lovitt, celebrity fitness trainer and Zobha brand ambassador, shares five tips that make staying in shape easy.
More: 15 Lifelong Exercise Tips
1. Slow and Steady Cardio
Your heart rate is the key to exercising at the right intensity (heart rate zone) to meet and maintain your fitness goals. If you exercise regularly and aim to lose those few extra pounds of body fat, exercise at 60 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate. Build up to a workout of an hour of continuous exercise by doing intervals. Studies show that people who exercise at too high an intensity (above 85 percent), especially in the initial stages of their program, drop out sooner, have more injuries, and tend to develop a negative impression towards exercise in general. Aim for 20 to 60 minutes of continuous exercise, incorporating intervals in your target zone, each session.
More: Your Perfect Week of Cardio Workouts
2. Invest in a Heart-Rate Monitor
Would you drive your car with a blindfold to an unknown destination? Then why exercise and not know how many calories you're burning and where those calories are coming from? Determine your maximum heart rate (220-age= x .65 and .85, separately)—those two numbers designate your fat-burning zone. Use your heart-rate monitor to stay in this range. Aim for 20 to 60 minutes of continuous exercise in your target zone each session. Exercise intensities that are too low may not result in the desired training effect, whereas a too-high training intensity may cause overtraining. By monitoring heart rate during training and staying within specific zones, you will reduce the risk of overtraining.
More: Heart Rate Readings, What Do They Mean?
3. Drink Water (Stay Hydrated)
Be sure to consume at least 64 ounces of water per day, plus an additional 16 ounces for every hour of moderate intensity. Fat is excreted primarily through urine, sweat and carbon dioxide when released in the air from your lungs. If dehydrated, the body doesn't excrete fat efficiently.
More: The Many Wonders of Water: 6 Reasons to Drink Up