28 Exercise and Health Tips to Help You Conquer Fit February
Feb 23, 2022
Have you heard of the Fit February Challenge? It’s gaining some steam worldwide. The concept, itself – 28 days of exercise, 30 minutes per exercise, while maintaining a balanced diet – is a simple one that can be adapted in almost any way imaginable by fitness studios, gyms, and individuals.
So, grab your workout matt, lace your tennis shoes, and make yourself Instagram ready, if that’s your thing. At Fitness Together Ellicott City, our emphasis is on consistency, but we challenge you to be as creative and as possible when embracing this challenge.
Here are a month’s worth of exercise and health tips to see you through:
- Simply get started: Body moving, blood pumping, weights lifted. Experts recommend 30 minutes per day, five days per week. Start with what you know, and you’ll learn what you don’t.
- Find the time. February has its share of holidays. Be sure to check your calendar and schedule accordingly. Mornings may be a good way to beat the rush on those days when fellow enthusiasts are off work.
- Keep a journal: Compiling 28 entries is a great start to a detailed documentation of your fitness journey. Log body weight and body fat measurements, check-off exercises you’ve completed each day, and tally your cumulative hours.
- Work both halves of your body: Lower body exercises that target your abs, glutes, and hamstrings are imperative, but don’t forget your shoulders, back, chest, and arms. Cue the bench press and bicep curls.
- Consume more protein. Studies have shown that adding protein to one’s diet can aid in weight loss and promote lean muscle mass.
- Consume fewer processed snacks. Chips, snack cakes, and overtly processed foods are a no, no for a balanced diet. Even when snacks are healthy, calories can start to add up. Seek balanced meals at regular intervals throughout the day.
- Do everything in moderation. Fit February doesn’t want to cramp your style or rain on your parade or crash the party… whatever. But limiting cocktails and alcoholic beverages can help you stay focused on the challenge at hand. Sugary drinks like sodas and sweet teas should also be limited, as they are filled with empty calories and contribute to heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
- Don’t forget to sleep! Be sure to get 27 good night’s rests while participating in Fit February and then keep it up when March rolls around. Sleep allows your body to recoup from rigorous exercise, and reduces your risk for hormonal balances, indulgent snacking, and, of course, falling asleep at your desk.
- But don’t sleep standing up! Practice good posture. The ways we sit and stand have an immense effect on our workouts, and slouching can lead to joint pain, inflexibility, and even muscle loss.
- Tighten that core: Integrate pushups, squats, deadlifts, and other trainer-recommended exercises into your Fit February regimen.
- Know your numbers: Many people are at risk for heart disease yet have no idea. Talking to your doctor may not be building up a sweat on the elliptical, but it can help you determine your cholesterol levels, and help your trainer to know what lifestyle changes and exercises to recommend.
- Get Zen, man. Stress is an accomplice to so many of our ailments. Remember to breathe. Confide in a friend. Try yoga. Meditate. And see step #1.
- Kick the habit. If you’re a smoker, strive not to be. Quitting smoking is one of the most important things you can do when pursuing a healthier lifestyle. Quite today, and your risk of heart disease diminishes by half in just one year.
- Use your environment. Don’t wait for your scheduled studio session to get a workout in. Exercise whenever the mood strikes you. Walk around while you’re chatting on the phone. Park at the farthest end of the lot when you go for groceries or odds and ends. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. You get the picture.
- Dance. Hit the play button on the old boom box or ask Siri or Google or your significant other to throw on some music you can move to. Then move it, move it.
- Hydrate. When you exercise, your body loses fluid faster. Make sure to drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. A good rule of thumb is 17-20 ounces, two to three hours before you start exercising, and another 8 before you begin. Then, drink 7-10 ounces every 20-30 minutes while working out. Aim for another 8 no more than 30 minutes after your session ends.
- Don’t push it. Rest is an integral part of any exercise regimen. It helps our muscles repair themselves after a vigorous workout, which prompts muscle growth. It also replenishes our fuel cells, preventing muscle fatigue and soreness.
- Laughter. Is it the best medicine? Well, consider this – studies have shown, laughing lowers stress hormones, reduces arterial inflammation, and raises those good cholesterol levels. Sounds pretty good to us. Consider listening to a humorous podcast while you exercise, or simply crack jokes with good friends between workouts. But work those smile muscles as much as you can.
- Stretch. Taking time to stretch those muscles before and after a workout can help strengthen your musculoskeletal system, which is kind of necessary for each and every exercise you do.
- Go nuts. Avoiding nuts because of their fat content? Don’t. They’re actually a phenomenal source of protein, fiber, and so many different vitamins and minerals.
- Go fish. Fatty fish like salmon are a great source of omega 3s and other nutrients. Use Fit February as a reason to incorporate into your daily diet, if you haven’t already.
- Get lifting: Strength training not only helps to improve your muscle and body composition, but it can also improve your metabolic rate (the calories you burn while resting) and improve your insulin sensitivity and help your body manage blood sugar levels more efficiently.
- Embrace interval training. HIIT training (High Intensity Interval Training) involves bursts of highly intensive physical activity with shorter recovery periods. It’s believed to provide similar benefits to more moderately-paced exercise at a fraction of the time.
- Exercise online. February weather can be unpredictable. Snowed in? Stay home and try a virtual workout with a certified trainer from the privacy of your own living room!
- Make the most of your studio membership: Take it to the max this Fit February and use all of the tools your personal fitness studio membership allows. Enjoy your favorites, obviously, but don’t be afraid to try something new. This is, after all, a challenge.
- Consider supplementing your workout with a wearable. Fitness trackers are not the answer to a healthier lifestyle, but many can help you maximize your workout. Be sure to make a list of the measurements and parameters that you require and find the gadget that fits the bill.
- Understand your body mechanics. Functional fitness is the process of training your muscles to work as a team, not independently. To do this, you need to learn and understand the body’s seven basic motions: pushing, pulling, squatting, lunging, rotating, and hinging. Get the details and brush up.
- Have fun! Exercise shouldn’t be a chore, a burden, or – worse – something you dread. Positivity and the perfect collaborator make all the difference. Fitness Together Ellicott City can help with both.