The Notepad

Published: February 7, 2018
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ACE certified and fitness junkie Shafaq Aftab believes moderation and discipline are two very important aspects to achieve fitness goals. She shares her six tried and tested tips to get fit with your sanity intact!

Strength training

Regardless of the misconception, ‘lifting weights will make you look manly’ I have never been afraid of lifting. In fact, it helped me cut down body fat, gain muscle and strength. Strength training helps increase metabolism which means you can burn a much higher percentage of calories even at rest. I believe training style has a lot to do with how the workout will effect and change the body, so if you train according to your goals, you will see the results you want.

Get your cardio in

For optimum health benefits, make sure to include 3-4 sessions of cardio in your routine. I think both strength training and cardiovascular training are equally important when it comes to overall fitness and health. My cardio sessions usually consist of 30-45 minutes of fast paced walking or 20-30 minutes of high intensity interval training.

Train all muscle groups

I give all the big muscle groups equal importance. I think it is very important to train each and every muscle group because a balance between all the muscles is what gives us good posture, improves overall strength and decreases chances for injuries. It’s better to focus on each big muscle group each day, but this can be done in multiple days based on individual preferences.

80:20 Rule

The 80:20 rule is a lifestyle rule that has personally helped me stay fit and enjoy the journey. Eighty per cent of the time, my diet is on point and I keep track of my calories and macro nutrients but on the other hand I give in to my cravings 20 per cent of the time and indulge in foods I love. This helps me stay sane and consistent.

Have a plan you can consistently follow

Before starting anything, it is important to have a plan that suits your routine and lifestyle. It always helps one to stay consistent and achieve their fitness goals. It’s very important to plan your week beforehand; it should also include your fitness plan from your gym time to diet plan. Having a plan makes it easier for one to be disciplined and dedicated to their goals.

Nutrition is key

Knowing what is going in your body helps you understand if it is going to benefit you. I tend to always check the nutritional facts before buying any edible product. The main things I look out for are the number of calories, protein (look for high protein), carbohydrates, sugar, fats, trans-fats (look for lowest option), and dietary fibre. Being aware of what I am eating helps me to consciously opt for nutritious options.

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