While we may all goggle over the incredibly fit bodies we sometimes see in magazines and around us and wish that we could have the same, we usually understand deep down inside that good physical health takes a lot of hard work. That said, simply working out diligently each and every day will not guarantee one’s success either. It is important to recognize that it takes both hard work as well as smart work in order to achieve one’s fitness goals. To that end, following are the six essential training metrics necessary to improving one’s fitness:
1. Volume. You will get better at any sort of physical activity if you steadily increase the volume of your participation in that activity by about ten percent a week–exercising more often and for longer times.
2. Pace. While always being mindful of taking in adequate oxygen to maintain beneficial aerobic exercise, you can improve your fitness by increasing your pace. You can do this by running a little faster for two minutes, then jogging for one minute over the course of three repetitions.
3. Cadence. Needless to say, erratic motion is more of an energy waste than a fitness improver. Working on your cadence to become more efficient is highly beneficial as it can allow you to work harder, faster and longer with less effort.
4. Heart rate. As you become increasingly more fit, your resting heart rate will become lower, which means you will be able to safely push yourself harder while training. However, it is important to recognize that your maximum rate will also decrease as you age, so you will not be able to push yourself as hard at forty as you did at twenty.
5. Sleep. Sleep is critical to your body’s ability to recuperate from physical activity and prepare for new physical activity. It is best to get no less than eight to ten hours of sleep every day, so as to not compromise the impact of your physical fitness efforts.
6. Nutrition. Good nutrition provides vital nourishment to your body that allows it to perform at the high levels you desire. It is especially important to ensure that you are consuming the appropriate volume of calories–neither too few nor too many.
By understanding the training metrics that are essential to improving your fitness, you can better streamline your efforts, prevent illness or injury and achieve your goals.