Whatever you set out to do in life, having a clear set of guidelines will help you reach your goal more quickly. Fitness is no exception. There's no point going to the gym once or twice a week and doing the same routine month after month, you need to have focus and direction.
That's why we've drawn up this list of the top 10 fitness goals. Print it out and stick it on your fridge, keep it in your Filofax or file it on your computer – that way you'll be constantly reminded of what it is you wish to achieve, and how you are going to do it. By rereading this list every few weeks, you will have a better chance of achieving these important goals. They will help improve your energy, looks and quality of life.
Work out regularly. Aim to train two to five times a week. Each session should last between 20 minutes to an hour. Remember it is the quality (not the quantity) of the time you spend training that leads to progression. Push your self harder on days when you feel you have more strength, and go easier when you feel less energetic.
Do a mixture of exercises. Make sure that your training regime covers all the necessary elements. Your weekly exercise programme should include elements of cardiovascular (aerobics, running, brisk walking, stepping, skipping rope, rowing), resistance training (weights or own body exercises such as press ups) and, finally, flexibility (stretching). You should always warm up and cool down before each session.
Take up a new class. Commit to trying a new exercise discipline within the next month. I call this the 'Heineken principle', because different forms of training hit different places! For example a Pilates class will teach you how to build core training into your exercise principles, and show you how to hit your abdominals in ways that are not possible with conventional sit-ups. Why not try a kickboxing or Tae Bo class instead of the usual step or aerobics?
Become independent. It's really important to learn to exercise without equipment. How many times have you heard about people going off on a sun-soaked holiday, only to return feeling unfit and sluggish because there was no gym there? If you learn to use your own body by doing squats, lunges, press-ups, a variety of sit-ups and stretches, you can workout wherever you are in the world, and there is no excuse for not looking after yourself.