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Juggling a family, running errands, housekeeping and going to work are just a few of the challenges faced by everyday women. But what would happen if you could no longer continue to be superwoman? Take a look around, you'll see many women struggling to meet daily demands. They put on weight, are fatigued, stressed and often suffer with low self-esteem and confidence. If you want to have it all, your fitness and wellbeing are absolutely fundamental. Below we take a look at the top 10 fitness tips that smart and successful women swear by.

Top 10 fitness tips for women

Whether you're just starting out on your health and fitness journey, are looking to get back on track or are just trying to maintain your fitness, these tips provide the groundwork to help you create a healthy, balanced and fulfilling lifestyle. Like all tips, pick out the ones that are most applicable to you. Print them out and stick them up on your fridge at home for easy reference. Let's get started!

Tip number 1FIND WHAT YOU LOVE & SET SOME GOALS: The best type of exercise isn't necessarily the one that burns the most calories, it's the one you enjoy and keep coming back to again and again. Take a step back and ask yourself what you want to achieve with your exercise program. Is it that glow of good health, increased energy, improved muscle tone, dropping a few extra pounds, increasing fitness for your sport? Having a clear and defined goal at the outset is the first step to long-lasting motivation.

First, mark out a short-term goal, one you know you can achieve. Remember, less is often more. Achieve that goal first, feel good about it, reward yourself, then set about working towards the next. Also, having a long term goal, whether it be to participate in a 10km fun run or fit back into an old pair of jeans, will help keep you on track and remind you what you're working towards.

Tip number 2GET A ROUTINE THAT WORKS: It's simple. Don't commit to 6am gym sessions if you can't get up early. Plan your fitness regime around your lifestyle, whether it's lunchtime power sessions or after-work runs. Make your workouts work for you! The best time to exercise is when you will do it!

Find the activities you enjoy and which will help you reach your fitness goals - jogging, cycling, swimming, tennis, weight training, squash, group fitness classes - then just like the Nike slogan says, 'Just do it!"

Tip number 3Track your nutrition and exercise progress with the help on online programsMONITOR YOUR PROGRESS:  Don't leave your health and fitness up to fate, keep a diary of your exercise and eating habits and the classes you want to attend and give yourself a pat on the back every time you stick to it. This will not only show a record of your success, but will also serve as reminder of all your efforts so far.

There are plenty of handy online tools that can help you keep track of your nutrition and fitness progress without the need for pen and paper. Free websites like fitday (nutrition) and mapmyrun (run/jog) are both excellent resources and allow you to track, map, record, analyze, store and access all aspects of your exercise and diet plan in one location from your laptop or smart phone.

Tip number 4CRANK UP THE TUNES: You know which songs make you stand tall and get you going. Plugging in your earphones and listening to your favourite tunes while working out not only helps with motivation, it's fun too!

Pick up an iPod or an mp3 player (you can get the super-cheap online at places like Amazon) and play your own music at your own volume. Use the drum beat to up the intensity of the workout, particularly if you want to get the best out of walking, cycling or running for fitness. Here's a short video with some top-tunes to get you moving and help you create your own personal playlist.

Great workout songs to workout to


Tip number 5PUT YOURSELF FIRST: Channel that new years resolution and don't let others disrupt your fitness plan. Don't feel that you always need to say yes to social occasions - you can afford to be fussy! Also, take time to reflect on how much better you have felt since working out and acknowledge the importance of staying healthy.

When you exercise, remind yourself why you're doing it - to build a better and healthier body to live in. As always, consult your doctor or a fitness instructor if you have any concerns about your health prior to starting an exercise program. 

Healthy woman getting a massageTip number 6REWARD YOURSELF: When you reach a goal, take time out to reward yourself with something you enjoy. Get some girlfriends together and go shopping for some new clothes, get your hair done or treat yourself to a massage or facial.

Try to avoid food as the reward, although the odd cheat day won't hurt. In fact, occasionally splurging is actually good news for your wellbeing and motivation - just don't overdo it! Instead, consider buying something that fuels your motivation for continuing to exercise. For example, an mp3 or iPod, a new pair of running shoes, a slick new exercise top, a book or magazine on exercise and fitness or a training diary.

Tip number 7

MIX IT UP: The same old exercise routine day-in and day-out can quickly lose it's appeal and become stale. So mix it up! Get out of your comfort zone and try something new or inject some creativity into your existing routines to overcome exercsie boredom. Variety also places your working muscles and central nervous sytem (CNS) under new and unfamilar stress, forcing your body to learn and adapt, improving your fitness.

If you like to run, instead of taking a familar route, try a different way. Tackle a steeper hill, incorprtate challenging lie msatirs, or just give your muscles a well-deserved break with a long, relaxing walk. Also, change the location where you train. Hit the beach or take a hike. Often a change in scenery will help ease stress and improve your exercise performance. Another idea is to get involved in a new exercise discipline such as yoga, karate or group fitness classes. Checkout your local park, gym, beach, pool to see what's on offer and get involved!

Tip number 8

GROW YOUR OWN FAN BASE: Instead of going it alone, tell your friends and family your new health and fitness goals and why you want to achieve them. The more supportive people you surround yourself with, the more likely you will stay motivated and achieve your goals.

Making a declaration to those close to you will give you some accountability and will help keep you on track. Better yet, get your friends and family actively involved in getting fit and healthy. Looking for a few ways to combine social catch-ups with exercise? Here's a list of some of our favourite fitness activities for fat-burning, fun and gossip!

  • Ice Skating
  • Roller blading
  • Table tennis
  • Bowling
  • Horse riding
  • Swimming
  • Dance classes
  • Skiing
  • Aqua aerobics
  • Group fitness
  • Sailing
  • Indoor rock climbing

Tip number 9SLOW & STEADY WINS THE RACE: Don't push too hard too soon! When starting a new exercise program it's easy to jump in head first and give it your all. The problem is this can often lead to burnout, injury, frustration and sap your motivation.

A gradual approach where you slowly build on your previous efforts will help make exercise a lifelong habit and one you'll continue to enjoy for life. As you progress, you will begin to notice subtle changes in your appearance, mood and energy levels which will act as a continual cycle of positive reinforcement and encouragement.

Tip number 10POSITIVE THINKING AND AFFIRMATIONS: Your exercise time is time for you! Your mind is highly adaptable and will believe what ever you fill it with. Positive self-talk and affirmations can enhance your sense of well-being and strengthen your mind, as well as your body.

These positive reinforcements don't need to be long or complex. Simply repeating phrases like "everyday im getting better and better" and 'I'm a strong, fit, healthy, happy woman" a few times a day will slowly retrain your brain and body for success. Too often, it's your inside that says whether you can or can't do something, so challenge those negative thoughts and turn them into something positive. A healthy mind is the foundation for a healthy body.

Healthy mind and body