FEEL LIKE YOU’VE HIT A RUT? OR MAYBE YOU NEED TO GIVE YOUR BODY A BREAK. THESE SIX WORKOUT TIPS WILL HELP YOU GET TO THE NEXT LEVEL
It’s easy to fall into the mindset that simply initiating an exercise program will reap results. Sure, the hardest part is actually making a commitment to make exercise part of your lifestyle, but what about once the habit is formed?
1. DON’T KID YOURSELF THAT WORKING OUT ALLOWS YOU TO PIG OUT.
If your goal is to lose body fat then don’t come home and think you have an excuse to eat the house down. This is defeating the purpose! I know it can be testing to control your ravenous urges after challenging workouts, but it helps to take a mindful moment and remember why you actually made the effort to go in the first place. A balanced diet of whole foods, minimally processed and void of added sugars or trans-fats is a great goal to work towards. Antioxidants clean up the free radical waste in body cells and include dark green leafy vegetables, berries and cruciferous vegetables. Record a food diary for a week to pinpoint any mindless eating moments.
2. IT’S OK TO BREAK A SWEAT
Enough of Instagram’s pretty workout shots. It’s OK to sweat! Be inspiring and show how hard you are working out and what it takes to be in your best shape. Honest exercise brings honest results so don’t just rock up to the gym expecting your makeup to stay on. If you find gyms intimidating, incorporate a swim in the ocean or pool. Testing our abilities adds purpose and makes the thought of turning up again more appealing.
3. GET SPECIFIC WITH YOUR WORKOUT
Being able to get the most bang for your buck in the least amount of time (unless you’re training for an endurance event) is the goal. A 20 minute HIIT (high intensity interval sessions) or a decent 40 minute walk with hills is all you need. Research is showing that 30 minutes is enough to give us the benefits of weight loss and a healthy body, if it’s done with a purpose and not fluffing around.
4. VARIETY IS THE SPICE OF LIFE
Not only will swapping your workouts alleviate boredom but it encourages our bodies to adapt to new programs while avoiding plateaus. Our bodies are very clever at becoming efficient at something if it’s done often enough. It doesn’t take much to step outside the realms of what you already do and change repetitions, exercises, duration or intensity. Every four weeks is said to be the optimal time.
5. WORK YOUR SMALLER MUSCLE GROUPS
It’s true that our large muscles (quads, hamstrings, and glutes) burn more energy when used but it’s our smaller muscle groups that add definition. Avoid bulking overworked muscles and focus on working smaller muscle groups around your core or intrinsic butt muscles. Hello booty.
6. TAKE THE TIME TO CHILL AND REFLECT
If you have the personality that finds it easy to overdo things this may be your first port of call. Over exercising adds stress to our bodies, while lowering our immune systems. Our hormones act as internal regulators and once they are out of whack or asked too much of, they retaliate. Negative effects include clinging on to fat stores and making us feel grumpy and tired. So take the time to chill out with yoga, stretching, a hot bath or meditation and reflect on your progress. Gains come from rested bodies.