We all start with the best intentions when it comes to health. We want to work out, get in shape and feel happy with our bodies. However, knowing how to get in shape and staying in shape after you’ve reached your goals aren’t always easy tasks. Life and schedules get in the way and it becomes easy to slack off on your fitness regime.
The key is to start small. Many who embark on developing a workout plan, both as someone new to a routine or people trying to kick start their fitness goals, find themselves turned off by exercise because they did not set a realist goal or expected too much too soon. Fitness, in its truest sense, is about a steady approach. Sure, maximizing results is something that everyone wants, but you have to be realistic. Losing 20 pounds in a week? Not the best plan. Losing 20 pounds over the course of a few months with proper nutrition and a game plan? Excellent idea. Where to start with reclaiming your fitness and living a better life? The first step is identifying what exercises will work for your body type, your schedule and any preexisting conditions you may have (high blood pressure, diabetes, etc.)
There are three basic types of workouts: cardiovascular, toning and stretching. A well-rounded exercise regime will incorporate all three types of exercise. Cardiovascular exercise ranges from swimming and rowing to hiking and biking. The best cardiovascular exercise is the one you’ll do on a regular basis. If you hate running, it isn’t necessary to force yourself to be a runner. Instead, find an exercise you enjoy, like rock climbing or mountain biking. Make sure to stretch before and after exercise. You should never stretch cold muscles, so warm up for a few minutes before stretching. Incorporate yoga and Pilates into your workout regime, too.
It’s important to not train the same muscle group two days in a row when it comes to toning exercises. Either take time off between toning workouts or work out different sets of muscles on alternating days. For example, work out your upper body on Monday and Wednesday and your lower body on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Always take a day off during the week to let your body rest and recuperate. Over-exercising can cause injuries and prevent you from working out in the future. The easiest mistake to make when getting into a routine is over-exerting yourself right from the start. Not only can you turn yourself off from a regimen that can work for you, you can hurt yourself in the process, putting yourself out of commission for some time, which has a negative effect on both your mental and physical well being.
If you don’t have a gym membership, you may have to head outdoors to workout. If you’re not prepared to exercise outside during the winter, you’ll have a difficult time fitting workouts into your daily life. If you’re going to run outside during cold weather, you have to dress properly. Wear sweat-wicking materials, especially with the layer closest to your skin. Instead of cotton workout clothes, choose ones made from polypropylene instead. A thin polar fleece makes an excellent second layer. Wear an outer layer made from Gore-Tex or nylon to shield you from wind and snow. If you have the opposite problem, living in a hot climate, dress appropriately and take time into consideration. Oftentimes, people can only run during the midday hours, where the sun and heat are at their peak. This can lead to dehydration and heat stroke. Also, avoid any sort of “sauna suit,” which will simply cause you to lose water weight that you’ll put right back on. These suits also make it more difficult to improve your measurements. When the body is dehydrated, performance decrease and muscle fatigue increase exponentially, thus starting a cycle of self-destruction that can hurt your goals and body in one fell swoop. Don’t make it harder on yourself, stay hydrated, drink when you’re thirsty.
If you’re a frequent traveler, prepare to work out even when on the road. Always keep a set of resistance bands packed so that you can train anywhere. Also, pack a pair of running sneakers and a couple of changes of workout clothes so that you don’t have any excuse to not work out. Vacations are prime times for gaining weight and you’ll want to stay in shape even if you’re taking time off from work. You can always work out with what’s in your room, using body weight exercises to keep the weight off. Use chairs to do tricep dips and use a book to add increased difficulty to your pushups, switching the book to different arms to increase strength proportionally.
Hiring a personal trainer will help you to reach your goals and to stay there once you’ve achieved the level of fitness you desire. Having a personal trainer makes you accountable to someone other than yourself, which is often the much-needed push many people benefit from. It’s easy to get lazy when it comes to your workout if nobody’s looking over your shoulder. Having a personal trainer, though, gives you someone to report to as well as someone to support and encourage you. One of the most difficult tasks in starting a fitness routine is having someone or something to motivate you. Pushing to fit into your old clothes or simply wanting to live a healthier lifestyle for a significant other is a goal, but having someone pushing you to dig deeper will keep you on the path to meeting those goals.
Contact Achieve Personal Fitness to arrange a consultation or sign up for a session today!