I am a huge advocate when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and setting health goals. Exercise and eating right should be among the top priorities for your every day. Sure, you might not make it to the gym every day or get a chance to squeeze in a quick workout daily and that’s okay. But healthy eating should be more of a habit than a burden. You only get one shot at this body, might as well treat it with the absolute best care and deep love. Make a goal to love working out.
Once you develop a routine and regimen, you’ll soon realize that skipping a day or two (or more) actually messes with your body. In fact, it takes a while to jump right back to where you left off. Plus the constant back and forth of working out and not, can confuse your body and frustrate you, especially since you’re not seeing consistency.
Do You Have a Fitness Goal?
Why do you workout? Your health as a priority is all good, but you also need to be specific and set goals as part of those priorities. One of the default fitness goals to aim at is “losing weight.” Sure that is a good goal to have and as long as you burn more calories than you eat, you will lose weight. But if you’re aiming to gain muscle, you might need to set a weight lifting goal and reach more reps and/or lift heavier. Keeping a chart of your progress can be helpful. If you keep daily records you might see significant change just after a month. Stick to a steady routine and keep yourself accountable; you will notice change as long as you are dedicated to achieving your goals. If you go hard for a week or two but then break for a month, you won’t ever get past hurdles. Stay consistent.
What Does Your Diet Look Like?
Eating is more than half the battle. Common wisdom says that exercise is 10%, but diet is 90%. Fitness starts in the kitchen. You cannot expect to hit the gym 7 days a week and still consume processed sugar, high sodium filled junk food. If you’re aiming to lose weight, then you need to control not only how many calories you eat, but you need to stay away from fats and certain carbs. In addition, protein isn’t the only way to build muscles. It takes a balanced diet with proper nutrition. There are some great smartphone diet apps that can help you better measure the nutritional value of your weight. Certain apps can also assist you with what you need to eat based on your age, weight, and gender. Fitness and eating healthy are not necessarily easy and convenient at all times. But it’s not necessarily about convenience. Because truth is, convenience hardly saves anyone.
Time to Up Your Intensity
Any kind of physical activity is good physical activity. If you’re just starting to get into exercise but doing more than you would ever normally do, that’s progress. You might not start seeing results immediately, but it’s okay to build up in intensity as you go. However, you do have to ramp up that intensity at some point. If you always stay at the same intensity, you’ll never challenge yourself for more. Don’t worry about pushing yourself too hard if you only notice uncontrollable sweating and out of control breathing. However, as long as you’re training cautiously, switch up your workouts. Have fun. Working out should never feel like a chore.
Switch it Up
As you exercise, your body gets used to the exercises that you’re doing. Eventually what used to be challenging will become easy and your body will almost memorize the movements and feeling. The lower the challenge, the less benefit it will have for the body. As such, it’s important to not only increase the challenge but also to increase the diversity of exercise and make sure you’re targeting different muscle groups. A personal trainer can bring the expertise needed to adapt your exercise routine. Not only can they make sure you’re progressing, but that you’re diversifying. This will ensure that you’re making overall health improvements. It’s important to mix things up and to confuse your body. Confusing the muscle groups will challenge your mind and body and increase your chances of growing muscle and burn fat.
It’s Not a Quick Fix Scheme
There are a lot of health fads that come and go. Some of them have more truth to them than others. However, if you believe that a certain superfood, diet, or exercise is going to turn your life around, you are in for a bad surprise. To maintain a healthy lifestyle and continue to reach your health goals, you have to learn how to commit in the long-term. You need to be consistent with your workouts, understand nutrition, and understand that any change you might see will be incremental. Don’t give up just because you haven’t made the progress you expected after a month or two.
Remember, exercise is great and beneficial. In fact, exercise should be encouraged since it not only improves physical change, but also stabilizes mental health. But if you focus only on losing weight, skinny, skinny, skinny and nothing else, you will get discouraged and unmotivated along the way. Exercise alone will not reach your goals. It’s a healthy lifestyle and new habits in the kitchen that will get you to where you want to be.