In the age of lockdown, perhaps there’s been a shift in focus from overconsumption of chocolate to a return to fitness. 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 engage in exercise while making it part of your lifestyle (and the most important step of habit formation). But what about once the habit is formed? What other factors should we take into consideration to make sure the time we’re dedicating to working out, flows through to results?
6 Workout Tips That Will Help You See Results
- Don’t kid yourself that working out allows you to pig out
Yep, you read it right. 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 peoples! 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. By sitting down, checking in with yourself and making a sensible decision on what fuel is going to serve you best, will reflect on how much you eat.
A well-balanced diet of whole foods, as close to the source as possible, 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 (i.e. broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage etc.)
Be accountable and record a food diary for a week to help track what you’re eating. This method helps pinpoint any mindless eating moments.
- 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 and prefer the outdoors (as do I), incorporate a swim in the ocean or pool to help cool off and beat the heat. Testing our abilities adds purpose and makes the thought of turning up again much more appealing.
- Get specific with your workout
There are certain aspects you would like to achieve from working out… Right? Unless you have a lot of time on your hands, 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.
- Variety is the spice of life
Change things up. Not only will swapping your workouts around alleviate boredom but it encourages our bodies to adapt to new programs while avoiding plateaus. Our bodies are very clever when it comes to becoming efficient at something if 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 4 weeks is said to be the optimal time, which can really work in your favour.
- 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 that you don’t primarily use moving around each day ie – around your core or intrinsic butt muscles. Hello, booty!
- 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 a certain level of stress to our body 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 onto our 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 while assessing the future. Gains come from rested bodies.
Working out successfully is about listening to your body and being true to yourself. There really is no blanket approach for the right way to exercise, rather through trial and error.
Everybody is different so what do you find is effective in your workouts?