We often vow to start working out the next day, go shop for the right outfits, pay a year’s worth of membership to Gold’s Gym and gear our iPods with Rocky-inspired sound tracks. But all two often we end up giving up on the gym only a couple of weeks after the fitness craze dies out.
So if you are about to start working out on your own or if you’ve just signed up for a summer boot camp, here are some tips for you to keep you going and not give up two weeks into the program like I have.
1. Exercise in the mornings. You would be surprised how much of a difference this might make. If you delay your work out until night, something always gets in the way, work, social commitments, or simply procrastination because you’re too tired after a long day at the office. You energy levels are higher in the mornings and you’re less likely to skip your training than you are at night.
2. Keep you workout routine consistent. It is important that you set a schedule you can adhere to and keep up, so be realistic about what you can really do on the long term. Exercising three times a week is good enough if you have only just started, so don’t get all too excited and vow to exercise daily. It won’t do you any good to give up after a week of slaving daily at the gym, you’re better off taking it easy in the beginning to be able to keep it up and not give it up altogether.
3. Be well energized. It is much better to exercise when your stomach isn’t too full, for me, it is better to exercise on a completely empty stomach. But this means that your body will not have enough energy to keep you going, so make sure your blood sugar level is sufficient and you have some fuel in you to burn. What works best for me is a teaspoon of honey before the workout you will be amazed how much of a difference it will make. Unlike chocolate or sugars for instance, the energy from honey is slowly released into your body, giving you constant supply of energy for your workout.
4. Hydrate properly. It is important to drink enough water when you’re working out because your body gets dehydrated. But it is also important to drink the right amounts or you won’t be able to carry on. Small sips throughout the exercise will keep you hydrated without bloating you or making your stomach too heavy to continue your workout. You can drink half an hour before your exercise an keep a small bottle of water, the 250 liters ones, with you during the exercise. Also make sure to drink plenty after you’re done, but again, in small sips. Your body is better hydrated if you drink small quantities divided over the day or workout than it is when you drink big quantities at once.
Dolar - SXC
5. Don’t depend on a partner. It is good to have a workout buddy, but don’t depend too much on them. If you won’t workout until the two of you are together, then you will be missing your exercise when your partner can’t make it, and when you yourself can’t make it. In pure mathematics, that is doubling the odds of skipping your exercise. Also, be careful when choosing a partner, your best friend might not be your best bet if they aren’t disciplined enough. Pick someone who you know is disciplined, with about the same fitness level as you are and who will drag you out to the track instead of convincing you to go to the movies.
6. Wear the right shoes. I can’t stress this enough, the right shoes are crucial for your health. Running shoes are different than aerobics shoes or gym shoes, it is important you know the difference and what works best for you. Cushioned shoes will help soften the blows on your feet when you’re running, especially outdoors, but their thick soles might not be flexible enough for you to jump with at an aerobics class. When you jump, you need to land with your toes first and then heels, so if your shoes’ soles are too stiff, you won’t be able to do this. The same goes for workout clothes, you might get away with wide sweat pants when you’re weight lifting at the gym, but they’re definitely wrong for your yoga class.
7. Form over speed. You could be making 100 reps of one exercise without it being the least bit effective if you’re not doing it right. I spent two weeks using my arms to support my sit-ups, my arms were developing well-toned biceps and my abs didn’t do any work at all. Be careful to look at your trainer’s pose and form carefully so you’re sure you’re doing it right. And if you can’t keep the right form with the class or instructor’s same speed, you’re definitely better off going at your own pace to keep up the form than trying to catch up with the wrong one.
8. Don’t stop moving. If you feel the need to rest during an aerobics class for instance you don’t just stand there and wait to feel better, you do it low impact. You’re doing your heart damage when you stop abruptly, learn about high and low impact training and switch to low impact when it gets too hard for you.
9. Don’t skip stretches. Stretches are important for your heart to cool down, but also for your muscles not to spasm. It can help you tone better and will also help your muscles heal better so you’re able to train again the next day. Studies have also shown that stretching for a few minutes before and after exercising tones the body faster than skipping stretches.
10. Have fun with it. Exercising should be something you do all your life, so if you don’t like what you’re doing, you are far less likely to keep it up. It’s okay to just walk as a workout, walking is good for your back, soft on your knees and an activity you can do at any age. If you like tennis, go ahead and get cracking. Swimming is also a fun activity for many that works out most body muscles. The point is; you don’t have to sweat it out on a treadmill to be working out, do something you can have fun with and that you can keep up for years. Working out is a natural mood lifter, so there’s no point making it a chore. et