The new year is here! Time to put those fitness resolutions into ACTION. But before you do so, you may want to consider some things that might keep you from achieving your goals.
We all start out like race horses out of the starting gate when January 1st hits. And while it’s important to keep up this momentum, it’s important to be aware of a couple of mistakes that I see a lot of people make, as it pertains to fitness goals.
You jump out of bed, eat one hard boiled egg, and go workout at 6 am. You skip lunch and head back to the gym for a spinning class right after work.
Many people start out too fast: too long of workout sessions, too many workout sessions, and too much restriction on calories. When you increase your activity excessively and lower your caloric intake excessively, your metabolic rate will decrease to compromise for this. And as you might drop some pounds in the beginning, you will probably end up gaining it back. To loose weight in a healthy way that will be sustainable in the long haul, reduce your caloric intake by 500-1,000 calories a day to loose 1-2 pounds per week.
Not trying to loose weight?
Then take into consideration the frequency and intensity of your workouts to prevent overtraining syndrome. Mix up your workouts with heavy lifting days/lower repetitions, lower weight days/higher repetitions, aerobic endurance, high intensity interval training, low intensity cardio, etc. Don’t forget to switch up the equipment you use too. Each piece of equipment works your muscles differently, and variety will prevent you from hitting plateaus. A good point of reference I use with my clients is do not increase the duration (length of workouts), intensity (how much weight you lift), or frequency (how often you workout) of your workouts by more than 5% each week.
This sounds obvious, but let me explain what I mean by a PLAN.
You have a goal, but how are you going to reach it? Maybe you aren’t sure, which is why I suggest our dear friend Google. Want to run a marathon? Google ‘marathon running programs’. Want to learn how to do a pull up? Google ‘Best exercises to help do a pull up’. There are so many good resources on the web, you just have to put in the leg work.
Then I suggest making a calendar ( or use the existing one you have). Schedule your workout sessions, write them down. Research shows you are MUCH more likely to complete an activity if you write it down.
Then plan out the exercises you will do in the workout ( if applicable). What will you do as a warm up, how long? What exercises will you do and how many repetitions? I use a note application called EverNote (download for free). I write down all of my workouts and file them in my “Personal Workout” folder. That way when I want to grab a workout I just go to one of them, print it out, and take it with me.
Having a plan will also help you feel less overwhelmed as you are working towards your goals.
Many fitness goals prompt people to drastically change the amount of carbs, protein, and fat they intake, but this really isn’t necessary unless you are training for a body building competition, or something extreme in nature. That is why I cringe when I see people eating low carb diets that are training for a marathon, and wonder why they are always so tired. Carbs are not always the enemy. If you are performing a lot of cardio exercise, you NEED carbs. They are your main source of energy to fuel that type of activity.
Gaining muscle and tone is not just protein, you need the good fats too that are preferably high in omega-3 fatty acids (olive oil, coconut oil, chia/flax seeds, nuts, avocados). If you are wanting to gain muscle, be sure to intake a source of protein after exercise. It’s also a good idea to eat a small meal 30 minutes before a workout. Working out on an empty stomach will just leave you feeling weak and tired. A meal with a good source of protein and carbs is preferable. Experiment with different foods to see what doesn’t upset your stomach before working out. You can also check out my other blog post on How to make eating healthy simple.
Did any of these tips help you out? You can share this blog post below using the social media icons to help others out too!