Getting into shape is not a difficult task, once you’ve set your mind to it. Usually, when one speaks about getting into shape, the two most commonly discussed aspects are eating right and exercising. While these are important, there are a few lesser known aspects that can help you shed those unwanted pounds.
Exercise every day
Although exercising thrice a week is easier and more convenient, it is much easier to make exercising a habit if you follow a daily exercise routine. If you do not exercise at all, then you can make a start by exercising half an hour each day. If you are into exercising only a couple of days in a week, then one day off can easily become three days off and then you will stop exercising completely.
Length of exercise is not a replacement for intensity
When you get into the habit of exercising regularly and you are still not reaching your goals, then most often than not, you will turn to exercising for longer periods of time, for example, following a two-hour routine instead of a 40-minute workout. This not only consumes all your time but does not really work well too.
Any exercise for more than 60 to 90 minutes changes the chemical condition in the body that destroys the muscle and causes build-up and accumulation of fat. Thus, in the case of exercising “more really means less” and you would rather follow a short but more intense workout, rather than working out for a longer period of time.
Acknowledge your set point
If you do not set any goals, you may get frustrated when your weight loss or muscle gain plateau. Every person has their genetic set point and equilibrium that the body wants to remain in. This does not really mean that you cannot achieve your fitness target; it means that you should not be too hard on yourself and struggle to put on muscle or lose weight. Recognizing your set point does not mean giving up on your goals, but understanding the hurdles you face.
You should anticipate hitting a plateau in your weight loss or muscle gain results. However, the key is to manage your way around the plateau and continue your progress at a more realistic pace. This way, if you are able to make your expectations meet reality, you can prevent dietary crashes.
Always eat healthy
Be aware of what you eat. Don’t get into minute details like the amount of omega-3s or amino acids you are getting, but keep a watch over the bigger things. Take a look at the foods that you eat regularly and see if they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by snacks that claim to be healthy and good for you. Follow sensible eating habits – eat more vegetables, eat unprocessed and unrefined foods and eat meat as a side dish and not a main.
Watch out when you’re traveling
When on a holiday, don’t let it get in your way of getting fit and in shape. This does not mean that you should follow your exercise routine and diet plan strictly without any break. However, the first couple of months can be the time when your routine gets established and a week-long break can result in a halt in your progress.
This may also happen if there are any sudden changes in your schedule that may make it very difficult for you to follow a regular exercise routine. Always have a Plan B, so that you can be consistent with your diet and exercise at least in the first month when your routines are forming.
Start slow when embarking on a new fitness routine. Early burnout at the start of an intensive workout routine is quite common. Take your time to settle into your new exercise routine and increase the intensity slowly; after all, you have an entire lifetime to be healthy. It is highly unrealistic to aim to become an athletic superstar overnight from being a complete couch potato.
Having a workout partner
When you’re working out, should you have a partner? Well, workout partners can make exercising fun and be motivational too. However, they may also hamper you and stop you from reaching your fitness goals. You could consider having a workout partner when you reach a plateau i.e. in your weight loss, your overall health or your physical capacity. If you are not able to reach your goals, you should consider mixing things up a bit.
If you hit a plateau, then you may need to make some changes to improve things. If you and your workout partner are not able to make adjustments to the workout, then it might be worthwhile to exercise by yourself for a bit. While you might be following some of the above steps already, there may be some particular aspects that you may not be focusing on. It may be useful to look into the nitty-gritty of things and carve out an effective way to get into shape.
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