It can seem like the fitness world is full of rules. Eat this, don’t eat that! Try this supplement, burn these calories, sweat this much. But how can this be when we are all different people? We are all different heights, weights, we have different energy-levels, our day to day lives require different amounts of activity, and we have different desires. Following a one size fits all policy is a one-way ticket to disappointment.
Try a few different workouts
Different workouts achieve different things, that much is clear. Lifting weights, while giving a bit of cardio exercise, is predominantly for building muscle and definition. Swimming, on the other hand, is primarily for a cardio workout, and the muscle building that is achieved is only a consequence of the movement needed to complete the cardio.
But there are plenty of workouts which achieve something in the middle, and mixing and matching a few of them is one of the best ways to achieve a more cohesive overall look. Given that we’re all individuals, and our likes and dislikes are not the same across the board, it’s important to give a few different things a go before committing. Signing up to a new class or club on a whim can be a costly way to discover that you don’t, in fact, enjoy golf, wrestling, or hot yoga. Try things out before you commit. Go to club open days, follow free workout routines on YouTube, and ask friends for their experiences – you’re far more likely to find a few things that you love and want to commit to this way.
Do your research
You probably know what you’d like to achieve from entering the fitness world. Do you want to get stronger, fitter, or do you just want to look awesome in a bikini this summer? Knowing this will help to decide which fitness path to take, but don’t just go for the first “Look Amazing In A Bikini” workout regime you see – do your research. Many of these weight loss guides are expensive, and some even have hidden costs, too.
Create your healthy eating recipe book
Getting fit, losing weight, and building muscle aren’t just about the hours you put in sweating – they are made up of far more extensive changes to lifestyle. One of these changes is obviously to your diet. Cutting out saturated fats, complex carbs, and excess sugar is crucial for achieving the look you want. But following a healthy food regime can be dull as anything – it’s difficult to eat bland, healthy food all the time when you’re hungry too. The best way to overcome this is by becoming a masterchef in your own right.
Explore the internet and cookbooks for healthy recipes that you actually want to eat, and keep a log of any successes so you know you can recreate it another day. This way, you’re still able to engage with your calorie and macro intake, and still enjoy the food you eat. It’s essentially creating your own healthy cookbook, rather than relying on one of two which may only contain a few recipes you enjoy. This way, the world of healthy food is your oyster.
Take into account your limitations
Not everyone can take up jogging at a second’s notice or jump into the pool for a mile’s swim. Either through health problems or injury, many people have personal limitations that have to be considered when their new healthy lifestyle is in its formative stages. It’s not much use exacerbating an existing illness or injury making all future workout attempts impossible, after all. Personal limitations are there to be respected, not pushed. Pushing boundaries is all about forcing yourself through the painful, out-of-breath stages which are normal with fitness, but shouldn’t be pushed when they’re causing genuine, lasting pain or discomfort.
Choosing workouts which enable you to respect your own physical limitations is the key to getting fit when your health might not be at its best. Remember to take advice from your doctor or physiotherapist, and don’t overstep those marks. They may suggest low-impact exercises such as swimming or yoga in order to increase fitness without exacerbating existing problems. Again, do your research – chances are other people are experiencing the same as you, and are happy to share their experiences.
Keep your goals in sight
We all know where we want to be, and most of us have a time frame in mind too. Keeping those goals in mind gives us a point to aim for. But make sure you’re breaking these goals into smaller, bitesize pieces.
Celebrating milestones is the best way to reward yourself for the hard work you’ve put in, but it’s also a great way to map your achievements so that you’re able to make changes and tweak your workout and fitness regime to better suit you. Keeping track of your food intake and calories burnt is a great way to see how different exercises and foods are affecting your body over long periods of time, including the rate of weight loss or muscle gain. For this reason, goals serve two purposes – the opportunity to celebrate and congratulate yourself for your achievements, but also the ability to reflect on your journey to that point, and how you’ll make changes going forward.
Finding your own way in the fitness world is all about making a routine that works for you, with food that you want to eat and workouts you actually want to get stuck into. There’s no point signing up for something you’re going to begrudge, after all.
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