Over the winter, it’s easy enough to pile on a couple of pounds. The cold weather means that we want to stay in and eat, and don’t even talk to us about Christmas.
But now that the weather is getting a little nicer, its time to dust off the gym gear and start working out. Are you ready to get in shape?
When deciding to shed a few pounds, the first thing to do is to set a realistic and achievable goal.
Setting a goal weight gives you something to work towards, but you should also think about what you want to look like. Getting into shape isn’t as simple as the numbers on the scales, and having a mental image of the body you want will act as a motivator.
Take a note of your current weight and measurements and weigh yourself each week to keep up to date with your progress. It could be a good idea to take before and after pictures for a visual track of your progress as well.
Different kinds of routines work for different people. Everyone’s body is different, so it’s important to find a routine that works for you.
For example, what kind of environment works best for you to work out? Some people prefer to work out at home on their own, whereas others feel more comfortable surrounded by others at a gym.
The idea of joining a gym can be quite a daunting task, so starting off at home could be a good place to start. By doing that, you can start to feel more comfortable with your exercises and will feel more confident performing them in front of others.
As far as routines go, don’t run before you can walk. Starting off simple with some running, stretches and weights is the way to go.
One of the most effective exercises for shedding weight is cardio, so that means a lot of running, biking and swimming. Cardio exercise is basically anything that raises your heart rate, so the more movement the better.
Cardio isn’t the only exercise needed to get into shape however, and you will only get definition through strength training.
Training with weights and lifting will help you to strengthen your muscles and give them the classic “muscly” look. Other common strength building exercises include squats and push-ups, and strength training can even increase your metabolism.
Doing the same routine week in and week out can get a little boring, so why not try spicing things up a little?
A fun way to keep things fun and interesting is to throw in weekly challenges. These can vary from pushing yourself to do an extra 50 sit ups, trying out a brand new exercise or going for your fastest 2km sprint on the treadmill.
Challenges can be great motivators for when the workout is starting to feel stale and will push you to keep up the good work.
When striving to achieve a certain goal and look, it can be easy to go overboard and work out harder than you’re supposed to. But this is a bad idea and could have serious repercussions.
After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Going overboard and pushing yourself too hard during a workout can lead to pulling or straining muscles, damage to skin or passing out. Working through an injury is never a good idea and will only damage your body further, so take it easy if you feel yourself straining.
Getting injured because of a workout will only keep you out of the gym for longer, so don’t get carried away with trying to get the body you want early.
As we’ve previously stated the same routine can get a little tedious, so let’s try switching it up.
Circuit training, swimming or even Zumba can be fun and refreshing ways of changing your routine. Taking classes at the local gym or trying new things can only be a good thing, and could even work out areas of your body that you don’t usually work.
Another idea is to enlist the help of a friend and go through this experience together. Having someone else to workout with will allow you to push each other and make sure you’re keeping on track.
A well balanced diet and a good amount of exercise go hand in hand, so eating healthier is always encouraged if you want to get into shape.
We all face temptations when it comes to food, and these temptations only grow stronger when we are committing to a healthier diet. To counter this, you should try keeping a track of everything you eat in a food journal.
Keeping a food journal will allow you to keep track of your calorie intake and you can even mark days where you can enjoy a little treat. This treat reminder can be the catalyst to doing that extra run or spending another half an hour in the gym.