Staying in shape is never easy, especially when you’re a working adult. After a long, tiring day at work, the last thing on our minds is intense physical exercise. So instead of hitting the gym or going for a run, many of us choose to plop ourselves on the sofa and lose ourselves in front of the TV, and before you know it, it becomes a regular habit.
As much as we wish it was possible to lose weight and get fit by doing nothing, nothing is going to happen if you don’t get yourself moving. You have to make a conscious decision and have the determination to get healthier. Some of us do try to hit the gym and get a good workout, but more often than not, the motivation you had at the start fizzles out, and you end up back where you started.
To prevent this from happening, here are some important tips you should follow if you want to make the most out of your training sessions, and ultimately reach your fitness goals.
Consistency Is Key
It’s not about how fast you go, or how heavy you can lift — the most important thing you need to do is to never give up. Consistent training is one of the most important aspects to help you achieve what you want. Even an inefficient workout plan, if done consistently, can still help to keep you fit and get you to your goals, albeit in a slower way.
Consistency can be difficult to maintain long-term. Some ways you can try to manage it include planning and scheduling your workouts every week so you can keep track and will never miss a session, and if you’re lacking in motivation and questioning if you should exercise, think back to why you started, and where you want to be. Hopefully, this will motivate you to get back into shape.
Now that you’re consistently working out, you can maximize your efforts by coming up with an effective training plan. Your fitness goals will influence your workout routines. You need to decide — do you want to get stronger, or lose weight and burn fat?
Doing the wrong type of workout can be counterproductive to all the hard work you’ve put in — for example, if you’re trying to gain muscle, focusing on cardio activities will only burn the essential calories you need for muscle growth.
If you’re trying to lose weight and burn fat, focus on cardio activities that get your heart pumping, like jogging, running, and swimming. If you’re short on time and need a quick cardio blast, try high-intensity interval training — quick workouts that usually last around 30 minutes but work your body out effectively. If your goal is to become stronger, more weights and resistance training will thoroughly give your muscles a good workout and make them grow.
Set Achievable Goals
Don’t set yourself up for failure. You can dream of being the next Mr Universe, but ask yourself — is it really possible to reach that level, with all the other commitments in your life? If you set targets that always seem out of reach, you’re going to lose motivation and feel depressed because it will feel like you’re not making any progress.
We’re not saying it’s a bad thing to be ambitious — nothing is impossible, after all — but consider the reality of your situation. Realistic targets will benefit you as they are great ways to keep yourself motivated. Say you’re trying to lose weight — a realistic goal would be to lose 5 kg within a year. You can set mini-goals every month — lose 1 kg within two months, for example — and when you do reach these goals, it will be very satisfying and can spur you on to reach your ultimate goal.
Two (Or More) Is Better Than One
Having someone to exercise with can be a great way to maintain workout consistency. A workout buddy (or buddies) will be there to support and encourage you, check in on you and remind you of your goals, and even a little friendly competitive spirit can inspire both of you to reach greater heights.
It can be anyone — your loved ones, your friends, your colleagues. You can even go online and find like-minded people with the same fitness goals in life. Join a gym and engage a personal trainer, or participate in various exercise classes — the possibilities are endless.
Patience Is A Virtue
At the end of the day, it is extremely important to remember that our bodies are all different from one another. Even if you try your best and are consistent with your workouts, you might not see much progress. There could be many reasons why — your workout plan is not as effective, or maybe your body is not as effective at burning fat due to a slower metabolism.
Whatever the reason, if you’re not seeing any results after all your hard work, take a step back and evaluate the situation step-by-step. Above all, be patient with yourself. You might not be where you want to be right now, but if you keep at it, you will definitely get there one day.