So you’ve been working out for a few months now and you’re starting to get the hang of it. Everything’s coming together a little more clearly than it did when you first started; you’re not getting quite as tired, you’re able to lift slightly heavier weights than you could at first, and your running is getting more consistent. That’s great, but you could be doing even more to supercharge your fitness journey. If you’re content with simply maintaining, then that’s fine, but here are some tips for taking your fitness journey to the next level.
Get in touch with spirituality
It might sound wishy-washy to you, but spirituality is a great way to keep yourself on a regular exercise regime. Even if you don’t necessarily believe everything about major arcana, numerology, or tarot reading, you can still use these concepts to your advantage when you’re working out. Need to create and stick to a regime? There’s no better way to do that than to consult your horoscope and try to use the precepts it teaches in your workout regimen. You don’t have to believe it, strictly speaking; it just has to make sense within your life.
Create a strict meal plan
Lots of people start going to the gym and working out, thinking that’s all they need to do for a healthier body. It’s definitely a good start, but there’s lots more you could be doing. Weight loss is generally recognised to be around 70-80% diet and 20-30% exercise. That number sounds pretty startling, right? It’s time to start eating healthily, because that’s where the pounds will really start to fall off and you’ll notice the muscle definition creeping in. Swap your chocolate for fruit, your sugary cereal for porridge or bran, and take the sugar out of your tea.
Snack healthily – and don’t cut them out
Contrary to what many diet plans may tell you, cutting out snacks is the death knell of your fitness journey. While some people definitely do operate better without snacking, many of us simply can’t make it through a day without a pick-me-up between meals. That’s nothing to be ashamed of; you just need to make sure you’re snacking healthily. Eat nuts, fruit, and lean meat for snacks if you find yourself feeling peckish. Don’t overdo it on the portion sizes, either; you’ll never be able to shift the weight if you’re eating a huge amount of nuts in every sitting.
Make sure you’re getting enough sleep
Getting enough sleep isn’t just important for energy purposes. Research also shows that exercise is less effective if you’re not pursuing a regular sleep plan. Your body uses the time while you’re asleep to repair itself and get back to its prime state. If you don’t allow the body time to do that, you’re minimising the effectiveness of even the most grueling workout. Of course, it works the other way around, too; exercising will make it much easier for you to sleep, since your body will need the rest all the more. Getting enough sleep has more benefits than you know!
Take regular breaks
You don’t have to push yourself every single day when you exercise. While going to the gym every day will have beneficial effects on your health, you can reap largely the same benefits by going every other day, and you’ll save yourself a lot of muscle pain and misery in the process. Over time, you can build up your resistance so that going to the gym each day is possible if you want to. Don’t beat yourself up if this isn’t possible for you; not everyone is capable of hitting the weights or the treadmill Monday through Friday. Taking regular breaks is good.
Gyms are an effective way to burn fat and build muscle, of course, but they may not be the most effective method for this. Outdoor exercise boosts mental health and improves your mood, but it can also help you to build stamina and muscle more efficiently. It’s much harder to exercise outside because there are more resistances working on your body. As such, a run – or even a weight routine – completed outside will have more benefits than one that you go through in the gym. To top it all off, you won’t find any membership fees for the outdoors! Running can make you feel great when you’re in a bad mood. You’re not going to go from couch to marathon in a month, but if you spend a few months training you could be ready to complete one!
Winter and you can’t work out? You can even workout outside in the winter by doing cross country skiing or snow sledding. If you’re interested you should look for best snow sleds that you can find so that it is an exciting and enjoyable experience for you every workout.
Around one in ten men who train in UK gyms suffer from muscle dysmorphia. This condition – also known as “bigorexia” – leads men to believe they’re small and weak even when they’re not. Whatever your body shape might be, you’re a worthwhile person, and you should only train if it’s something you want to do. Don’t feel that training will make you “a better person”, because that has to come from within. Your training routine will feel less punishing and more enjoyable if it’s coming from a place of positivity, not negativity. Speaking of which…
You won’t be able to effectively complete exercise routines if you don’t enjoy what you’re doing. Of course, there will be a certain degree of hard work involved; no exercise regime should ever be easy, because if it is, then you’re not burning enough calories. Still, you should be having fun while you’re working out. If you hate every single second of your routine, it might be time to take a step back and examine what you’re doing to see if there’s anything you could change. Exercise can be fun – you just have to know how to make it so!