We all want to be fit, but sometimes it just feels like we are fighting a losing battle with our limbs to keep exercising. Even when we do go and make the effort, it can often seem like we are not getting much benefits from the exercises that we do. This can be incredibly frustrating, especially for those of us that really commit the time, effort, and money into losing weight and toning up. When absolutely no changes can be seen, then it is time to take a really good, hard look at the way that you exercise. Could you be exercising better?
We believe that it is possible to not just exercise more, but exercise better. Here are our six ways to exercise better:
1. Exercise in the morning.
Studies have shown that there are good times to exercise, and bad times. Although the majority of people decide to work out in the late afternoon or evening, this is actually the worst time of day possible to burn those calories. Instead, you need to start off your day with your exercise. This not only means that you will feel energised for the rest of the day, endorphins rushing through your body, but it will also help your metabolism. The earlier you start it going, the more calories it will burn off through the day, so exercising in the morning you have even more time for your body to be toning up even after you have finished your work out.
2. Control your diet.
There is absolutely no point in working out and working hard if your diet is continuously fluctuating. This is why many people think that they are not getting anywhere through their exercise, because even when they do lose weight, it is masked by the huge amount of food you ate that day. Of course, not everyone wants to be a calorie counter, but you don’t need to go into that sort of detail to work out whether you are eating too much one day. Try to eat similar sized portions every day, and that should help you start to see what a difference your trip to the gym made.
3. Create many goals.
One of the worst things you can do is have one goal when you are exercising. That will almost automatically mean that it will take a long time to achieve it, and you will end up losing your motivation, and giving in to the cake before you know it. But if you create many goals, you will start to really notice the changes that you make, rather than write them off because you still haven’t reached the finish line yet. Write them out, and then you can tick them off, rub them off, or burn them up each time you reach one!
4. Think about shape, not weight.
Thin isn’t the goal: fit is. Different women are different shapes, and it is ridiculous to try to match up to something that your body just isn’t designed to be. That is why we believe it is much better to have a goal shape, rather than a goal weight. Throw out the scales if you simply can’t stop checking whether or not you’ve gained a pound, and start thinking more about body confidence. Maybe pick an item of clothing that you used to fit into comfortably, and you would like to again. That will be a much more productive way of tailoring your exercise pattern.
5. Extend each week by 10%.
This is a brilliant way to really challenge your body. Exercising is something that you should form as a habit into your normal day, but when you have achieved this, it can be easy to completely ignore any natural progression. Once you are happy doing something for a week, the next week, up the intensity by 10%. That could be that you run 10% further, or lift something 10% heavier, or hold a pilates position for 10% longer: whatever you do, increase the intensity by 10%. It will probably hurt, but after a week your body will have acclimatised to it, and then it’s time to ramp up the intensity by 10% once more. After a month, you’ll be amazed at just how much fitter, stronger, and leaner you are.
6. Reward yourself but not with food!
The last thing you want to do is ruin all of your hard work with something greasy, covered in cheese, and then an entire bar of chocolate. Yes, sometimes you get down, but that is no reason to slip into bad habits. If you are struggling to think of something to reward yourself with, then think about days out, cinema trips, or even a weekend away. That way you can celebrate your improved exercising without having to start all over again.