Achieving your fitness goals can be a difficult path to walk. This is mainly because working out and eating healthily isn’t always fun. However, here are a few tips to make it easier to achieve your goal and make consistent improvements over time.
Set Achievable Goals
Firstly, you need to set achievable goals. When it comes to achieving your goals, it helps to eliminate bad habits, like switching from smoking to a vape prescription, until you manage to quit completely. Having an end goal is always good, start small and build up from there.
Have weekly weight loss goals, for instance, or aim to add extra minutes to your cardio or more weight to your lifting. Instead of saying, “I want to run this far today,” say, “I want to run further than I did last week.”
Change Your Mindset
Next, you need to do is to change your mindset. For most people, working out isn’t necessarily done to look good; it is to feel better, and live a longer and healthier life. While looking toned and full of muscle is part of it, it shouldn’t be your driving factor.
Tell yourself that you are doing this to feel better, to live a longer life with your partner and/or your family, and to enjoy life to the fullest. This mindset is a much stronger driving force than simply looking good in the mirror.
Try Out All Exercises
Trying out different workouts and exercises is always important if you are starting out. It would help if you looked for the activities and workouts you are most comfortable with and those you enjoy doing. If you want to do cardio but hate running, try a stationary bicycle, elliptical, or something similar.
On the other hand, if you are someone who doesn’t want to step foot in a gym at all, there are tons of activities and hobbies you can do that will get you an equally good workout but with the added layer of fun and enjoyment.
Hiking, boxing, and stand-up paddle boarding are only a few of the activities you can do that you won’t find in a gym but will give you the same level of exercise.
Focus on Time
Don’t get caught up with how tired your muscles are feeling or how much you are sweating; instead, focus on how much time you are exercising. An excellent example is two hours of medium to high-intensity walking, which will burn more calories than ten minutes of sprinting.
Aim to exercise for an extended period of time while simultaneously keeping the intensity at a high level.
Not All Supplements are Bad
Supplements tend to receive a bad rep, but there are a few of them that can be highly beneficial to you. Two of the best ones are whey protein and creatine, as they provide the additional fuel you need to workout harder and recover faster.
Whey protein is used to rebuild and repair your muscles, while creatine puts extra water into your muscles, boosting your strength and endurance.
Change Your Diet
You can’t achieve any fitness goals without changing your diet. A simple rule of thumb is to eat less than your maintenance calories. This will allow your body to burn fat, and for you to lose weight relatively quickly.
You also need to ensure you eat enough protein, as this is the fuel your muscles need, and to cut out foods that are high in sugar and fat.
Be Proud of Small Improvements
A mistake that many people make is not looking back at their small achievements and improvements and instead are disappointed that they aren’t at their goal yet. You are doing yourself a disservice for not acknowledging what you have already done.
Using running as an example again, if your goal is to run for an hour, and your first day, you can only do it for five minutes, being able to run for 12 minutes after your first month is a massive improvement compared to where you started.
Looking back at previous improvements will not only boost your confidence but also remind you that what you are doing is working.
Don’t Obsess Over the Scale
Don’t get caught up with what the scale says, especially if you are doing weight training. Muscle weighs more than fat, and it is easy to think your weight loss progress has slowed down when the scale doesn’t drop as far as you think.
Instead, look at how your clothes are fitting. A great way to know if you are losing weight is to watch how your clothes fit your body; are your pants looser around the waist, or are your shirts tighter around your arms or shoulders? One is a sign of weight loss, while the other is a sign of muscle gain.
These are a few tips you can follow to start and stay on your fitness journey. While there will be some setbacks, if you stick to these tips and stay consistent, you will be back on track in no time.