One of the hardest things about exercising is exercising. As silly as that might sound, it’s true. Actually getting out there and doing it, taking that first step, is often the most difficult one of all.
Whatever your targets are, sticking to these simple rules will help you achieve your smart fitness goals. Go for it!
Intensity over Duration
Just because you’ve been in the gym for 2 hours doesn’t mean you’ve had an effective workout. Interval training will burn those extra calories in a shorter space of time. Don’t fool yourself, if you’re reading a magazine on the treadmill or flicking through newspapers on a bike (I have seen this plenty of times before), you are definitely not working hard enough. If you take your training seriously, you can’t multi-task.
Weight training is key
The more muscle you have the more calories you’ll burn. It is as simple as that. Ladies, did you say: “I don’t want to bulk up”? You won’t… Women simply do not have the testosterone levels to sustain muscle gain as fast as men. If still skeptical, just adapt higher reps and lighter weights to increase tone and shape. Gents, heavier weights and fewer reps for you to increase size, adapt your reps, weights and rest periods between sets.
Try to use your body as a whole
Total body weight exercises, functional training and multi-dimensional cross-fit type routines will work multiple areas at the same time whilst integrating the core. Important to jack-up your heart rate and muscle burn in your training. Instead of doing an old-school static lunge, incorporate forward and backward-stepping alternating lunge (sagittal plane) by adding a torso rotation twist whilst holding a weighted medicine ball to train the transverse plane at once.
Stretching will ensure a balanced body and mind, whilst relieving any aches and pains following your high intensity workout. I used to have no time for it, but hot yoga is now my favorite way to challenge my strength, core stability, flexibility and endurance, testing my focus and pain threshold in a different dimension yet somehow I manage to walk out feeling totally de-stressed and light-weight every time.
Eat to lose weight
Eating little but often will keep your metabolism high. Something wholesome, natural, unprocessed, ‘paleo’ and healthy of course. Avoid anything nasty including refined carbos, oils, deep-fried, sugars, salts, sauces and dressings. Avoid eating out of a packet (unless they are natural wholegrains such as quinoa, barley, brown rice, old-fashion rolled-oats, they are usually processed food). Each time you feel ‘peckish’, drinking something nutritional (such as protein shakes, skim milk, low-fat soy-milk, fresh vegetable juices) will ensure that you stay well hydrated and those pounds will eventually come off.
Sticking to these very simple rules will give you a beautiful body, inside and out.