Category: Health & Fitness
Created on Monday, 09 May 2011 00:00
Written by Sam K
Ever experienced the sense of disappointment and frustration that no matter how hard you try, your workout regime seems to bring little results for you? It happens to all of us sometimes, and can be a great damper in pursuing our health activities. Well, don’t give up just yet! Let’s see if we can figure out what’s causing the problem and iron it out.
Now, in any fitness regime, the most important thing is motivation. It doesn’t matter how hard you workout or what type of workout you do. You need to be motivated in order to keep to your regime. Without proper motivation, you’re much more likely to become inconsistent and give up halfway, or put in half-hearted efforts that yield poor results. Set Goals
As such, setting the right goal is the first order of things. Take some time to analyse your current fitness goals and see if they’re realistic. Oftentimes, we may set a bar that is too high, only to feel disappointed when it seems impossible to reach. So, instead, take small steps at a time and set your sights lower. It’s more important to make progress, even a little at a time, than to aim big and never get there! So if you don’t have a goal, you better start thinking of one now. It will help you to stay focused and motivated.Keeping Time
Also, make sure your goals are specific and measurable, so that you know you’re making progress. It’s hard to tell if you’re the fastest person around without racing everyone at the office, but it’s pretty easy to tell if you managed to shave a minute or two off your last run simply by timing yourself. Once you start measuring, you might find yourself encouraged by the steady gains you’re making, even though you don’t feel any different.Making Adjustments
Now let’s say you’ve decided on your goals and planned out a fitness regime, but despite sticking to your guns and working your heart out, you still see little measurable improvement. It’s time to consider other aspects of your fitness plan.
When planning your own fitness regime, four key things to pay attention to are your training frequency, intensity, activity, and duration.
At the very minimum, you should be working out at least three times a week consistently. A common mistake is to work out longer in one session or cram many sessions into a week to make up for another week’s loss. However, that’s not how our body works. Even consistent exercise at low intensities will usually yield better results than a tough but inconsistent workout session.
You should also select the appropriate intensity level in accordance to your fitness goals. For example, if you want to focus on losing weight by running, you’re better off working at 60-65% of your maximum heart rate and maintaining it for the duration of the run. A higher intensity will improve your overall fitness but may yield less weight loss in the process, as lower intensity exercises are better at fat burning.
Another important factor is your choice of exercise or training activity. Typically, many of us will include running as one of our staple health exercises. However, how you perform your actual run will yield very different results. For example, if you want to burn fat and improve your aerobic fitness, it is better to maintain a consistent pace throughout your run instead of going as fast as you can and then slowing down to recover. However, if you want to improve your running speed and muscular power, doing sprints in the interval training format will yield much better gains.
Finally, make sure the duration of the activity is suitable for your purposes. Once again, taking running as an example, make sure you run for at least 20-30 minutes if you’re intent on increasing your aerobic fitness. Any shorter and you’re unlikely to see improvements in your fitness.
Also, do a little research or seek the advice of more experienced friends if you’re unsure what’s most appropriate for your chosen activity.Listen to your Body
Regardless of how often and how hard you workout, always remember to listen to your body too! There are days when we might overwork our bodies and become burnt out. You’ll know this is happening when you experience mental fatigue and simply have no mood to go through with your exercise. When that happens, don’t be afraid to take a break and let your body recover.
However, if you’re feeling like this every other week, then it’s highly likely you’re unmotivated and need to change to a different activity or reassess your fitness goals.
To round it off, remember to watch your diet too. Eat healthily and take in only what you need. Your body is constantly balancing the amount of food you eat against the energy you use in your daily activities. If you eat more than you use, then you’ll naturally put on more weight! There’s no point working out really hard only to put all that weight back in again.
Now that you have an idea what might be plaguing your fitness regime, take a look through the pointers and see if you can improve on your exercise plan. Most of all, don’t forget to have fun at the same time!