Spring is at our doorstep, days begin to get noticeably longer, and we are looking forward to warmer and sunny time outdoors. This also means packing away all the heavy clothes we used for concealing the kilos we gained during winter holidays. With nothing left to help us hide, the only remaining, and right, solution is to strengthen our muscles and get back in shape again, and how to do that? Through workout, of course. Although we know all this we cannot make ourselves start exercising. If you ask me, the most important factor is motivation, if you are interested in what the professionals have to say, then read this article and find out.
Set Realistic Goals
You should know that nothing happens overnight, and it is imperative that the demands you place upon yourself be lesser, realistic, achievable and, most importantly, gradual. “Don’t strive for perfection or an improbable goal that can’t be met,” says Kara Thompson, spokesperson for the International Health Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA). “Focus instead on increasing healthy behaviors.” You’ll be able to notice a difference as soon as a couple of weeks have passed, and it will give you the will to exercise even more.
Be Patient and Consistent
If you want to succeed, then you need to be consistent and exercise every day. No exercise program in the world works if you don’t do it consistently. Tennis star Martina Navratilova, health and fitness ambassador for the AARP, points out that it is important to know that even when you follow all the tips, there will be ups and downs, setbacks and victories, but you need to be patient, and not to give up. “Hang in there and you’ll see solid results”.
Pick a Personal Trainer
Many people wander into a gym and don’t have a clue where to begin or who to talk to. There are many books, videos, and podcasts about exercising, but the safest solution is to hire a personal trainer to start an exercise program. Jason Theodosakis, MD, exercise physiologist at the University of Arizona College of Medicine says: “For some people, attention to flexibility or to balance and agility, may be more important than resistance training or aerobics,” he says. “By getting a professional assessment, you can determine your weakest links and focus on them. This will improve your overall fitness balance.”
To get good results, regular physical activity should be combined with healthy nutrition. A post-workout snack isn’t just any snack. You want to make sure you’re getting enough nutrients to protect those muscles for which you’ve worked so hard, and yet you don’t want to chug down a protein shake that’s twice the calories of what you’ve just lost in the gym.
Erica Giovinazzo, MS, RD, CrossFit trainer and nutritionist advises us to avoid fatty snacks as they’ll slow down digestion and absorption: “I have a protein shake mixed with fruit. Because our bodies have used up all our glycogen stores after a hard workout and basically all the energy it had, it is important to refuel it with both carbs, which will be absorbed by muscles first, and protein to help prevent the breakdown of muscles for protein. Plus the liquid [form] helps you absorb those nutrients fast.”
Nowadays, people often resort to various dietary supplements, to provide them with nutrients that may otherwise not be consumed in sufficient quantities. Thus one of the fastest growing industries in the world is the supplements industry. And, in the vast heap of promising flashy bottles, it is difficult to know which one is really effective. Mike Matthews, bestselling health and fitness author and the creator of MuscleForLife.com, founded Legion Supplements with the purpose of not only bringing something new and unique to the sport supplement industry, but starting a movement. What Legion offers is the ingredients backed by published scientific literature, the dosages at clinically effective levels, no artificial sweeteners, dyes, or unnecessary fillers, no banned substances or analogs of potentially harmful drugs, and finally, good taste. So supplements can be as dangerous as they are good. Make sure you know what you are using.
In the end, try to make exercise a fun part of your everyday life, and not something you feel as a “must-do”. Be sure to pick an activity you actually enjoy doing, because “fitness is a state of mind”. So, put on your sneakers, grab your water bottle and head to the gym!