As said by the great Greek philosopher Socrates: “No man has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.” and this piece of ancient wisdom still holds today. For all of those who are conscious about themselves – striving to achieve a beautiful, strong, and healthy body is a never-ending quest.
But unlike the ancient Greeks, we have a lot less free time on our hands and tend to view our aspirations through a set of goals. The same goes with fitness, where we usually set either a weight limit on a scale, or a BMI number, or how fast we can run a mile, etc. And to reach these goals we would like to try the most effective methods possible.
Make Short Term Goals
Morphing one’s body through physical exercise and proper diet is a very slow and aching process. Sore muscles, lots of sweat, and skipping dessert ever so often don’t sound very attractive to most people and, normally, many expect to see some visible changes fast when they’re already going through such hardship. Hate to break it to you but – it’s not going to happen fast.
That is why you shouldn’t quit after a few weeks of no visible change, as the change is too gradual to notice, especially if you are looking at your reflection every day.
Instead set some very definite smaller goals that are part of the end one. For example, if you are preparing for a marathon – try extending your daily jogging route by only a fraction of its length every day. In due time you will be running much longer distances without a problem!
Seek Constant Inspiration
Losing motivation is the main reason why people stop exercising. That is why you should prevent that by surrounding yourself with inspirational and like-minded people who will push you forward when you feel like quitting. As evident at WorkoutHQ, there are various blogs that will post helpful guidelines and tips ever so often, as well as connect you with others who have a passion for fitness as well. Also, posters on your room’s walls may sound childish, but if they bring the message across to you – just do it!
Compound and Cardio Exercises
Two very different, often overlooked but very important types of exercise for almost any sport and general wellbeing are compound and cardio exercises. Compound exercises are those that engage large groups of muscles at the same time, while cardio ones mostly engage our respiratory system.
The first type is great for coordination of those large groups of muscles, such as when benching your arms, chest, and shoulders all have to work in harmony to lift the bar horizontally. Squats and deadlifts are also great examples of compound exercises you should do if you are trying to build muscle. Cardio exercises, such as running, skipping ropes, and swimming help lose body fat and build overall endurance.
Don’t Injure Yourself!
Apart from losing motivation, which can easily be reversed, injuries are the second most common cause of stopping your exercises. Because when you hurt yourself you don’t have the option of just deciding to continue but instead you have to wait to heal, while also being in pain for a period.
To not hurt yourself always follow these tips:
- Warm-up before any exercise,
- Wear proper equipment (running shoes, weight belt, etc),
- Drink water, and
- Don’t overdo it
This last one is difficult to pinpoint, as you sometimes have to push yourself over your previous limit to break a personal record and become more proficient, but knowing when your body tells you to stop because it’s had enough is more important.
Are You Eating Healthy?
A proper diet with enough protein in it is needed for optimal muscle maintenance. Muscle tissue cannot grow without protein intake, but those macromolecules are important for proper weight loss too.
Avoid eating too many simple sugars, as they are bad for your teeth and are not nutritious. Instead insist on other carbohydrates, healthy fats, and lots of proteins. Supplements should only be taken if you are either preparing for a competition when no other option is available to succeed or if a doctor has advised it.
Whether you consider these tips effective or not isn’t even important if you’re not doing the main thing here – exercising. A steady and regular routine of proper exercises is bound to give results one way or another, it just doesn’t have to be the harder way of an already hard path.