If you’ve committed to a fitter, healthier you, then congratulations! It’s not always easy to find the time, energy and resources to invest in yourself, even knowing all the benefits. So here are five things, in no particular order, to make sure you include in your routine so that you can continue to maximize on your investment.
1) Vary your routine
Humans are by nature creatures of habit so it can be easy to get into a routine with your workout. If you find yourself habitually on your treadmill or stair stepper day in and day out at the same intensity for the same amount of time, then chances are you will soon be experiencing that totally unfair phenomenon known as attenuation (if you haven’t already). Basically attenuation says that just showing up doesn’t count. If you don’t change up what you’re doing, your clever, clever body will get used to it and stop realizing the benefits of what you are doing. This is the primary cause of ‘skinny fat’ and why you can see people year after year at your local big box gym doing the same thing without ever changing their appearance. A major benefit of a good training or circuit class is that variety should be built into the program.
2) Include strength training
Just in case that horse needs more beating…weight lifting does NOT make you bulk up, ladies! We need lean muscle to support healthy bones, to burn more calories and to make us look good in our bathing suits. Enough said.
3) Get outside
If you usually work out in a gym, try changing it up by getting outside. Pick a sunny day so you can also manufacture vitamin D while you’re at it. You’ll be amazed at how different it feels to run up actual stairs than run on a stair machine. Hill runs, bench step-ups, whatever it is, changing your perspective will make it more fun and it always feels so healthy running around outside (unless you’re running beside a busy freeway breathing exhaust. Don’t do that).
Drink water, water water. Don’t add sugar to it. You can add caffeine, though (at least according to the latest scientific studies this week – these things change so rapidly). Do NOT hydrate in the form of artificial sweeteners or sodas, as those are not good for you. How do you know if you’re getting enough water? Look at your pee – if it’s yellow, drink more .If it’s orange, drink way, way more. If it’s purple, call your doctor immediately.
If you are lucky enough to have found an awesome trainer like Tony, or if you are just naturally really, really into working out, it can be hard to take a break. If you are an obsessive sort then you may even somewhat dread rest day. Suck it up, buttercup, your metabolism actually slows down if you don’t rest. I know, I know, you can feel your cells bloating up, but really, that’s not true. You will perform better and be less likely to injure yourself if you take a day off (or even two, gasp!)
So keep it up. The health benefits of a regular fitness routine are indisputable and if you feel stuck or in need of something new to boost your motivation, you know who to call (well, actually, in case you don’t, call Tony – 425.686.4882)