With summer fast approaching it’s time to get fit and beach ready. Here are SportsDirect.com’s top tips on achieving your fitness goals:
1. Make Time In Your Busy Schedule
If you’re serious about getting into shape you need to incorporate this new lifestyle into your current routine. You may find it hard to squeeze in a workout during your busy day, but even 30 minutes of exercise can do you the world of good. Sit down and plan your week out, on the day you have most free time plan your main workout and on the other days aim to fit in 20-30 minutes exercise where possible. This may mean waking up an hour earlier, but it will all be worth it. If you are really struggling for time, try swapping every day activities for something more intense, for example try walking to work, or parking further away from work to get some gentle exercise at the start and end of your day. Take the stairs instead of the lift and be conscious about how long you are sat at your desk, every hour or so take a walk down the office and get a glass of water, this way you’re moving little and often throughout the whole day. Check out the times of classes at your local leisure center and see if any fit around your schedule, a 45 minute dance class is a fun way to get an intense workout.
2. Do Something You Know You Will Enjoy
Dragging yourself to the gym every night can seem like a chore and it’s very easy to become demotivated when you dread working out, instead you should spend the whole day looking forward to your workout and be motivated to do it! If you enjoy the gym that’s great, make sure you plan how long you’re going to spend there and what machines will you use. Preparing your session beforehand helps you motivate yourself to complete it, going into the gym not knowing what to go on first or what time you’ll be finished may mean you give up sooner than you should or become bored of apparatus because you've not been using a variety of equipment.
Group classes are a fantastic way to keep motivated, especially if you’re doing it with a friend. Having the support of others is very encouraging and dance, yoga and many other classes are always lots of fun. If you’re having a laugh and really enjoying yourself the workout becomes more focused on having a good time and socialising with new friends, and less about losing weight and getting fit. You will find your motivation increases in this situation and getting fit becomes a lot easier!
Swimming is a great way to lose weight as it works your entire body. Swimming has always been a fun activity especially as children, so it doesn't seem like an intense workout. Again you should prepare a workout before you hit the pool, for example set a number of lengths in a certain time you want to complete. You could increase this each week or session to motivate you to beat your last score. There are also group classes such as aqua fit and aqua zumba that are great fun and become a social event as much as a workout! Dancing in the water is very intense and you will feel the burn afterwards, but during the class you can enjoy moving around without feeling like you’re doing much exercise!
3. Invest In The Right Clothing And Equipment
When you've planned your weekly workouts and you’re in the right frame of mind to lose weight, turning up at the gym in your canvas shoes, leggings and an old baggy t shirt is a big mistake. Wearing the correct clothing is key to getting the most out of your workout. Correct fitting trainers will support you and be far more comfier than loser, flimsy shoes. Wearing cotton materials to workout in will cause any sweat produced to be soaked up and held in the material, making it extremely uncomfortable. Clothing with dri fit technologies that wick away sweat and evaporate it will help keep you cool and comfortable. As well as improving your performance, looking the part will give you a real confidence boost and help motivate you.
4. Keep A Food Diary
Losing weight takes more than just signing up for the gym, it is a lifestyle shake up and which includes your diet. You may eat healthy and feel your diet doesn't need to change, if so that’s great. But you may not realise how much you actually eat, or whether you’re eating all of the right foods. Keeping a food diary is a way of monitoring your diet, there’s no need to obsess over calories or carbs, simply jotting down what you've eaten and when will enable you to look back over your daily food intake and physically see how much you've eaten. This is an easy way to identify where you’re over eating and when you need to fill up on food because you lack energy at that particular time of the day. Being aware of what you eat means if you do eat a lot of bad foods you can easily cut them out, ignoring or hiding certain things you eat makes you more likely to over indulge on them.
5. Don’t Ban Foods
Just because you’re eating healthy and exercising more, doesn't mean you should ban yourself certain foods, especially if they’re your favourite foods as you’re more likely to crave what you can't have. Treat yourself every now and again with nice foods in small portions, to reward your hard work and satisfy those cravings. If you do want to cut certain foods completely then you should slowly wean yourself off them. Introduce replacement foods into your diet and slowly eat less and less of the food you want to cut out.
6. Don’t Over Train
Losing weight can take weeks, months or even years, it all depends on your targets and goals and your health and fitness levels when you start. It’s all too easy to start a new fitness regime and plan to workout for 90 minutes, 7 days a week, convinced you’ll see a huge difference in just a few weeks. Pushing yourself too hard is a common reason people quit, if you want to train that hard you should slowly build up to it to ensure you’re fit enough to keep up those levels of intensity. Remember the classes mentioned earlier and how it becomes more of a social event, if training is a chore and a lot of hard work you’re not going to look forward to hitting the gym after work, you’re going to dread it! Be realistic, set goals you know you can achieve, and succeed. Beating your targets is highly motivating, rarely reaching them does the complete opposite. You should feel proud of yourself for working out and think positively about how your fitness regime is going.