On the first day of January, you committed to start exercising. You even purchased a gym membership. Sadly, your enthusiasm for working out has faded over the past few months. Because you’re not seeing the results you hoped for, you haven’t been heading to the gym as much lately. If you’ve been failing miserably at the gym, consider adopting the following 4 tips to achieve fitness success.
4 Tips to Achieve Fitness Success
Don’t Exercise on an Empty Stomach
Before driving your car to the gym, you probably ensure that it has enough fuel in it for the journey. Similar to your vehicle, your body needs fuel in order to power through your workout. You may have heard in the past that exercising on an empty stomach will allow you to burn more fat. However, this theory is problematic because your body doesn’t turn to your fat stores for energy during a workout. Instead, your body uses the carb and fat remains in your bloodstream and your muscle reserves for energy during exercise. To increase your odds of fitness success, end your pre-workout fasting. Swap fasting for energizing foods such as:
- A banana
- A piece of whole grain bread
- Egg whites
- Greek yogurt
- Avoid Setting Unrealistic Goals
If your New Year’s resolution was to lose 100 pounds by the Fourth of July, you probably need to re-evaluate your plans. Setting unrealistic goals is a common weight loss road block. If you set unachievable goals, you will likely become depressed, frustrated, and defeated when you don’t reach them. You may even want to forgo writing down long-term goals altogether. Some people find it easier to meet multiple smaller objectives than one large one. If you don’t know how much weight you should be losing each week or month, make an appointment with your family doctor. You may also wish to consult with a personal trainer. This individual can help you set realistic, healthy goals for yourself. Also, consider rewarding yourself after meeting a fitness or weight loss milestone. For example, you could:
- Indulge in a massage
- Get a manicure
- Enroll in a cooking class
- Reread a favorite book
- Buy a new, trendy fitness gadget
Sometimes, seeing is believing. Whenever you lack the motivation, confidence, or energy to finish your exercise routine, close your eyes and try to visualize yourself doing it. According to personal trainer Karen Frazier, “By visualizing yourself completing the exercise before you actually perform it, then you will be able to perform the exercise with more intensity and effectiveness.”
Avoid Inflexible Workout Scheduling
If you’re a planner, you may schedule every minute of your day. For instance, you might strive to exercise at 4:00 P.M. every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. While scheduling a specific time to work out can hold you accountable to your fitness endeavors, you should always have a back-up plan. Ultimately, life’s uncertainties will get in your way. You may need to pick up your kid from a field trip. You might have an important teleconference. If you only allow yourself to work out at a certain time of the day, you may end up skipping more workouts than you complete.
If you’re not enjoying the fitness success you longed for at the beginning of the year, you may need to re-evaluate your exercise goals and strategies. By making a few tweaks, you might be surprised at how much you can accomplish during the next few weeks and months. The aforementioned 4 tips are a great place to start.