We all want to be the strongest, leanest versions of ourselves. The question is, given YOUR life, YOUR body type and structure, YOUR diet, YOUR time, YOUR stress level and most importantly, YOUR actual motivations, how do we make this happen?
Its not as simple as calories in…calories out. Certainly that does help, but it is not the end-all-be-all.
Finding new ways to approach your fitness can really help. That said, below are a list of things I keep in mind when building programs for my training clients. See if any of these help you honor yourself and your individual goals. Pick one or try a few!:
The most important thing to keep in mind is RELAX and LOVE yourself! Stress in all forms, emotional, physical, mental, spiritual, financial effect how your body reacts to exercise and the foods you eat! So relax friends and enjoy the wellness journey. Everything you do for fitness needs to feel like it supports your happiness, your wellness, your likes and your ability. Feel proud and excited that you love yourself enough move your bodies!!
1.Clock more aerobic cardio. Any activity that permits you to talk but makes it difficult to carry out long conversations (i.e. aerobic exercise) is a secret weapon for weight loss. Unlike weight lifting or uber-intense, unsustainably difficult activities (i.e. anaerobic exercise), most people can physically sustain aerobic exercise for long enough to burn a substantial amount of calories. It's why anyone trying to lose weight should spend about 60 percent of their fitness time on cardio and just 40 percent doing other stuff.
2. Actually work. From a scientific perspective, it's the intensity of exercise that raises the metabolism. Instead of worrying about your heart rate, stick with this rule of thumb: If you don't feel it and you have the capacity to step it up, you should be moving faster. Challenge yourself at YOUR fitness level.
3. Fluctuate between different intensities. The more work you give your body to do, the more fuel (calories!) it needs to burn to get the job done. So, several times throughout your workout, alternate between fast-paced aerobic exercise and exercises that are way too hard to keep up for more than a minute.
While the hard stuff burns more calories per minute than aerobic exercise and increases your metabolism for hours after you leave the gym, you can't keep up that pace forever. Alternating between four minutes of steady-state cardio in the aerobic zone, and one minute of unsustainably intense cardio gives you the most bang for your buck.
4. Do not fear weights. While lifting weights won't necessarily burn fat, it will build muscle. The more muscle you have, the more calories your body burns after you leave the gym. Ladies- You will not get big and bulky from lifting a little heavier weights. I promise!
5. Relax with the marathon workouts. You might feel like a rock star when you double up on fitness classes. No one needs to work out for more than an hour and 15 minutes — more is not better. Quality not quantity!
6. Engage your core during every exercise. Most exercises involve your core in some capacity — and even more so if you remember to engage it. This take practice and really understanding what your core is! Use the BOSU, TRX, stability boards. Using your core makes you stronger as you can harness the power of your core to lift weights, sprint, and move!
7. Vary your workouts. If you do the same exact workout every day, your body will get used to it. Your body adapts (adaptation principle) to demands. If you lift weights and it becomes easier… place a bigger demand! Same goes for yoga, running… demand more and your body will adjust. But always keep in mind what is right for your fitness level. No need to push WAY beyond your ability...just a gentle nudge.
8. Stand on something besides the floor. When you stand on a Bosu ball, trampoline, or balance beam, or step on and off a bench or box, your body needs to adapt by calling on extra muscles to promote stability or resist gravity. Using balance IS using your core. It intensifies every workout!
9. Do a HIIT workout once or twice a week. A HIIT session (or high-intensity interval training) can boost your resting metabolic rate. Once or twice a week is sufficient. Your body needs time to recover in between those workouts.
10. Workout in ways you love!! If you don’t love the workouts you are doing, you’ll get bored and see you workout times as WORK! We do enough of that. It should be fun and feel like ME time! If you HATE the gym, pick something you like. EVERYTHING COUNTS. Walking the dog, swimming, Zumba, roller skating, playing tag with the kids, frisbee... It counts!
11. Sip water during your workout. Your body loses steam when it runs out of oxygen (it's why hard work leads to heavy breathing — you need all the oxygen!) Because water contains oxygen, drinking throughout your workout can help you sustain the intensity you need to maximize your caloric burn.
12. DRINK WATER!!! Water is vital to all of your body systems, endocrine, adrenal, lymph, cardio vascular…EVERYTHING! Drink it! Water helps to balance blood sugar, too! Drink up!
13. Feed you body with care. When we love our bodies, we feed them well. It’s like putting premium gas in a sports car. We do it for the betterment of the car. When you work out and honor all that your body is capable of, you chose better options without even knowing it. Do not starve yourself and ensure that your body has the minerals, nutrients, and vitamins to support the demands you put on it as well as supporting weight loss if that is a goal for you .
14. Forget about the scale. While you might think you want to lose "weight," what you really want to lose is fat. (It takes up much more space as muscle, so it's is the real culprit when your clothes feel tight.) But oftentimes, the fat you lose weighs less than the muscle you build. So it's entirely possible to slim down without shedding actual pounds. Don't let that discourage you…EVER! How do you FEEL? How do your clothes fit? How do you feel about yourself??? That is the most important thing not the magic number 150.
15. REST DAYS ARE IMPORTANT! Give you body a break! These days are just as important as your workouts. With all the demands put on your body, you have to give it a chance to recover or it will not be able to adapt and get stronger. Take your rest days!
16. Keep a journal of you food intake. It's not what you think!! Jot down how you feel and meals and try to spend 20 minutes (it's WAY harder than you think) enjoying your meals. We are all so busy and moving at an intense and rapid pace. Try to slow down your meals and keep track of how you feel as you consciously partake in meals.