With all of us hooked onto at least one social media site, we would be lying if we said we weren’t a little envious of the perfect bodies plastered on screens. It might be genetic, it might be the intense workout regime or it might even just be Photoshop, but who wouldn’t want a body they are comfortable in. We all have our ideal body goals and its achievement may seem like a far-off dream to some of us. So, if you’ve been thinking about hitting the gym for a while now but never got around to doing it, here are a few tips on fitness that just might motivate you.
1. Set a goal
A goal is more important than you realise because there’s more to fitness than just going to the gym. You need to ask yourself which part of your body you want to work on, or what type of training you want to do. Whether it’s cardio or muscle toning, lifting or just weight loss, there are different exercises for different results. Keep in mind your health conditions before setting unrealistic goals for yourself. Make sure you know what your target area is and work on it for best results.
2. Track your routine
The best motivator to getting fit is actually seeing some results. Knowing you lost 3 kgs in a week is probably the best thing to get you off the bed and into those sneakers to lose another 5 kgs. Download an app on your phone that tracks how many calories you burnt while working out and how much more you need to lose to meet your weekly target. The best time to weigh yourself is in the morning before any food intake. It shows the most accurate weight which will help you gauge your progress.
3. Train with a friend
Training with somebody makes the workout more enjoyable. On days when you feel immensely lazy, your buddy can help motivate you to get going. Maybe you’ll do it to stop their constant nagging or to spend some quality time with them, but having someone to work out with always helps. You can share fitness tips and goals and celebrate when the results finally start to show.
A good playlist is shown to help boost energy levels and improve moods before and during the workout. Choose songs that fill you up with energy and adrenaline and turn up the volume to get yourself in the mood. Make sure your volume levels don’t disturb the other people in the gym or make you oblivious to your surrounding while working out though.
5. Drink Loads of Water
The only thing that’s good even in excess is water. Hydrate before, during and after your workout. Hydrate even when you’re not working out. Feel like some coffee with two spoonfuls of sugar or some Tropicana? Keep a 1-litre bottle of water and drink it instead to deter you from unwanted calories. Pick up the bottle when you want a break from your desk and drink while strolling around.
6. Eat Well
Working out is a brilliant idea but dieting and sacrificing your favourite food is just going to make you depressed. Indulge in the pizza once in a while and eat that ice cream when you want. But make sure to work off whatever calories you’ve put on. Don’t get overly obsessed with the perfect body but also don’t let one slice of pizza turn into a cheat day with you indulging in everything you’ve been holding back for the past month.
7. Take The Stairs And Walk The Mile
As much as possible, try and use the staircase. Not only are you saving electricity, you’re also doing your body a huge favour. There is almost no downside to this practice. Try walking to your destination instead of hopping into your car or public transport. Listen to some good music and stroll if you don’t have the energy to power walk. But move your body as much as you can.
As important as working out and eating right is, it is equally important to sleep well. A night of inadequate sleep will leave you exhausted the next day and incapable of a good workout. Boost your energy levels and wake up feeling refreshed by sleeping early. Try and finish all your work an hour before sleeping to keep your mind off upcoming assignments and to help you unwind.
9. Keep The Excuses At Bay
It’s more about the mental attitude towards getting fit that matters than the actual workout. If you’re not serious about it, any excuse will do. The weather is too cold, or you can’t find the outfit you wanted to wear to the gym today. There’s always a way around these petty excuses so don’t let yourself fall into this trap. Try to stick to your routine because one missed workout will disrupt your whole schedule.
10. Clear Out Your Pantry
The more junk you buy and hoard, the more you’re going to be tempted to eat it. Stop buying junk food and stock up on healthy foods instead. If you feel like munching, carry a box of dry fruits with you wherever you go instead of buying a packet of chips from the vendor on the road. Buy packets of yoghurt instead. We usually measure our food by how much place it takes on our plate rather than how much it fills your stomach. So try filling up your plate with things like vegetables instead of just plain meats and carbs.
11. Post Workout
You will mostly have to face sore body parts after your workout but there’s a way out. A cold water bath after your workout has been shown to help relax the muscles and relieve body pain. So ditch the steam and sauna and embrace the cold! Taking care of your body after exercising is as important as a warm-up before training.