Think about it, what can you accomplish – say four months from now – if you start right now? How can you get started on your journey to optimal health and fitness?
- Make a plan: For many people, a solid plan is required to ensure a routine can be achieved. Plan your workouts and meal preparation for days when you know you have, or can make, the time to commit yourself.
- Keep up your energy: Do you feel your energy beginning to wane? Set yourself up for success by ensuring you bring up your energy with a pre-workout snack that gives you the energy you need to get through your workout.
- Be positive: Thinking negative thoughts like “I don’t feel like it anymore” will make it that much easier for you to quit and ultimately fail. Be sure to focus on positive thoughts like how great you’ll feel when you’ve finished a great workout.
- Consult the experts: When looking for guidance, make sure to speak with someone with experience and a degree in a health and fitness field. Be cautious following advice from self-proclaimed professionals because you risk receiving flawed information which could be detrimental to your health.
Weight training makes you look bulky. Undoubtedly, this is the most common myth (and fear) for people, especially women, hoping to lose weight or trim down. First, achieving a ‘bulky’ look is heavily dependent on testosterone, so while a focus on weight training can help men achieve larger muscles it is much harder for women to achieve such a look through weight training alone. Second, achieving a significantly ‘bulky’ look will depend greatly on genetics and the use of synthetic hormones (e.g. steroids).
Lose your belly fat. Honestly, if spot reduction of fat were possible, virtually everyone who wanted one would have a flat tummy. Studies continue to show that targeting a specific area of your body for fat loss is just not possible. When your body loses weight, the weight lost is spread across your entire body.
Sit-ups + crunches = six-pack. No matter how many sit-ups and crunches you do, you may never achieve the alluring six-pack abs. Why? In the end, it simply comes down to the human body – your muscles are encompassed by fat which means that a layer of fat is covering your abdominal muscles and obstructing the view. In order to achieve a visible six-pack, you need to lose the fat surrounding your abdominals.
Exercise 101 – do’s and don’ts
- Warm-up before: Warming up before your workout will increase muscle and core temperature as well as blood flow which leads to faster muscle contraction and relaxation, as well as increased muscle strength and power.
- Cool-down and stretch: Cooling down after your workout will help prevent dizziness, grey vision and venous pooling. After your cool-down, it’s important to take time to stretch as this will help reduce delayed onset muscle soreness.
- Invest in your shoes: You should always (ALWAYS!) wear activity-specific footwear; shoes designed to provide special support and flexibility for physical activity. Exercising in the ‘wrong’ (unsuitable) shoes can cause issues like unnecessary strains or fractures and blisters.
- Cut corners. You may be tempted to rush through a workout; however, this may not only hinder your results as you aren’t gaining the full benefits of a particular exercise, but it could actually lead to serious (preventable) injuries.
- Put all of your eggs in one basket. There few (if any) goals that can be achieved with just exercise or by just dieting. Even strength gains will likely depend on modifications made to your protein consumption. Invest in a healthy routine of regular physical activity and healthy eating habits.
- Ignore your body. Don’t ignore your body’s warning signs. While some degree of discomfort during and following your training session is normal, pain is typically a sign that you have – or soon will have – injured yourself.
The October issue of our monthly e-newsletter – The Fitness File – came out this week! This issue covers the following:
- “I don’t want to get hurt”
- fitness tip: when to incorporate instability
- nutrition tip: are you getting enough fibre?
- club news: studio closure, more Michelle, Commit to Fit and testimonials
- staff spotlight: Karl Burton (Personal Trainer)
- Q&A: why should I drink more water?
Check it out here.
Ultimately, there is no simple answer – and perhaps no right answer – to this question. Sure, theoretically counting calories can help you determine and achieve the appropriate caloric deficit required to lose weight, particularly if you have the time to prepare meals in advance and stick to a plan; however, for most people, it’s not an easy task and can be an imprecise method for achieving your nutritional goals, particularly if you are seeking long-term changes.
If you are looking to change your diet or need nutritional advice, we highly encourage you to speak with the experts at Eating for Energy.