Fit Tip #15 - Up the Ante

Are you frustrated because you're not seeing the results you want from your workouts? It may be because your program hasn't changed in a while. While our minds love the status quo, our bodies need to have challenges! In an eight week program, it's important to increase the weights up one level every couple of weeks. Otherwise, the body knows it doesn't have to work as hard as it did in the beginning to do the exercises. So you don't get the positive changes you're looking for - you've gotten stagnant.

Also, at the end of eight weeks, you need to get a new program. Build on the skills of the first program, but make things more challenging. If you were doing squats with biceps curls, try doing the squats on a BOSU, and do a different upper body exercise. That increases the challenge to your muscles, balance and core. 

As you go through each program, the weight should go up and the reps should go down, so you cycle through the endurance fibres into the strength fibres in your muscles. That way, you'll have a well-rounded program that challenges you constantly - and gets the results you want.

Fit Tip #14

Are you frustrated because you're not seeing much change even though you're working out regularly and eating better? The first thing to look at is what you are doing for weight training, and when you're changing it up.

The mind loves the status quo, but the body needs regular change! During an eight-week program, the weight (load) for each exercise should increase every couple of weeks or so. After a while of the same old weights and exercises, the body says, "Oh, right, I know what's coming, because I've been doing this stuff for months now. I can take it easy - not work so hard!" and that translates into fewer calories burned, less muscle mass gained, and little progress.

Every couple of weeks, up the weight one or two pounds. And at the end of eight weeks, it's time to get a new program going. If you were doing squats in the first program, do them on a BOSU, or try lunges combined with an upper body exercise. Build on the skills learned in the first program, but challenge yourself in the next eight weeks to bigger and better heights.

So challenge yourself to up the ante and look for those results!

FIT TIP #13

FIT TIP #13

Don't forget the most important meal of your day! No, I don't mean breakfast, although that's very important too.
I'm talking about the small meal or snack you need to eat after your workout, preferably within a half-hour. This food should include 10-15 grams of protein, animal or plant-based, and 20-30 grams of good-quality carbohydrates, with little or no fat.


Some of you may balk at eating after a workout, because you feel you'd be undoing the calorie burn you just got. But you have to take in enough carbs to prompt a release of insulin, which sends the carbs and amino acids into your recovering muscles. This help repair the muscle tissue damaged through exercise.
Right after your workout, your muscles are at their peak ability to take in nutrients. So chow down on that recovery meal!

Fit Tip # 12 - Are You Inclined to Gain Weight?

Then  I suggest making this very simple change to your cardio routine. Incline training is the way to go. If you are using a treadmill, change your incline gradually so you can get used to the different challenge. Your goal is to get to the higher incline ranges on your machine.

If you are a runner or walker, choose different terrains for your cardio. Ditch the smooth community path and head for the hills!

Incline training burns a ton of calories, trains your legs harder and allows you to move more slowly while still ramping up your fitness level and dropping weight. Moving more slowly also is much easier on the joints.

Someone weighing about 160 lbs, walking at an energetic 5.6 kph (3.5 mph) on a flat treadmill or terrain would burn approximately 314 calories per hour. However, if the same person added a fair amount of incline, s/he would burn about 657 calories. (woman.thenest.com).

 So aim higher in your cardio training!

Fit tip #11 - Maximize Your Workout Time

Do you ever wonder where your workout time went? Even with your workout chart right in front of you, somehow the time got away from you. Hints to tighten your timeline:

Cut the chatter. If you see a friend in the gym, say hi, and then say bye! S/he will understand, since a workout is why you're both there.

Pack your workout bag the night before in your down time. You'll do a better job of remembering what to pack when you are in evening mode.

Focus, focus, focus! We need to concentrate on our three sets of 15, not on what's going on around you. A better body is the best thing to take home, not the latest world news. 

Ask your trainer about circuit training. Moving continuously from one exercise to another shortens your rest time, and gets you out of there sooner. Use a timer to monitor your rest times. Without a timer, before you know it you'll have wasted time you could have used to get another set or exercise done.

Fit Tip #10 - How to Make Sure You Do Your Workout

It's not rocket science - but it is a tried and true method of committing to something. Scheduling your workout in your calendar is essential to success. Pick a time of day ( and day) that you know you have time to get it done. Write it down in ink, or highlight it as a priority in an electronic calendar. 

If you work out better in the mornings, that's when you schedule it, with enough time to get done without other things crowding out your appointment with your health!

Fit Tip 5 Bored with your workout? No need!

FIT TIP

If you are bored during your workouts, or you're watching the clock during cardio, try these four tips to boost the fun factor in your workouts!

1. Get outside. Lose the timer on your treadmill, and take your walk or run outside. Enjoy the scenery and fresh air. Set yourself a geographical goal ("I'm going to the park and back") instead of a timed goal. Take a different route and destination each time. and if it rains on you, then you know you can work out even in bad weather - or anytime!

2. Try a completely different type of exercise. Never done yoga, or adult volleyball? Check out your local community centre for options.

3. Create a playlist for your mp3 player that will keep you moving fast and that will take your mind off the work-out. Do a bunch of songs that you've loved forever with a strong beat, and you want to sing along to.

4. Find a work-out buddy who is in better shape than you are (yet). You will work harder and push yourself to where you want to be. So try out these tips and shake up your work-outs!

Fit Tip #14 Recovery Snack

bread creamy food fruits 236834When you've done your workout, you feel great - and hungry. But you resist eating a snack because you don't want to undo the good you just did, right?

But you need to have a light recovery snack of 10-15 grams of protein and 20-30 grams of carbs in the 30 minutes after your workout. Why? You will refuel your energy and encourage muscle recovery. 

Consider peanut butter spread on apple slices, a good-quality cheese with dates, or low fat plain yogourt with berries.

 

PHOTO: THINKSTOCK

Pexels

Fit Tip 4 Sitting

 Fit Tip 4

 Do you sit a lot at work? When that happens, we lose some of our ability to extend our legs behind and squeeze our glutes (butt muscles). A couple of times a day, stand up and hold onto a sturdy structure, like a non-rolling chair or shelf - something that won't move when you do. Stand up tall, stand on one leg, and take your other leg straight out behind you, squeezing the glutes. Hold for 5 seconds, and repeat for a total of 10 times. Repeat on the other leg. This will help to refocus your posture and reactivate your glutes and hip extension function.

 

Fit Tip #9 Activate!

FIT TIP #9

 Replace your screen time with active time. If you spend your lunch hour cruising the net, change things up. At the start of your lunch time, head out the door for a brisk 15 minute walk. Then you can enjoy your meal and screen time after you've done your mini-cardio. This small change will bring big change to your health and body over time.

 

 

 

Fit Tip 3 Ankles rock, and roll

 FIT TIP 3

 

Increase the mobility in your ankles by using a foam roller on the back of your legs a few times a week, from your hip muscles down to your calves. This will allow you to stretch them better! Also, in the morning, do some ankle rolls in both directions, and flex and point your foot to increase blood flow and warm up the muscles. These things can have a huge positive impact on your gait, squats, lunges and even basic daily movement.

 

Fit Tip 8 How to Use Negative Rewards for Motivation

Fit Tip #8 - How to Use Negative Rewards for Motivation

How can you stay motivated to get your workouts done? Studies show that a negative reward is key to
lighting a fire under us. That means picking something that you really like to do, or something you want
to buy (stay away from "treat foods" as motivation, please). For instance, if you have your eye on that
new electronic accessory that's on sale this week, commit to your full workout/nutrition goals for the
week. If you don't do the work, you don't get to buy it. Period.

We also respond well to financial "fines". You can put $20-30 aside in an envelope for the week, in $5
bills. At the end of the week, for each goal you didn't do, you have to subtract $5 from your money, and
put it in the pot for next week - you can't spend it this week.

Fit Tip 2 Steady changes

 FIT TIP 2

When you know you need to make changes to your life to get healthier, the list of things to do can seem absolutely overwhelming. Drink more water, count up your fruits and veggies, figure out how much fat you're eating, and what kind, exercise for an hour every day - what pressure! No wonder so many of us just close the door on meaningful change.

Instead, think small changes. Bump up your water intake by 1 glass today, and maintain that until you feel you can add a bit more to your daily intake. This week, add one more vegetable and one more fruit serving each day.

Next week, make a realistic, modest exercise goal. If you say you're going to attend a fitness class five evenings a week, and walk everywhere, that's not very likely to happen. But if you commit to checking out yoga or a walking group at the local community centre once or twice a week, that is much easier to achieve.

So make small, steady changes and you'll be surprised how far you will have gone in a short time!

 

Fit Tip 7 Work your targeted muscle group

Fit Tip #7

How  can you make sure to effectively work the muscle or muscle group you are targeting? Get a mental  image of the muscle and its movement pattern. Focus on how the movement is supposed to go, and the
mental image will translate to you doing it right. For example, if you are doing a lat pull down, position yourself in a slightly leaned-back position, grip the handles, brace your core, and visualize your lats
pulling down and toward your spine. This will help you to engage the big back muscles first, and then the smaller helper muscles such as the biceps, shoulders and teres major. Picture it perfect!

Fit Tip 1 Mix it up!

FIT TIP 1

If you are bored during your workouts, or you're watching the clock during cardio, try these four tips to boost the fun factor in your workouts!

Get outside. Lose the timer on your treadmill, and take your walk or run outside. Enjoy the scenery and fresh air. Set yourself a geographical goal ("I'm going to the park and back") instead of a timed goal. Take a different route and destination each time. and if it rains on you, then you know you can work out even in bad weather - or anytime! 

Try a completely different type of exercise. Never done yoga, or adult volleyball? Check out your local community centre for options.

Create a playlist for your mp3 player that will keep you moving fast and that will take your mind off the work-out. Do a bunch of songs that you've loved forever with a strong beat, and you want to sing along to.

Find a work-out buddy who is in better shape than you are (yet). You will work harder and push yourself to where you want to be.

 

So try out these tips and shake up your work-outs!

 

Deb Bailey Personal Trainer - in Home (Now On-line!)
Phone: 519-572-0986
debbailey@rogers.com
Kitchener, Ontario


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