Bodies are made in the kitchen, not in the gym. Exercise in itself is not only an effective weight loss tool. That’s not to say it isn’t beneficial though, as it aids in eating healthy (who wants to eat a piece of cake after a good workout?!) and helps your body and organ systems work more efficiently. It’s best to view exercise as a method of improving mental clarity and overall well-being, rather than a method of burning calories. But then exercise doesn’t mean you start jumping, hoping, jogging or weight-lifting anywhere, anytime in any condition. If you do so, the results will not be expected. Effective exercising requires some protocol and specific rules to follow. These rules make workout fun, much more doable and give better results.
Let’s take a look at those rules:
1. Find the right form
One of the mistakes we do when we start our exercise regime is to start off without knowing our body type or requirement. Just because one workout gave great results to your colleague doesn’t mean it will give you the same results. Leave alone the results, all bodies respond to exercises differently, hence not all exercise forms are meant for everyone and anyone. For some yoga works best while others take more benefit from weight-lifting. You will see some people walking, jogging early morning and some are more than glad to set-up a mini gym at home.
To begin with, know what you are capable of doing and how much your body can take. You can easily find books that will guide you through and help you determine the right form of exercise. One such book I found is the BodyBoss Ultimate Body Fitness Workout Guide.
This book not only has a step-by-step fitness guide but also a 4-week pre-training program along with worksheets to keep you on track.
The most effective exercise is high-intensity interval training (HIIT). If you were ever trained for something intense like a marathon you may have done this type of training. If your training alone, you can simply run for as long as you are able, and slowly improve your distance and mile time but that may not be the most effective method. In a training class you likely will alternate slower running with intense spurts; for instance, you might jog for three minutes then sprint for one minute. Your distance and mile time will likely show huge improvements right away. HIIT is also much less boring than static exercise.
It is very possible to get in amazing shape without dedicating a lot of time to exercise. First, you have to accept the first two rules: stop exercising to simply burn calories, and include spurts of intense (but safe) effort in your workout. You can save time by exercising at home and will be more likely to stick with your workout routine if it doesn’t take up much of your day. Two favorite quick workout methods are CrossFit (http://crossfit.com/) and Tabata Training (http://tabatatraining.org/). If you’re not familiar with them, then trust us, they work.
2. Wear the right outfit
Most people tend to ignore this rule and feel exercise can be done in any clothes. Training outfits are designed to give you utmost comfort. They are meant to provide flexibility and breathability. This also applies for shoes as they play a very important role during exercises. Not all shoes are fit for every exercise. There are different shoes and sneakers available for running, jogging and cardio exercises. Before you decide which ones to buy, make sure you know what kind of exercise you are planning to do and how to pressure it will exert on your feet. Invest in buying the right size sports bra, shirts, leggings, trousers and joggers and trust me, they will make a huge difference.
3. The power of music
A good workout mix helps you find the motivation to start and finish your workout. If your training to run something like a marathon, forgetting your music for a training day you will regret it – it makes the time go faster. If you’d like, you can create your own workout using the exercises that fit into your mix. For instance, pick a song, do jumping jacks on the first verse, side jumps on the second verse, clock lunges on the third verse, and burpees on each chorus. Another way to use music: once you’ve done a workout video a few times and know it well enough, you can mute it and listen to music (or watch your favorite show). You can either play the music on speakers or use an MP3 player to keep it to yourself.
A watchstrap with a music player, stopwatch and Headphones is best for my running, jogging and gym workouts.
You can find lots of downloadable playlists on YouTube and other websites. Choose the one that suits your workout routine and enjoy the time with your body.
4. Drink and eat well
In making exercise most effective, it is important to know what to eat and when to eat. Take small sips of water in between exercise and plenty of water throughout the day. It is recommended that you don’t exercise right after any meal but definitely not starve after the workout. Know the portion of proteins and carbs your body requires to exercise with its maximum capacity. Do not skip on any meals or nutrients. Give your body carbs to get the energy to run, jog and jump. Learn about your body and see what digests you easily. Eat healthy, wholesome, nutritious foods such as;
- Quaker Oat So Simple Original Porridge
- 365 Everyday Value, Organic Creamy Peanut Butter Unsweetened & No Salt
- Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Organic Plant-Based Vegan Protein Powder
5. Take the time to notice the benefits of exercising
After your workout, take in your runner’s high. Appreciate your sore muscle the next day (yes you can enjoy that feeling of good soreness). Notice how your mood changes when you work out. When you truly appreciate these benefits, you won’t want to go a day without exercise and will make time for it whenever possible.
In a nutshell, make each workout time happy and enjoy each move. Don’t make exercise a burden to achieve short term results, rather make this an essential part to lead a healthy life. For more rules, I also recommend you all to read The New Rules of Lifting for Women: Lift Like a Man, Look Like a Goddess
Good Luck in making your body healthy, happy and strong.