Once you’ve decided to improve your fitness, you go on an up and down journey filled with both excitement and frustration. One day you’re doing well with your exercises, and then the next, you’re huffing and panting like it’s your first time all over again. But this is all part of the process. Fitness isn’t a straight road with a final destination at the end. It’s a never-ending journey where you’ll only feel progress if you take a break and look back from when you first started.
However, the frustrations and disappointment can affect your psyche, maybe even force you to consider whether what you’re doing is right. And the answer to that is, yes, you made the right decision in pursuing fitness. Not only will it improve your overall health and well-being but also your mental state. To combat the frustrations, here are a few tips to help you. These tips aren’t just exclusive for beginners but for seasoned fitness enthusiasts alike- sometimes, you need to hear advice coming from someone else other than your head.
Change Up Your Exercises Now and Then
If you’ve been working out for some time, you’ll find that your gains and improvements decrease by the day. Often called plateauing, this happens to everyone, beginners and veterans alike. This isn’t because you’ve been slacking off- as a matter of fact, it’s the opposite.
When exercise routines and diet regimens begin to stop working, it’s often because of your body catching up with you. You’ve finally reached the next level as your body can now receive the work you’re putting into it through. Make it a point to change your exercises to challenge your body. You’ll be surprised at how much you can still improve.
Stretch More and Be Flexible
Flexibility is something most casual fitness enthusiasts often ignore. To athletes, flexibility is paramount to performance. It improves their dynamic ability, helps repair the muscles, and allows them to utilize their body to its full range of mobility.
Even if you’re not a professional athlete, stretching more with the intent to become flexible is still a worthwhile effort. And you might find it helpful, too, as it can help reduce muscle soreness after workouts. Do dynamic stretches before your routine as part of your warm-up. You’ll perform better during your actual exercise. Static stretching comes after, and that one helps your body heal and prevents muscle pain.
Make Sure You Sleep Well
Feeling like you’re not doing great during your workouts can be disheartening, especially if you’ve breezed through the very same workout before. There are many factors to this, such as fatigue levels, the food you’ve consumed beforehand, and your mental state.
One way to ensure that you’re performing to the best of your ability during workouts is by getting good sleep. And by good sleep, not just the usual eight hours, but deep, uninterrupted sleep. During sleep, our body recovers: muscles heal, and the system digests the nutrition we provide it. Ensure you get good sleep, and if that means dimming the lights, getting better pillows and mattresses, go for it. You won’t regret it once you’ve felt re-energized when waking up in the morning.
Consider Testing Yourself in a Friendly Competition
Fitness is often tied to competition. But if you’re not one to be competitive and join a contest, you might not have even considered doing it. But beyond social recognition and achievement, joining fitness events such as a power-lifting meet, an outdoor calisthenic group, or a marathon has multitudes of personal benefits too. It helps you put your improvement into context since you’ll be forced to look at your skills objectively. You’ll also meet people of varying fitness levels, make new friends, and maybe even realize your fitness level is better than you think.
Hire a Professional
Fitness lends itself as a do-it-yourself pursuit. You have the ultimate control over what you’ll do or not do. But there’s always the option of getting professional assistance, and you might find that decision to be beneficial. A personal trainer can help you create a customized training routine that’s geared towards your goal.
A weight management clinic can help you sort out your goals and lead you to the right path. Don’t be afraid to look for help. It’s not cowardly, neither is it uncool. The fitness industry is rife with the “go hard and go home” and “do it on your own if you really want it” mentality, but don’t let it get to you. Any improvement is an improvement, even if that means getting assistance from someone else.
With these ideas in mind, you can aim for better health and fitness with ease. The thought of exercising doesn’t have to be daunting and difficult.