I do not find it a coincidence that the word “WORK” is in workout. For me, a good WORKout is where I am not only breaking a sweat but also pushing my limits. Although I cannot go to a gym right now (due to strict Covid-19 restrictions in my area), I never picked up a gym membership to “take it easy.” If that’s what I was looking to do, I could do that in the comfort of my own home or go to a spa to relax. I recognize working out is not for everyone and not always the easiest habit to pick up but the good news is, you do not need to belong to a gym to get moving. Faced with the pandemic, I adapted to working out from home in my living room with just a few weights on hand and continue my cardio workouts with either jogging or even Zoom workouts taught by a professional. My point is, nothing should hold you back from a good workout!
You may be asking yourself, “How do I push my limits? How do I take my WORKouts to the next level?” Everyone is at a different personal fitness level, so I cannot give you a direct answer, but at the very least, I can definitely motivate you and share some healthy tips. For starters, you will absolutely NEED to make a CONSCIOUS choice to push your limits and this will require strong efforts on your part.
The first step is to really focus on what your personal fitness/health goals are. If nothing comes to mind, then maybe take some time to think about them. I am a firm believer in goal setting in all aspects of life which means that health/fitness is no different. You will need to set specific goals. Going to the gym and losing weight are NOT concrete goals. Everyone’s goals are very personal but things to think about include what your ideal weight might be or maybe how much time each day/week you want to incorporate a fitness regime. This is where you need to ask yourself what you are ultimately looking to achieve and depending on what it is, it is a good idea to also attach a deadline (or else you may never reach it).
How can you push your limits? How badly do you want to attain your goals? Generally speaking, in order to maximize your results, remember that you do not ever want to get too comfortable or else you will hit a plateau. Here are some ways you can continue to push yourself once you have set some goals for yourself and have gotten into the routine of working out or about to for some people 😉 :
Switch Up Your Cardio: There are so many cardiovascular exercises available. Anything where you are keeping your body moving and at an elevated heart rate. To name a few, there is running, swimming, dancing, playing a sport, rowing machine, Stair Master, etc. It is good to switch it up, again so that your body does not get too used to any particular movement and it is good to work out various parts of the body while burning a good amount of calories.
Vary the Settings on Cardio Machines: If you are utilizing a cardio machine such as a treadmill, you can manually change the speed and inclines which can give yourself an extra push. There is even a setting where the speeds/intervals can change every few minutes at random which is good as it always keeps your body guessing and changes up your heart rate versus keeping it at a manual setting where you are doing the same pace the entire time.
Increase the Weights When Weight Training: In order to continue building strength, it is important to gradually increase the weights. It is beneficial to do this every so often as the body usually adapts over time and it needs a new challenge. If you can do over ten repetitions of a single lifting move with ease, then it might not be working the body to its full potential so that is a good indicator to up the weights. When lifting weights, really try to concentrate on good form even if that means less repetitions. Like most things in life, quality over quantity!
[A Final Note: Often times, people ask me how I stay so motivated. I look at working out like brushing my teeth or any other self care health habit. So for me, of course I want to take care of my health and body. I also aesthetically like being in shape. As a reminder, if you TRULY love yourself, you are naturally only going to want to do what’s best for you.]