When it comes to health and fitness, they always say to eat a nutritious diet and to find time to exercise. While these are a great set of general advice to follow, it is important to determine what that means for you in particular (ex: what are your fitness goals?) and finding ways to maximize your results. Is there a way to take these basic tips a step further? Of course the answer is YES! I will share a few things that dramatically made a difference for me this past year alone and habits that I will continue to follow.
Incorporate a Healthy Balance of Natural Foods Within Each Food Group – When finding the right diet, there are so many different diets that exist and many are very restrictive where they eliminate certain food groups altogether or they just are not realistic because of all the food sacrifices that are needed to be made in order to follow the diet. BALANCE is the key to most things and I find with diet, this applies as well. In the past, I would try doing mostly an all protein diet or focus on fruits and vegetables but it took me time to realize that it is important to really eat a nutritiously dense mix of foods from ALL food groups. Even if the foods seem to be too calorically “heavy,” remember that the right foods are the building blocks to muscle growth so being too restrictive with your food choices could actually be setting back your workout results. It is for this reason that you should be focusing on having a good mix of everything (ex: healthy fats, carbohydrates, proteins, etc.).
Find More Challenging Exercises to Add to Your Daily Routine – As they say, “if it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you” and guess what, this also applies to exercise! Last year, I decided to join a Barre Studio because I knew that the workouts were challenging in which the moves in the class were things that I would never push myself to do at a gym. I committed to taking the class 4-5 days a week and after just a couple of months, I already noticed it made a difference! This was the push that I needed to take my workouts to a different level. While I am not saying that you need to specifically join a Barre Studio, I am just recommending finding something that truly challenges you and pushes your limits if you are looking to see lasting results.
Weight Training Everyday Is NOT Necessary to Get Results – Oftentimes, people think that the more that you workout, the more beneficial that it is for your body. I used to weight train almost everyday but learned that just incorporating a few weight training sessions a week is just as effective and perhaps more effective so that it gives the body ample rest time in between the workouts to rest. It also keeps the body guessing and not too used to performing any particular movement at any particular time. I noticed that cutting back on the strength training workouts did not make me weaker in any way and also did not ruin my progress. So do not feel that you have to weight train a crazy amount of time in order to maintain a healthy and toned physique.