Getting back in shape after the prolonged period of lockdown is honestly the most daunting task. You’ve probably added a few bounds, lost track of your workout, and the progress you made previously is not visible. It’s frustrating!
Despite the bleak situation, all is not lost. As governments lift the lockdowns, you can start all over again and get back in shape. But it won’t be magic; you must put in the work.
To help you get started, here are proven strategies that you can integrate into your workout to shade that fat, get in perfect shape, and improve your overall health.
1. Define Your Fitness Goals
The first thing that comes to mind after a long period of minimal exercise is to hit the gym and get started fast. It sounds like a perfect strategy to get back in shape in no time. But honestly, it isn’t.
To stay consistent and achieve tangible results, you must have a clear goal of what you want to achieve and what you’ll do to get there.
Foremost, start with outlining your short term goals. Ensure they are simple and easy to implement. If you begin with tough ones, chances are you’ll get discouraged halfway.
Base your goals on performance rather than how you want your body to look. For example, instead of focusing your goal on having a bikini body for summer, you can instead settle for 20 crunches every morning. Performance-based goals enable you to stay consistent.
Write your goals down so that you can always refer to them when you don’t feel like exercising. Also, note down the duration you intend to take to achieve your objectives. Synchronize your timelines on your calendar so that you can always get reminders.
2. Start Slowly and Progress Steadily
With goals set, the next thing is to implement them. Start your workout with simple routines. You can gradually progress to tough workouts. This allows your body to adjust as you increase your momentum systematically. So, instead of forcing yourself to hit the gym seven days a week for 2hours, you can tone it to thrice a week for an hour.
You can start with simple exercises like walking for a short distance at a slow pace. With time, you can increase your speed, advance to jogging, cycling, swimming, or cardio workouts. Later, you can integrate strength training a few times a week.
Starting workouts slowly and advancing enables you to build strength gradually. With time, you’ll slide into your previous routine without experiencing sore muscles.
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3. Focus on the Workouts You Love
After the lockdown, it is going to be challenging to pick your workout from where you left it. You’ll even struggle to get started. Therefore, in the beginning, focus on the workouts you enjoy doing. Do not sign up for running if you dread the experience. If you do that, you’ll most likely keep up for two days and give up.
Starting your workout with something you like makes the exercise fun and easy to accomplish. The more it feels less like a chore, the more you’ll be hooked to bringing it to completion every day.
The critical thing to remember is to center your workouts around the full body instead of focusing on a particular muscle. A holistic exercise enhances your mobility and flexibility, minimizing the probability of injury during workouts.
4. Integrate a Healthy Eating Plan
What you eat is key to regaining your shape. You must cut out unhealthy eating habits and foods, and focus on clean meals. The change will be difficult. More often than not, you’ll be tempted to relapse.
For starters, you can replace all sugary drinks with water. Gradually let go of one food that’s unhealthy rather than making a drastic change overnight. With time, you’ll realize your diet is immaculate. So, make one change at a time.
You can start a food diary. A diary helps you to keep track of what you eat. It makes it easier to know what’s working and what isn’t.
You can also get the help of a nutritionist. He/She can access your current health status and customize a meal plan that’s fit for you.
5. Have an Accountability System
Like with any activity, the beginning is easy. But staying consistent until you achieve your goals is a hurdle. This is especially true in fitness training.
To show up when you least feel like it, you will need more than motivation and willpower. An accountability partner helps you to stay on track on the worst days.
Therefore, it is important to join a group exercise routine, enroll in a gym, or work out with a friend.
You can also enter your daily exercise activities and diet on a training app.
6. Personal Evaluation
Remember the goals we talked about in the first point? This is where they come in handy. You must evaluate your goals to check if you are making headway with your exercises or otherwise.
It is essential to check your workouts so that you can check your progress as time goes by. The results of your evaluation will determine if you’re continuing, tweaking, or having a complete overhaul of your routines.
Also, ensure you consider your eating, sleeping, and recovery patterns. This way, you’ll have a holistic evaluation. Then, you can make an informed choice on the adjustments you need to make.
Think Without the Box
Do not limit your exercise to doing a specific routine at the same time and place. Instead, look for simple ways to integrate workouts into your daily activities.
You can take the stairs instead of the elevator. Instead of texting a colleague, please walk to their desk. You can extend that walk to the kitchen for a break rather than browsing on your phone.
Also, look for family activities that keep you active. Can you play with your kids in the evening after work?
The key is to ensure your typical day is packed with simple exercises that compliment your daily workout routine.