Three weeks into your new fitness program, how are you?
Aside from trudging to the gym/mat/field/pool, you can’t just focus on the workout itself to get results.
If you don’t see the progress you expect, you may be responsible for skipping necessary steps for your well-being.
Taking good care of yourself will not only make you feel better, it will improve your athletic performance – and can also motivate you if you see slow growth that drives you to keep going.
Fortunately, it doesn’t take drastic changes to break a fitness barrier. The Fitness Volt PTs have shared their best tips for boosting your progress — and most of them require very little effort.
Small steps for big profits.
The experts warn that if you don’t get enough sleep, you won’t feel energized enough to exercise.
“Muscles release amino acids during sleep, which absorb proteins into the bloodstream and help them grow and repair, meaning you can get back to training faster,” they say.
You should aim for seven to nine hours, although the perfect amount of rest varies from person to person.
Do not warm up
“Warmups are often overlooked, even though they are an important part of the workout,” says the Fitness Volt team.
“Without a warm-up, you’re not at your peak performance and you’re not fully prepared for training because your muscles aren’t activating.”
For example, try jogging, arm and shoulder circles, and don’t go all out without proper preparation.
Even if you exercise early in the morning, you should eat something first to fuel your body.
“Carbs, in particular, give your body the fuel it needs, so opt for foods like whole-grain cereal or whole-grain toast with some fruit,” the PTs at Fitness Volt say.
“However, stick to a small portion size so you don’t feel sluggish before a workout.”
Low protein content
Protein is an essential nutrient in your diet – both for building muscle and losing weight.
The team says: “If weight loss is your goal, protein supports a healthy metabolism and curbs your appetite while helping to build muscle by helping to repair and maintain muscle tissue.
“It is recommended to consume about 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight for best results. So consider adding foods such as chicken, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese and walnuts to your diet, all of which are high in protein.
If you’re struggling to stick to your recommended intake, they recommend trying protein shakes, which come in handy for those who are always on the go.
Stay in your comfort zone
Change your routine so you don’t get bored and lose your resolve.
Your body gets used to the workout, so the PTs recommend “lifting yourself to the next level.”
They claim this “avoids a plateau and challenges your muscles to keep building strength.”
“You can expect that the more days you spend in the gym, the better your results will be, but not taking time to rest can slow the process,” warns the PT team.
“Exercising too much will exhaust your body, hinder your performance during exercise and prevent you from building strength.
“Plus, by allowing your body to recover, you prevent injuries that over time would only lead to a sedentary lifestyle.”
Three rest days per week is ideal, but if you’re new to the sport or doing a particularly intense workout, you may need to take more.
Listen to your body’s reactions and you will see results in no time.
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