How we crave the perfect body, that slim waist, those chiselled abs and broad chest, toned legs and firm ass. How we crave that two syllable damn (dayum) when we walk by. I’m not being fair, some of us care more about our health and being fit than the aesthetics of it.
So, for whatever reason, we decide to start exercising, we get that gym membership, and set goals. In our mind’s eye we have seen ourselves getting that The Rock or Tahara physique.
But after a few weeks of exercising, we are drained, have no motivation, the pain is just too much and we backslide. I’m here to welcome you back to the fold with these few tips.
Don’t lose sight of your goal
Why did you start working out? Was it to look good, feel good or be healthy? So why did you stop? Does it not matter anymore? It still should.
It’s okay to not feel motivated too. It’s okay to want to backslide. Realise this, accept it. It’s only in accepting this that you can take stock and remember why you started. Someone once said it’s okay to fall, it’s not okay to stay down.
Set realistic goals and trust the process
It’s easy to lose sight of your goals or for them to seem unattainable if they are too grand. Don’t expect to look like Hithrik Roshan in two weeks, who are you kidding?
Appreciate your efforts and your progress. This means you should keep track of your progress too. Also realise that progress might be slow, it’s still progress nonetheless. Start slow, take breaks and avoid doing too much too soon. The goal is progress, not perfection.
Value consistency over intensity
Not dumping on intensity, it helps. But as a beginner, consistency should matter more. It takes time and consistency to see results. Consistency will also prepare you for days when you don’t feel like working out.
Do exercises you actually like too, you’ll be more likely to stick with it.
You’d be better served working out for 30 minutes, 3 times a week as a beginner than 2 hours of high intensity workout everyday. You’ll burn out quicker.
Everyone’s fitness journey is different, know this and know peace. This is because our bodies, metabolism, and genetic makeup are different. Try not to compare, especially with people far along than you.
Find a workout buddy
Training with friends makes it easier, provides motivation and support. Also remember that what you do outside the gym also influences what you do inside the gym. With friends that have the same workout or health mindset, you can eat healthier, hydrate more, which will provide big results in addition to your work out.
Warm up, Cool down
This is forgotten by everyone, but very essential. You need to get your body ready for work out. Stretches, lunges, leg kicks etc can reduce soreness, injury and improve flexibility. Same with cooling down after a workout, like light walking after an intense workout.
No pain, No gain
As cliché as this sounds, it’s the truth. You will feel some measure of pain and discomfort during and after workout. Embrace it.
Know your limits
So, you are at the gym doing some bench presses and you see one huge guy get on the bench beside you and starts lifting twice of what you are lifting. And since you don’t want to look weak, you follow suit. Superman. This is the surest way to get injured. Know your limits, know what your body can handle.
This is also putting a bar on the no pain, no gain shtick. Listen to your body, pushing through pain can lead to injury. It’s usually advisable to take a break when you feel pain or discomfort. Essentially, know your limits.
Keep it interesting
Be sure to switch up your workouts from time to time so it doesn’t get boring. Keep challenging yourself.
Anyone that wants to start exercising or has started but can’t continue will get a kick out of these tips. Remember, it’s your journey, your body, your health. Start slow, warm up, progress, trust the process, cool down and see the results. Don’t forget to hydrate though.
Know any other tips that are important? Let us know in the comments.
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An experienced biomedical researcher cum laboratory scientist. A teacher of the sciences. Self acclaimed health and lifestyle police, changing the world one article at a time.