Whether you are a professional sportsperson or a fitness enthusiast, following a regime month after month may be the toughest challenge.
At times, you may feel that you are pushing yourself too hard.
Sometimes, it may seem that you are capable of doing a lot more.
It takes more than sheer motivation and determination to keep pace and extend your boundaries.
If you want to experience better results in terms of weight loss and muscle-building, you may sometimes need to take things a notch higher.
Though doing so may seem like a great deal of work, it is easier than you think.
Here are some lifestyle habits that can help you go the extra mile with your fitness regime.
Eat for fuel, not flavor
There’s a difference between eating for fuel and gorging on things you love for sheer flavor and pleasure.
Focus on food choices that fuel up your body to get through the daily workout.
Consuming a healthy dose of protein combined with carbs and healthy fats a couple of hours before your training session would be the right approach.
The largest meal of your day should come within an hour of finishing your workout.
Ideally, your meal plan should revolve around your workout and you should limit eating during the rest of the day.
Steering clear of unhealthy foods like fats and sugar is equally important.
Invest in a food scale
Apart from being careful about your food choices, you also need to be judicious about the quantities you consume.
Buying a food scale is a good idea because it lets you measure your consumption accurately.
Further, it also helps you track and control your portion sizes and avoid overeating in the long run.
This is particularly useful for weight watchers who need to manage weight loss effectively.
Once you learn to use a food scale, you will be surprised at the difference it makes to your diet and fitness regime.
Reset your goals periodically
Goals are perhaps the most vital component of a workout regime.
They serve as a reference point and keep you focused in the right direction, which can decide the success in achieving the results you want.
Look for realistic targets that are measurable and time-bound as well.
If your current targets don’t seem to push you enough, consider resetting them sooner rather than later.
Similarly, you may fine-tune them if they appear too unrealistic as expecting too much can also put you off track.
Have milestones for your progress
Just setting and resetting goals isn’t going to help as you need to focus on achieving them as well.
Once you have them established, breaking them into manageable milestones with time scales and deadlines would help.
The best thing about having milestones is that they are easier to monitor, which helps you review your long-term goals and see the bigger picture better.
Work with a trainer
Running miles or spending hours sweating out in the gym may not work if you are not doing the right exercise for your body or goals.
Similarly, you may not be simply pushing yourself to your limits.
Working with a Personal Trainer is important if you are serious about fitness.
They can tailor the right plans for you, realign them when necessary, and push you to work harder.
If keeping yourself motivated enough to exercise day after day sounds like a humongous task, a trainer can give you the push you need.
Try new exercises
Taking your fitness regime to the next level is all about challenging your body.
This could mean running a longer distance, lifting heavier weights, or trying another activity.
There isn’t anything better than stepping out of your comfort zone when it comes to improving your fitness.
Your trainer would recommend changes in your fitness regime from time to time.
Experiment to find out what works for you and what doesn’t.
A varied program that mixes strength training, aerobic exercise, and core work is the best to enhance your fitness and keep you motivated.
Increase the intensity
Apart from mixing exercises, it is also important to increase intensity for going up a notch with your workout routine.
For example, if brisk walking has always been your favorite form of workout, try moving on to a more intense form with sprinting or jogging.
You may experience some discomfort initially but your body gets used to it and better results will come eventually.
High-intensity weight training is another good choice because it doubles as cardio and goes a long way in improving your fitness.
Have yardsticks to track improvements
This one is a no brainer, but most fitness enthusiasts go slack with tracking improvements.
It is important to have standard yardsticks to track and measure the results before, during, and after the training programs you follow.
Whether you want to measure in terms of muscle gain or fat loss depends on the goal you are trying to achieve.
If you are doing it for professional purposes, you may want to measure in the form of distance and time, a number of reps or weights lifted.
The idea is to have a consistent standard and follow it through the regime.
Find new motivators
Staying motivated is the key if you want to achieve your fitness objectives and go beyond expectations.
Music is great for boosting motivation and performance while you may try something innovative such as technology.
For example, you can use a wearable fitness tracker to keep a constant check on your metrics such as steps walked and calories burned.
Try a new class or find a workout buddy who can inspire you and boost your morale at all times.
Anything that keeps you going is worthwhile.
Making workout work is much easier than you may imagine, provided that you take the right approach.
Think of fitness as a lifestyle rather than just a routine that you have to follow.
You will see a great difference over time, both in terms of results and your motivation to push your limits further.