Despite committing ourselves to regular exercise and a healthy diet, some of us just can’t seem to quite reach our fitness goals. Whether you’re unable to shift those last few stubborn kilos, you can’t reach an old personal best time or you're finding exercise unusually draining, you may be guilty of subconscious exercise sabotage!
We've spoken often about ways to boost your exercise, but what about the things that you may not even realise are affecting your performance when you tackle workout time?
Adequate recover time is an essential ingredient in a successful exercise plan; it gives depleted muscles times to repair, lessens the chance of injury and builds strength. To recover successfully, you should be getting adequate sleep after exercising – 6-9 hours, depending on the person – fuelling your body with lean and protein-packed meals, and stretching out at the end of a big workout.
If you don't spend enough time recovering, you can actually weaken muscles that aren’t given the time that they need to rebuild themselves. You could also cause physical and mental burnout. If you’re finding yourself hitting the gym five days a week without results, this may be why!
Ensure that you take time out to rest and recover in between exercise. This doesn’t have to mean living sedentarily every second day, but it does mean slowing down with gentle activities like yoga or walking.
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Do you find yourself performing the same exercise routines day in and day out? If you're focusing only on your stomach, you should be achieving incredible results there, right? By failing to mix up your exercise routine, you’re using the same group of muscles over and over again. Our bodies are clever, and they adapt over time; an exercise your body may have found challenging the first time that you tried it becomes much easier down the track.
Although this is beneficial for athletes training for marathons, cycling events or other endurance sports, for your day-to-day exercise, it may not be the best approach. Mixing up your routine spreads the work around your body and will give you a healthier body overall. Try a trampoline-based workout or local class for some variety!
Just like a car can’t run without petrol, your body can’t exercise without adequate fuel. If you find your performance lacking during workouts, cast your mind back to what you’ve eaten and drunk that day. You may find that your diet is unbalanced, that you aren’t eating regularly enough or you’re not drinking nearly as much water as you should be.
Many of us calorie-count while trying to lose weight, but taking this too far can undermine your workout regime. Ensure that you eat a small, light snack before exercise and that you're consuming adequate vegetables and protein afterwards. Dont forget to keep those water levels up!
Do you think that your exercise is being affected by one of the above? Let us know how you plan on making some changes to your current routine.