Five steps to maximise your workouts this summer
Time is invariably the most precious investment any of us can make. With summer season upon us, make sure you get maximum returns from your time spent working out with some of our five pointers on getting results out of the effort you’re putting in.
Eat like an athlete
First is the unavoidable point about nutrition. They say there’s no outrunning a bad diet, but why would you want to have to run further in the first place?
I would never prescribe fad diets or excessive calorie restriction, but if you are looking to drop some body fat for the summer nutrition needs to be a focus. If in doubt, ask yourself – would a professional athlete eat that? Minimise consumption of sugar and refined carbs but eat healthy fibre filled carbs and wholegrains. Eat plenty of colourful vegetables and lean protein, don’t starve yourself, and limit alcohol intake.
Being present when you exercise is key – paying attention to how you move and how you feel will yield greater results. A classic example is performing lunges to tone the glutes bum but only feeling it in your legs – if you are paying attention, you can identify the issue and fine that movement. Every time we do an exercise it’s for a specific reason, so if it’s not working for you then change the way you execute that exercise or get professional help.
I often come across people who smash their body to bits and don’t understand why they aren’t seeing results. If you’ve been doing the same routines for a while – whether it’s group classes or personal training – and nothing is changing, then change what you are doing. This is especially true for high intensity workouts. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking the more you sweat automatically equals better results. Our bodies are intelligent, we need to continuously switch things up to get the results we want, and that doesn’t always mean training to exhaustion as it will adapt to that too.
It’s not a quick trick as such, but in order to get good results and sustain them, we need to absolutely commit to training as an everyday part of life – three times a week is a good guidance for beginners. If you don’t have a personal trainer then you need to act as if you are your own: decide on the days and times that you train and write down a short list of reasonable excuses for why you can cancel.
It’s completely normal to not feel like training – not all of us are full time fitness models and life invariably gets in the way, but just doing something keeps the momentum.
Have solutions planned for all these scenarios; just 20 minutes of exercise has been proven to have hugely positive effects on overall wellbeing. That could mean you don’t feel like lifting weights so going for an easy outdoor jog instead, or it could mean simply going to a yoga class when you’re jetlagged and aching – the key is to keep moving.
Now that your food plan is sorted, you’re committed, mindful about your movement and switching up your routines like your own personal trainer, you need to set a realistic goal in order to have success. Like I said in our most recent bikini blog, summer naturally brings on a need to get in shape, and with that in mind I would urge you to be humble about where you are at and what you are able to achieve. Fitness is a lifetime commitment and there a lot of false promises out there – being fit and healthy is the most important goal there is, so try not to compare your appearance to others online.