by Michelle Sutton-Kerchner
You know what needs to be done. Exercise more. Eat better (and perhaps less). Here’s how to do it better …
Focus on Form
When anxious to lose weight, we often push too hard and move too fast with our exercise routine. Benefits become diminished from these rushed, inaccurate workouts. Be deliberate in your motions. Learn which muscles should be engaged, and in what position, for every exercise.
When a personal trainer develops your customized fitness plan, be sure you understand how to properly execute each exercise. Watch yourself in the mirror so you can replicate the movements when working independently. Use the mirror to maintain proper form during each session or class.
Monitoring your movements increases the effectiveness of your routine. It also helps avoid injuries from sloppy execution. By methodically engaging the muscles and consistently carrying through, you maximize each repetition or count for a more effective workout.
Live in the Present
Evaluate your current fitness state. It is not the same as it was a year ago or even two months ago. Our body evolves daily based on exercise, diet, sleep, stress, and lifestyle. Your workout should appropriately correspond to your current condition.
Scenarios: Do not force a high-intensity workout on a body deprived of sleep because of a hectic workweek or your newborn’s all-night feedings. Likewise, if you feel stressed, channel those emotions into a rigorous workout. When coming from a workout hiatus, don’t assume you can pick up where you left off four months ago. If you were a high school jock, realize (gently) 20 non-athletic years can have a huge impact on capabilities.
Concentrate on what your body can accomplish today. Your workout will result in less chance of injury, decreased muscle soreness, and avoided time on the couch (where you would fixate on sore muscles and excuses to quit exercising).
Know Your Calorie-burning Facts
Determine the amount of exercise you need to meet your weight loss goals. Depending on size, body type, and body composition, an average adult needs about 30 to 60 minutes of daily exercise to realize weight loss. For many, other obligations and priorities can make that commitment difficult to sustain.
Rather than attempting a daily 60-minute workout, adjust to meet your needs. This may translate as a 40-minute daily workout with a lunchtime and evening walk. In reality, it might result in a 30-minute workout, five days a week. Determine how this will impact your weight loss goals. Adjust your skinny-jeans expectations accordingly.
Perhaps you are at a point in your life or schedule where fitness efforts are most successful when focused on avoiding additional weight gain and improving overall health. Try not to fixate on weight loss. A workout that accommodates your current situation ultimately will be more effective than any turbo weight loss routine. And, when the time is right, you’ll be primed for further weight loss efforts.
Love for the Health of It
Sometimes, we accidentally sabotage our weight loss efforts, even when we do everything “right.” Adapt healthy habits, one of them being self-acceptance. It may take a while to achieve your ideal body weight. It may not even result in the shape you hoped (in other words, weight loss in all the wrong places). Leave svelte bodies to Photoshop. Learn to love your healthiest self, at any weight.