I presented my ‘Top Tips for Getting Results’ talk at Babylon Cafe in Raynes Park last night at The Wardrobe Girl’s summer event. It was such a wonderful fun evening. So nice to meet such a lovely group of local ladies.
For those that missed it these are my 8 top tips:
1. Set yourself a realistic goal – really think about what you want to achieve and how you are going to get there. Pick one goal to focus on. If you have more than one goal focus on one now devoting your attention to that specifically. You might want to become a faster runner or perhaps complete a 5 or 10k run but you also want to build some muscle. Your training for these goals would be very different. Trying to do both at the same time will result in limited improvement in each but focusing on 1 goal and devoting your time and energy into that will provide results. This doesn’t mean your goals can’t change in the future you are just taking one at a time.
You’ve heard the saying – “Jack of all trades master of none” – going from a spin class Monday, gym Tuesday, run Wednesday may be great for your general fitness but you are unlikely to see any real progress in each area unless you consistently focus on one.
2. Progression. In your training plan there must be progression. Your body will soon get used to the exercises you are doing or the weights you are lifting or the length of run you do. If your goal is to build some muscle/tone up you should be trying to increase the weight you lift or the number of repetitions you are doing, ideally each week (depending on how often you are training). If your goal relates to running or swimming for example and you want to run or swim further you have to push yourself to go a bit further each week, even if its just a small increase. If you want to run faster you will need to incorporate some interval training into your training plan where you are running for shorter distances but at a much faster pace than you would on a longer run. Aim to increase the distance over which you run at a faster pace each week. Your body is not going to improve unless you show it how.
3. Have a plan and write it down. At the start of each week write down when you are going to exercise and what you plan to do. Schedule it into your diary like you would a meeting. I find it helpful to tick off each session after I’ve done it maybe making some notes about how I felt – was it easy/hard and think about how I could improve on my performance next week.
4. Stay consistent. People that are consistent with their training will see results. There will be times when you are not feeling motivated to exercise but if you can get into a routine with your training and build up some momentum, that momentum will keep you going when your motivation drops.
5. Don’t get disheartened if you have a bad week or two along the way. It is normal for motivation to dip. Accept that there are times when you are going to be tired because you didn’t sleep well or your nutrition has been poor or there have been some other stressors in your life to deal with. Don’t beat yourself up for falling off the wagon or not making the progress you want that week. There will be times like this for all of us, the important thing is to accept this will happen, don’t let it be the reason that you give up on your goal. Pick yourself up where you left off, when you feel ready.
6. Set a realistic timeframe over which you plan to achieve your goal and give it a decent amount of time before you assess your progress. I would recommend once you have decided on your goal and made a plan you give it at least 12 weeks.
7. Look after your body. Stay hydrated by drinking at least 2 litres of water a day, more if you exercise. Make sure you are getting enough sleep, ideally between 7- 9 hours a night. Eat a balanced diet making sure you are getting a good mix of carbs, proteins and fats in your diet. Your body will struggle to adapt if you are not looking after it and fueling it properly.
8. Do something you enjoy. In order to stay consistent and motivate yourself to progress you have to do something that you like. Don’t force yourself to do something if you aren’t enjoying it. Give different things a go to see what suits you – maybe try swimming or zumba or netball even. If you try a variety of different things you will find one that suits you. If you find it difficult to motivate yourself, get together with a group of friends and schedule time each week to meet up and exercise together.