Article by Kezia Thomas 18.03.15
I speak to a lot of people who are trying to reach personal health and fitness goals and feel they aren’t getting the results they want. It can be frustrating and demotivating when you feel like you’re doing the ‘right’ things but just aren’t getting to where you’d like to be.
There are dozens of reasons your current exercise programme may not be working for you, but often it comes down to a few key issues. Here are three things you can think about to see if there are some small changes you could make to see a huge difference in the results.
You may not be doing the right exercises
There’s a lot of information out there and many fitness programmes promise similar results. It’s difficult sometimes to know what to choose, so it can be tempting to go for a really simple concept, especially if it’s something loads of other people are doing.
’30 Day’ social media challenges are a great example of what I mean. If you’ve ever been tempted by the “do the same exercise for 30 days and have a body like this airbrushed model” challenge, I can tell you now that it’s probably not the best way to achieve your goal.
Challenging yourself is a great thing to do, but you need to go about it in the right way. The danger with these things is that if you haven’t done a lot of exercise and then go straight into 30 days of squats, 30 days of lunges, etc. you could be doing more harm than good. Are you sure you’re practicising good technique? Have you thought about rest days? Are you changing your nutrition to support your new exercise programme? Are you using the same muscles over and over again, risking injury? Balance is key, and launching into the latest Facebook fitness challenge may not be the best way to start a new fitness programme.
You may not be challenging yourself enough
The quality of your exercise is so much more important than the quantity. Whether you’re just going through the motions and doing the same thing at the gym every day without really thinking about it, or lifting weights with which you can easily do 20 reps at a time, you’re not pushing hard enough to see changes in your body.
Shake your exercises up so that you’re training your whole body. Concentrate when you are training and really think about what you’re doing. Engage every muscle during your planks, squeeze your butt tight when you squat, lift weights that see you tiring at around 12 reps. Focus on what you’re doing and if it’s still too easy, you need to find new ways to challenge yourself to get the results you want.
You may be focusing too much on cardio
There is more to fitness than cardio alone! Cardio is certainly good for your health, and has many benefits including boosting endurance and supporting short-term weight loss goals. However, spending too much time on the treadmill may deprive you of the benefits to be gained from other forms of exercise.
The benefits of strength training apply to everyone but become more apparent as you age, as it has been proved to reduce risks associated with blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and osteoperosis. You’re also less likely to injure a stronger body, and as your strength increases, so does your metabolism (even at rest). Muscle definition is a happy side-effect of lifting dumbells and doing body-weight exercises: everyone envies toned arms and abs!
Cardio may help your fitness goals, but balancing your training out may bring much more success.
If you liked this article and are interested in finding out more about building new fitness habits, have a look at ‘7 tips for building new habits’. https://growleamington.wordpress.com/2015/02/09/taking-the-first-step-7-tips-for-building-new-habits/ For more on the author, visit: http://www.riversidepole.co.uk or tweet Kezia on @RiversidePole