As a personal trainer, I get asked frequently about tips to maximise results. I’ve been doing this a long time so I have heaps of ideas and strategies but here are five great ones just about anyone can do to help them get started on their health and fitness journey and maximise their results.
Tip One: Drink Plenty of Water
Water is very much underestimated but it will make you feel so much better! Your mind will be clearer, your body will work more efficiently and as a side bonus, it will help you metabolise fat. The standard aim is at least 2 litres a day. It can be a hard thing to be consistent with this. We typically recommend aiming to build up over a period of a couple of weeks to 2 litres if you’re drinking very small amounts now. And don’t worry, all the trips to the loo will diminish as soon as you remain consistent with your water and your body is used to your increased intake.
Hydration is also super important for making the most out of your workout. If you’re dehydrated you will feel more sluggish and have difficulty getting through the workout. It’s best to start off hydrated, sip on water throughout the workout and then have plenty to drink post-workout.
Tip Two: Vary Your Workouts
It’s important not to get stuck in a rut with your workouts. It’s very easy to just keep doing the same old thing – you’re used to it, it’s comfortable, but try to mix things up and try something different at least once every few weeks. It will keep your body guessing, it’ll help you stay motivated (you might even find you LOVE something you’ve never even tried!) and the reality with exercise is that if it’s not challenging you, it won’t change you. That is not to say there are no benefits. What it means is that to improve your fitness and strength levels, you need to challenge yourself. As you improve your fitness, you need to step things up gradually. A mix of cardiovascular and strength/resistance training is ideal but whatever you find enjoyable is a sensational start as far as I’m concerned.
Tip Three: Get a Smaller Plate
A lot of people laugh when we suggest this but it REALLY helps with portion control and can help us learn more about listening to our natural cues a bit more. We all have a tendency to fill our plate and most of us, from a young age, were conditioned to finish everything on our plates. Most of us were taught to eat beyond the point at which we felt full so we don’t waste anything. Having a smaller plate means you’re likely to eat less as your plate can’t hold as much but you’ll feel perfectly satisfied as your eyes saw a full plate. Try it, it works! If you’re genuinely not feeling satisfied with the amount you’ve had, absolutely have some more but it gives you the opportunity to stop and think before you get to a point of feeling overfull.
Tip Four: Keep a Health and Fitness Journal
This one can be a bit of a drag for some people. We acknowledge that. You don’t need to become a raving lunatic recording every tiny thing you eat and every move you make. But it can be a great idea to get a gauge of where you are starting from (regardless of where that is) so you can look back and see just how far you have come. It can really help you keep going when you’re having a bad day and wondering if it’s all worth the effort.
Focus on improving one habit at a time. Don’t let yourself become overwhelmed – you’re in this for the long haul, a REAL lifestyle change. Once you’re coping well with one change, add another one into the mix, just keep building on it as things become easier.
Your journal doesn’t have to be boring either. I encourage my clients who keep a journal to stick photos, quotes, recipes – anything that makes them feel great really – into the journal and I like to call it their “Little Book of Awesome”. Really personalise it. It’s your journal. Have fun with it.
Tip Five: Set Mini Goals
When you have big, long term goals it can be a REALLY daunting task just getting started. It’s hard not to think about how far you’ve got to go to reach the ultimate goal. In most cases, it will take some time to reach your goals so just expecting to stay motivated all that time is probably not your best bet. Focus on setting small, achievable goals along the way – be able to walk for 2km, be able to do 20 push ups, being able to walk up a flight of stairs without feeling puffed etc. And reward yourself along the way (check out some of our Non Food Related Reward Ideas). You’ll be surprised how the thought of a little reward for reaching your mini goal will keep you taking positive steps toward your bigger, long-term health and fitness goals.
If you have any questions at all or want to share some things that have helped you stay on track and moving toward your goals, comment below or jump on over to our Facebook page for a chat.