Whenever summer hits, it’s a signal for most Pinoys to unwind and swing by the nearest beach they can find. And then there’s also a good bunch that marks the hot season as a time to burn stubborn calories and get fit. Anything that involves self-improvement is always good, but things can get tricky if you’re only beginning to dip your toes into the fitness realm. Don’t worry, we got you! Here are some tips on what can you do to become physically fit.
8. Choose workouts you actually enjoy
No pain, no gain, they say. But that doesn’t mean you have to drag your feet to the gym/yoga mat/track oval every time you need to exercise. To be consistent, find something that you actually enjoy. Take this tip from Uplift Labs in California Director of Performance Keke Lyles:
“I would encourage people to think about the activities they love and incorporate them into their fitness goals and routine. If you’re able to incorporate your fitness goals into the activities you naturally enjoy doing daily, weekly or monthly, then you have a much higher chance of success.”
7. Be realistic and be consistent
Let’s face it — if there were a pill that could make us lose weight in a heartbeat, we wouldn’t be writing this article. Sadly you really have to put in the work. And don’t expect overnight results. You’ve got to be consistent. Experts reveal it’s best to set realistic and achievable goals before starting your fitness journey. A good example is breaking your fitness goals into smaller bits and working from there.
Celebrity trainer Valerie Waters says it takes time and consistency to build your body.
“You are better off doing a 45-minute, moderate-intensity strength circuit three times per week than to do a two-hour, high-intensity workout six times a week, and then burning out in three weeks because it’s not sustainable.
Whatever training program you’re in, the intensity of your workouts must also consider certain factors like fitness level, body composition, strength, and flexibility to achieve effective and long-term results.
6. Don’t take warm-ups and cool-downs for granted
Beginners often overlook the importance of warm-ups and cool-downs. These light activities help condition your body before and after your workouts, and skipping them may cause unwanted injuries. A good warm-up and cool-down should last five to 10 minutes each to improve your athletic performance and reduce muscle soreness or cramps.
Warm-ups may include squats, fast-paced walking, lunges, and arm swings. As for cool-downs, reduce the intensity of exercises you’re doing, like going from jogging to walking.
5. Watch your form
Even if you make working out a habit, it won’t get you anywhere if you’re doing it all wrong. That’s where proper form comes in. It helps you exercise efficiently, fosters better breathing, and hones your concentration to avoid targeting unintended muscles or muscle groups. Plus, proper workout form maximizes your mobility and stability.
To make sure that your form is correct, you can take videos of your workouts to observe your posture and make any necessary corrections. It would also help if you have a personal trainer to guide you or credible fitness videos that you can use as a reference.
4. Don’t forget to have your rest days
We get it, you’re very eager to lose weight, and you think working out every single day sounds reasonable. That said, too much exercise carries some risks. For starters, you may experience overtraining syndrome — a condition where your body stops recovering from a workout and suffers chronic stress, reduced performance, or mood changes. Workout rest days are important because they let your muscles recover following strenuous activities and prevent muscle fatigue.
3. Vary your exercises
Following the same exercise routines over and over can get boring as time passes by. What’s worse, it may result in adaptive resistance wherein your body no longer responds to your exercise routine and leading to fewer burned calories.
You can switch things up by incorporating at least two to three variations in your routine like goblet squats or side plank with leg swings. There are also biceps curls quickly followed by triceps extensions. By creating variations, you gain new reasons to be excited about working out.
2. Eat a healthy and balanced diet
Diet and exercise go hand in hand. No matter how much you exercise, you can’t expect to lose pounds if you’re bingeing on unhealthy snacks all the time. It just won’t work!
Exercise physiologist Katie Lawton says, “To lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume or eat fewer calories than your body uses each day. If you don’t have a caloric deficit, you will not lose weight.”
And speaking of pounds, Lawton also tells us that what you see on the weighing scale shouldn’t be your main basis on where you are on your fitness journey. Keep in mind that as you exercise, you also start to add muscle mass — and we all know that counts as to why it feels like your scale number doesn’t change.
“It may be difficult at first, but don’t focus on the scale. Rather, pay attention to how you’re feeling and what your energy level is. Those are key factors, especially at the beginning.”
1. Celebrate your progress
And finally, after all the hard work you do, take some time to celebrate your fitness milestones, too! Wanna post your fitness progress on social media? Go ahead! How about devouring a large burger after an intense workout? Then, order the best one you can find! But whatever self-reward you have in mind, always do it without losing sight of your goals. We know it’s a long journey ahead, but every step counts, so keep going!