14 EXERCISE HACKS TO IMPROVE YOUR FITNESS EVEN MORE

Seems like everything has a hack these days. In the time and age of more efficiency demanded in less time, why not hack the exercise regime, we thought! So below are the top exercise hacks, which mean more exercise that you can sneak into your day without any more effort than normal, and you are sure to be pleased with the results! Prepare to say hello! to a slimmer, healthier you!

Start slow.

The biggest mistake people who begin fitness regimes, is to start too hard too fast. The ideal way is to take it as easily and as slowly as you possibly can, while still implementing change. Make it enjoyable, and make it sustainable, is our mantra. You don’t want to burn out a month (or even sooner) into your new workout routine, because that will most certainly mean going back to square one and starting all over again in a few weeks time. Nobody wants to start over!

Increase gradually.

After getting used to a certain level of exercise, bring up the difficulty level a notch. Your body can adjust to the level of stress after a certain point, and when the exercise level doesn’t challenge the body too much, the metabolism adjusts to it as the new normal. It is advisable to upgrade your exercise regime very two weeks or so, so the magic can keep on happening! It is best to move on to high intensity exercises for better fat burning. Higher intensity increases the calorie burn, and improves performance.

Schedule workouts and make it a habit.

You can make commitments to yourself, and allot time slots for your exercise, just as you would do with any other appointment. If you workout at the same time of the day every single day for at least 21 days, you will make a habit of it, and as we are well aware, habits are difficult to break! Consistency ingrains habits, and exercise is most certainly a habit you want to build even more into!

Stop obsessing about weight loss.

Yes, I know, how dare I! most people start on an exercise regime to shed the pounds and burn the calories! Many of us want nothing more than to lose weight while exercising. However, if weight loss is the only thing that motivates you, you wont be able to keep up with it as a life pattern. You may lose a lot of weight in the beginning and then plateau over time, or plateau in the beginning and then start burning more calories as you go along. In either case, if its not going fast enough for you, you are likely to go off track. Opposed to this approach, if you start exercising to make a healthy difference to your life, then you are more likely to keep motivated throughout.

Reward yourself.

Rewards are best if they are frequent in the beginning. As an avid lover of all things sweet, the way I make rewards work for myself is by allowing myself a treat of my choice once or twice every week once I reach my set goals of the week. They can be very satisfying and motivating. Just bear in mind to not go off track or over the top with them!

Post your results/document.

Regardless of whether you want to publish your results and success stories to the world, or keep them private for you to rejoice in at a later time, documenting your efforts and the fruits of your hard labor will keep you motivated in addition to giving you an organised tally of how you are doing!

Fuel up.

if your workout is more than 30 minutes, you should have some energy in you. Working out on an empty stomach is not advisable, and neither is eating right before a workout. Some sensible snacks to get you through the grind can be a banana, some fruit yogurt, or even protein-rich peanut butter toast.

Hydrate.

Water is the best drink to have to correspond with your workout. Not only in terms of zero calorie intake, but also as a healthy way to detox your system. An hour or two  before workout is the best time to have your water. Drinking too much, too close to the exercise may give you cramps and make you uncomfortable.

Get a workout buddy.

Find someone at your level, and commit to working out a certain number of times a week together. This will make you more likely to keep your workout commitment, and workouts can be fun if you spend them with your buddy.

Change it up.

Sure, walking, running or swimming everyday can be fun, but mixing up routine will make it less monotonous. Incorporating different workouts into your routine helps target different muscle groups, and hence, add value to your workout.

Rest. It’s important.

This is a commonly overlooked factor. if you dont give your body some rest, you will burn out and the chances of an injury will increases. Rest is just as important as the workouts in improving performance and fitness.

Listen to your body.

This is extremely important. If you feel like you maybe overdoing it, you probably are. Rest and allow your body to recover.

Set goals.

What are you trying to get out of your exercise? It is good to know if you are trying to build muscle or lose fat – because both are competing goals. There are other goals of course, as mentioned earlier, but you should always be clear what those goals are.

Take photos of yourself.

Before and after photos are the best way to track your progress over time. Make sure you space them enough apart that you can appreciate the difference!

 

 

 

Dr. Annie

Physician, mom and wife

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