Everyone wants to reach their health goals. Attitude really is everything. Some people think the more you push yourself, the better your results. Everyone wants an edge. Everyone wants to be seen as powerful and strong in class compared to everyone else. It’s good to know that your hard work is paying off. But are your efforts and hard work being misplaced? Are you taking competition to seriously during your training times? Here are some ideas to keep you healthy, strong and fit.
1. Pushing yourself is the only way to see results.
Now, this is true. If you are sticking to the same weight for so long that it’s now easy for you to lift, your muscles will not be challenged and you won’t see results. But the important point here is listen to your body. If you push yourself so hard that you get injured, then what’s the point? Gradually increase weights and if you can’t do it today, listen to your body, smart people do, and don’t do it today. Maybe tomorrow will be a better day.
Unless you are a professional athlete or are in the process of saving a child from a burning building, protect your body and feel what you’re doing. Take inventory. Take a quick scan during your rest periods about what your shoulder is feeling, your hip joints, your ankles; your neck. If you need a rest, do that. Don’t worry about what’s going on around you. Don’t compete.
Learn to be aware of your body and when something feels wrong. Your body is your vehicle, it’s more valuable than any car made. Yes, your body is more valuable than that Ferrari or Aston Martin! Because as rare as those sports cars are, your body is more rare. There’s only one of you. And your inner workings are very complex, more intricate than an Italian car 900 horsepower engine and a 7-speed dual clutch.
So although this is true:
Understand the difference between training and competition:
And always, when training, listen to your body:
2. Consistency is key.
We miss workouts. No, it’s not an ideal situation when we do. But working out to exhaustion or pushing your body in comparison to someone we may admire in class is not the way to remedy your inconsistency. If you miss a class or workout, firstly don’t beat yourself up for it. Get back on the horse and carry on when you can. Secondly, don’t over extend yourself so that you dislocate a body part or cause an injury that will keep you out of the gym.
Consistency is key. Make your workouts short, but regular. Make them comfortable but at the same time every day or week. Make this a habit and remember, it takes 21 days to form a habit. Keep going. Before you know it, you’ll see results. Nice and easy.
3. Working out happens outside of the gym.
Some days you want to go boating with your family. Do a hike, swim, clean your garage, vacuum your mum’s house from top to bottom, declutter closets and drawers. The more you vary your “workout” the better it is for your body.
Dr. Greg Wells apologizes to gym rats, stating that exercising outside has more benefits: “Exercising in nature has benefits that go above and beyond the benefits you gain by exercising indoors. Research has shown improvements in mental well-being, self-esteem and can even help with depression.”
4. Flexibility training saves your muscles, joints and bones.
Stretching was something our gym teachers 20 years ago taught us would prevent soreness. Today, more research has been done and that may be true or not. There are different types of flexibility training too. What worked years ago may not be the best today. Perhaps more dynamic stretching is what increases the range of motion in our joints, improve your athletic performance and decrease your risk of injury.
Flexibility training causes your muscles and joints to be softer and more supple, like they were when we were children. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Better flexibility may improve your performance in physical activities or decrease your risk of injuries by helping your joints move through their full range of motion and enabling your muscles to work most effectively.”
What do you see in gyms, when training and with yourself? Are there times when you forget about listening to your body, going outside to exercise, consistency or flexibility training? Let me know, leave a comment!