Getting in shape takes a healthy amount of strength, willpower and follow-through. As such, anyone who’s able to fully commit to a new fitness routine deserves to be commended. However, while devoting a portion of your day to exercise can play a large role in your fitness journey, a new workout regimen shouldn’t be viewed as the only tool in your wheelhouse.
In addition to selecting a fitness regimen that’s well-suited to your schedule and lifestyle, you should take measures to complement your regimen and achieve your long-term health goals. Anyone looking for effective ways to get the most out of a new fitness routine will be well-served by the following pointers.
1. Stick to a Healthy Diet
Diet and exercise are equally important when it comes to getting fit. So, if your current diet leaves a lot to be desired, make a point of adding an abundance of fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans and whole grains to the mix. Furthermore, while you’re allowed the occasional junk food indulgence, foods that are swimming in fat or bad cholesterol shouldn’t feature in your diet on a consistent basis.
If you’ve grown accustomed to a junk food-rich diet, making the transition to healthy eating is liable to seem like a steep uphill climb. Although changing deeply ingrained eating habits is likely to prove difficult at first, healthy eating will gradually become easier the longer you stick with it. In time, you’ll also find health-conscious substitutions for your favorite junk foods.
For example, instead of grilling burgers and hotdogs, you can grill fish, veggies and tofu dogs. Additionally, instead of indulging in ice cream and milkshakes, you can enjoy fruit smoothies and shakes made from protein powders. Many of us are programmed to embrace unhealthy eating habits from an early age, but with a fair amount of willpower and a commitment to change, you can turn healthy eating into your new normal.
2. Get Plenty of Sleep
It’s difficult to overstate the importance of good sleeping habits. Unfortunately, far too many of us fail to embrace such habits on a consistent basis. Since many of us are perpetually busy with work and family obligations, there’s little consistency with regard to when we settle down for the night and how many hours of sleep we get.
While career and family are undeniably important, so is getting a proper night’s rest. Sleep is essential to being able to function in the waking world. From getting through the workday to interacting with friends and family members, being well-rested can make everything more manageable. Unsurprisingly, proper sleep is also conducive to healthy levels of strength and stamina, which are conducive to meeting fitness goals. So, for the sake of your physical health, psychological well-being and general happiness, make sure to get seven to eight hours of sleep each night, even if this means turning in earlier than you’d prefer.
3. Keep Your Fitness Goals Realistic
When people resolve to get into shape, they have a tendency to start things off on too ambitious a note. This often entails setting exercise goals that are poorly suited to their current fitness levels. Additionally, when people invariably fail to complete these lofty goals in an expedient fashion, they tend to get discouraged and throw in the towel.
It’s important to understand that throughout your fitness journey, you’re going to encounter disappointment. Not everything is going to work out as planned, and not every goal is going to be met in a suitable timely manner. However, disappointment isn’t a sign that you should give up on fitness altogether – but rather that you’ll need to amend your goals. By keeping your goals realistic and providing yourself with a reasonable time frame in which to complete them, you’ll set the stage for a consistently satisfying foray into physical fitness.
There’s a lot to be said for regular exercise. Not only is it conducive to longevity and positive self-image, it can also be a boon to one’s mental health. While it can’t be denied that working out is an integral part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, exercise alone is not sufficient to ensure your long-term well-being. That being the case, if you’ve recently adopted a new fitness routine, take care to complement it with the measures discussed above.