Staying on top of your exercise routine during the summer holidays can be challenging, and it can take a significant toll on our body both physically and mentally. But with the summer holidays ending and children heading back to school, now is the perfect time to start prioritizing exercise again and get back on track to achieving your fitness goals.
In this article we are taking a look at why you should stick to your fitness plan, how to effectively nourish your workout, top ways to stay motivated and how to set fitness goals, all of which are essential to know when you are getting back into an exercise routine.
Why Stick to a Fitness Plan
When you are getting back into fitness, having an exercise plan is essential for hitting your fitness goals. It is proven that regular exercise has a number of mental and physical health benefits, such as:
Enhanced Cardiovascular System - Consistent training has a significant impact on your cardiovascular system and on your heart and lung health. Studies show that as you become fitter, your heart adapts and becomes more efficient at moving oxygen into your blood, and over time you will require less energy to perform the same workouts.
Improved Mood- Working out regularly is proven to enhance your mood, whilst also reducing feelings of anxiety, stress, and depression. A recent study found that when active participants stopped exercising regularly, they experienced an increase in feelings of depression and anxiety within a short period of time.
Weight Maintenance or Lose - Studies show that that a lack of physical activity is a key factor in weight gain and obesity. Regular exercise increases your metabolic rate, which will help you to maintain a healthy weight, or to lose weight if you are over-weight.
However, these benefits are only achieved through consistent training, and if you are not sticking to your exercise plan then it will be more difficult for you to feel these benefits. If you stop training for period of time, then you will feel the effects of detraining, whereby you will notice a partial or complete loss of these training adaptations, and you will have to rebuild your fitness levels.
How to Nourish Your Training
It is critical that you are correctly fuelling your body when you are exercising, as nutrition can be one of the most effective tools for enhancing your performance. Below are some top diet and nutrition tips that will enhance your energy levels and your recovery capacity after working out:
What to eat pre-workout - Dietitians recommend eating simple carbohydrates (such as bananas, protein shakes or bars, and smoothies) between 30 to 60 minutes prior to exercising, as they can be quickly broken down by the body and used as energy.
Eating for Post-workout Recovery - It is important to restore nutrients after you have exercised. Research suggests that eating foods high in protein after your workout provides your body with essential amino acids that help to build and repair muscles.
Stay Hydrated - Your body needs adequate fluids before, during and after exercise to help prevent dehydration. If your body is dehydrated, you will lack the energy required to workout.
Consume Enough Carbs - Many people remove carbs from their diet; however, they are a crucial energy source when you are exercising. According to the Mayo Clinic, your diet should incorporate healthy carbs, such as brown rice, pasta, fruits and vegetables and whole-grain bread.
How to Stay Motivated
Staying motivated to achieve your fitness goals is a struggle that many people face. However, there are a number techniques you can use to remain motivated, including:
Remember why you started - Whether you are exercising to feel good, to get in shape, or to train for a sporting event, we all have a reason for starting our fitness journey. When you are lacking the motivation to do a workout, just remember why you started in the first place.
Set Goals - Having fitness goals is a great way to stay motivated, as it giuves you something to work towards. See the section below on goal setting.
Thinking About the Post Exercise Feeling - If you are struggling to find the motivation to do a workout, think about how good you will feel after doing it.
Switch it Up - If you find a workout that you love, exercise will no longer feel like a chore, and you will look forward to your next workouts. To avoid becoming bored, switch up your workouts regularly, making sure your fitness routine is full of variety.
Setting Fitness Goals
When you are getting back into a fitness routine it is important to set realistic and achievable fitness goals. Setting a goal that is not achievable can be overwhelming and you will be more likely to quit.
Instead, start small will your goals and make sure you set an end date for achieving this goal. Hold yourself accountable for achieving your goals by tracking your progress and making necessary adjustments. Consistency is key to achieving your goals, and if you face a setback, do not let it derail your fitness efforts.
An example of a short term and realistic fitness goal is: ‘I will train a minimum of twice a week for the next month’.
Getting Fit With Echelon
We have a range of products at Echelon that can support you throughout your fitness journey, check out our Connect Exercise Bikes, Smart Rowing Machine, Stride Auto-Fold Connected Treadmill, and our Reflect Fitness Mirror.
To help you get back to fitness, we are launching our routine reboot series, which will be led by our world-class instructors. To access these classes and to kickstart your fitness routine, you will need an Echelon Premier Membership and access to the Echelon Fit app.