James Davies shares his quick exercise tip
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Many Britons might start the year with a good health and fitness routine, but it is not always easy to stick to it – life gets in the way. However, Ashleigh Tosh from Goal Getters by MuscleFood.com has shared her top tips on how to turn a New Year’s resolution into a habit, and follow it through until the end of 2023.
Ashleigh said: “Despite our best intentions, many of us struggle with following through a diet or exercise routine.
“The most common mistakes that people make when embarking on their fitness journeys are setting unrealistic goals and not being consistent – slow and steady really wins the race when it comes to adapting healthy habits.
“Relying on motivation alone will not get you very far because it can be very fleeting, instead you should establish a regular fitness routine that works well with your lifestyle and isn’t too hard to follow.”
Ashleigh went on to list her top tips on how to stick to your fitness journey in 2023.
The first tip is simple: set realistic goals. “You’ll set yourself up for disappointment and failure by having unrealistic expectations,” Ashleigh said.
“It’s important to accept that change doesn’t happen overnight and starting with small and achievable targets will inspire you to keep going and reach your ultimate fitness goals.”
Finding workouts that you enjoy is another essential tip – this will make exercise as fun as possible, meaning you will want to do it more.
“Experiment with different workouts and identify your fitness preferences,” Ashleigh advised.
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“If going to the gym is not your thing then there are plenty other physical activities to try out. For example, if you like dancing then you may take up Zumba classes or if you love spending time outdoors then you may enjoy hiking or jogging.”
Although sticking to a plan is important, you should also allow for some flexibility on your fitness path and adapt it when you need to.
Ashleigh said: “Life can sometimes interfere with your routine, but that doesn’t have to stop you on your tracks. If something comes up or you’re not feeling your best, reducing your typical hour-long workout to a brief 15-minute burst session is better than doing nothing.”
Tracking your results is another positive way to motivate yourself – you will want to beat yourself and be competitive with yourself.
However, Ashleigh said: “Don’t focus too much on the number on the scale as it doesn’t always reflect real progress. Instead, you could take body measurements and progress photos, keep a fitness journal or track calories to evaluate progress.”
One can’t exercise without fuelling their body at the same time. As Ashleigh said, “you must fuel your body with the energy and nutrients it requires when you start exercising frequently”.
She continued: “A diet that has a good balance of protein and complex carbohydrates will help you power through workout sessions while also speeding up the muscle recovery process.”
Another of Ashleigh’s top tips was to seek help from personal trainers if needed.
“Having a personal trainer to guide you and keep you on track will provide some extra motivation and encouragement, as well as expertise and knowledge that will help you achieve your goals and avoid injuries,” she said. “They hold you accountable and ensure that your technique is correct.”
Recovery time is just as imperative as exercise time, and Ashleigh stressed the importance of sleep.
“Lack of sleep can reduce your physical performance and increase the chances of getting injured,” she explained.
The expert added: “It’s important to include rest days in your routine. Too much training may actually set you back on your journey, as it can lead to fatigue and injuries, and it will reduce muscle recovery and physical performance.”
But as for cheat days, Ashleigh warned: “It’s fine to have cheat days but it’s important to avoid going too overboard with them.
“A cheat day can quickly turn into a cheat week, which can then lead to returning to your old eating habits. Having a balanced diet that allows you to still treat yourself on a regular basis will keep you from getting carried away by your cravings and losing progress.”
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