There’s no greater feeling than strength and confidence from fitness success, but simply working out is not the answer. Balance and fun are necessities, so learn with me how to find them.
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Every one of us has fitness success on the mind because summer is upon us! First timers and exercise beasts alike strive to tackle summer with an unrivaled vigor. Yet true success comes from creating a workout routine that is one with your daily habits, becomes a habit itself, and ends up as something you cannot live without on a daily basis. I personally crave exercise everyday, but absolutely do not workout hard every single day. To achieve the fitness success you crave, find your balance and your fun.
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Balance is often elusive and knowing when to rest is often harder than fitness itself. Many of us also struggle with discovering exercise that we enjoy, so I’m going to help you do both. Because I love cliches, we are going to follow an old favorite. Keep It Simple Stupid or KISS is the only reminder you need when approaching fitness success. ‘Simple’ will be different for each of you, so please listen to your bodies. I find burpees to be simple and a tremendous workout when done 10+ times in a row. This does not mean that burpees are simple for you. In fact, they may be way too hard for where you are currently at (mentally and physically) and avoided at all costs. Avoid putting your body in line for an injury by keeping it simple. Doing this will also ensure you’re having the most fun possible.
Find Your Fitness Success Pressure Point
Balance through Regular Rest
The ideal rule of thumb when lifting weights and alternating muscle groups is one day on, two days off. This means that if you work your biceps on Monday, then you take Tuesday and Wednesday to rest them before returning to work your biceps on Thursday at the earliest. Exercise breaks down your muscles, hence feeling sore, so you must give them time to rebuild. Cardio is normally considered an exception to this rule, but if you are newer to working out then this is also true. Run on Monday and then rest two days. It truly applies to all other exercises and forms of fitness. Your muscles need regular rest to recover and build strength. Running every day is a goal, not a starting point. Doing so will lead to injury very quickly.
Find your balance with regular rest. This does not mean you should do nothing. Quite the contrary. I wrote last week about the benefits of micro workouts and they are perfect for the in-between days. If you go running on Monday, then work anything other than your legs and cardio on Tuesday to allow your body to recover. Strike a balance with an abs workout or push-up pyramid. Go for a long walk. Listen to your body and learn what it needs, not what your brain tells you that you want.
Feel Yourself Getting Stronger
You are going to be sore, so embrace that feeling and see past it to your new found strength. We all must cope with feeling sore in order to recognize our strength and confidence in ourselves. A hot tub, hot bath, or mineral soak is your absolute best friend. When I’m extremely sore and my body aches, this is what I do. I give my body the care it needs and by doing so, I can feel my strength grow. This is seeing the positive gains through the “pain” of soreness you inevitably deal with when exercising regularly.
Sometimes strength sneaks up on you, or hides in waiting. You want to build your confidence as quickly as possible, so do little things to recognize your strength. Take the stairs regularly not just for the added exercise, but so you can feel how easy they are becoming to ascend. Feel your legs getting stronger. Buy a jar of pickles and test yourself to open it with ease. Lift your child up into the air and see how it feels. Do it a week later and notice how it gets easier. Show yourself how the work is paying off in other ways besides the mirror.
Pick Your (Fun) Poison
Exercise should not be easy, but it must be fun and tolerable. No one ever gains anything meaningful by giving the absolute minimum or doing something that is super easy. This is especially true of fitness success. If ten pushups or running one mile is easy, then do thirty pushups and run three miles. Challenge yourself and make yourself sweat and work for that new strength and confidence. But more importantly, pick your fun poison. This expression means that no matter what you choose, it will be hard. So pick something you tolerate and maybe even enjoy.
I love running, but there are tons of types of cardio. Because I also love new things, love change, and love an adventure, I’ve tried all sorts of workouts that contain cardio. I’ve perfected a cardio weight lifting routine, done the elliptical, the stationary bike, power yoga, and even Pilates. I’ve tried boot camps and HIIT. Many of these are way more than cardio, but so is running. My point is, you don’t know what you like until you try something, so figure out what is fun for you. You’ll gain twice as much from exercise you enjoy than from any other kind.
Meet our Fitness Expert:
Dan Salem is Lead Editor, Writer, and Co-owner of BuzzChomp. He’s a published author, as well as an award winning Actor, Director and Producer. Visit M Square Productions for his film work, or get lost in his old-school comedy on Pillow Talk TV. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.
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