Fallen off the exercise wagon lately? Try these tips to get you back on track.

Getting Back On The Exercise Wagon

Liza Little Motivation

Getting back on the exercise wagon

We all have fallen off the wagon once, twice or many many times (Christmas, I’m looking at you!) Here is a few tips to get you back on track and keep you there.

WORDS BY LIZA LITTLE PHOTOGRAPHY BY PEXELS.

1.Make a plan & put it in writing

  • Give up sugar by the end of the month.
  • Clean up your pantry within a week and plan a REAL food shop.
  • Vow to work out 3 times a week.
  • Set a plan in your diary and set your clocks and alarms to make it happen. Don’t press snooze. Sleep in your work out gear if that approach works for you. Get up, don’t skip it, make yourself accountable!
  • Be more active in general. Get up 10 minutes earlier and do 10 mins of lovely stretching to wake yourself up. Top to toe. Start at your arms, mid-section, then legs You will find that your morning will go so much smoother with that quick stretch session.
  • Get off your butt every hour or so at work and have a quick stretch or a walk around.

2.Get with a program. Do any of the following:

  • Visit your local gym and get a trainer to show you around and write a program. Sometimes they comp your first PT session to get to know you. You can choose to stay with them for a few weeks to get the hang of things, so pay attention and work hard, otherwise you will be wasting your money.
  • Ask questions! Or if you are already pretty confident, ask them to write you a program and pay them for it. Make the most of your time with your trainer.
  • Do some googling and have a look at some great FREE info sites like body rock, benderfitness.com, fitnessrxforwoman , bodybuilding.com ( they have a woman’s platform too), Lorna Jane’s website, Utube !
  • There are a few paid programs that are great too. Be careful though as they don’t always cater to your personal situation and are usually made with a semi already healthy body in mind. Don’t push so hard you get an injury that takes you 6 weeks to heal.
  • Cruise all of the above sites to glean all the information you can and make YOUR OWN PLAN. Only you know what your body is capable of.
  • Plan for 3 -4 work out times a week, 30- 45 mins.
  • Always stretch after a work out.

3. Buy some kick-arse toys for your new adventure.

  • Buy really cute gym gear that you feel fabulous in
  • Buy great sneakers
  • Fitbit HR watch
  • Kit yourself out with cool earphones. I got beats wireless ones as a reward for losing 10 kilos

4. Don’t go too hard too fast & remember recovery is key.

  • Always stretch post workout and if you went heavy, stretch as often as possible post work out the following days. Faster recovery means you’ll be more likely to continue. The more you get blood to the area the better the recovery time.
  • The first few times you do “Leg day” you will feel like you got hit by a car but the more you consistently you do it, the better your recovery. And the sexier your legs and butt will be.
  • Consume protein post work out. Protein is the building blocks of your body and helps you heal faster. About 1 gram per kilo of body weight is what I have found to be a decent balance for the normal healthy (non-competitive) weight lifter.

5. Lift Weights.

  • Improving your diet, being more active in general will all help improve your metabolism for the better. Weights 80% cardio 20% will bump up your metabolism.
  • Weights training will help you build nice nice lean muscle and your muscle mass will largely determine your resting metabolic rate – How many calories you burn by just living and breathing.
  • The more muscle you have, the more energy your body expends. Strength training and weight lifting doesn’t only train your muscles, it trains your bones. Your bones become stronger and more dense, in doing so strengthens your joints and ligaments also, so less injury’s in the long run.
  • Weather it be body weight, resistance work, lifting weights or Calisthenics to name a few, you are in the right hands.

6. Food & You.

  • Eat real food. Full stop. You know it and I know it…Now tell yourself…Eat real food.
  • Ditch sugar and processed foods. No more soft drink, no more junk food, no more take-away. Cook from home 95% of the time. Take lunch to work.
  • Keep healthy snacks with you at all times. To stop you from being tempted to snack on bad foods.
  • Be mindful when you are eating, eat your food slowly, enjoy it. It takes 20 minutes for your brain to realise you are full. Sensibly portion your plate to be not too large but not too small. Only you will know what a good serving is for you.
  • Eat lean meats and loads of veg and fruit. Those are ingredients that don’t need a nutrition and ingredients panel. They are what they are.
  • Fresh food is not boring if you make your own sauces, marinades and salad dressings. You can tailor it however you like. If you want more garlic and ginger, add it.
  • Make your own sauces, dressings and marinades: Honey Mustard, sweet chilli, Honey soy, add ginger or garlic.
  • Add Fresh basil, mint and coriander to stir fries.
  • Apple cider vinegar with fresh herbs and olive oil.
  • Greek yoghurt with basil and coriander is an awesome dipping treat for steak kebabs and carrots sticks.
  • Eggs are an amazing little food that will make you feel fuller for longer, have them however you wish. Scrabbled, poached, quiche, frittata, fried etc. They are low calorie, very inexpensive, high in protein.

7. Drink Water.

  • Water hydrates your body, it helps to cleanse and detoxify your body also. Your body is composed of about 60% water. The functions of these bodily fluids include digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, and maintenance of body temperature. Water Helps Your Kidneys. Body fluids transport waste products in and out of cells.
  • The main toxin in the body is blood urea nitrogen, a water-soluble waste that is able to pass through the kidneys to be excreted in the urine. Your kidneys do an amazing job of cleansing and ridding your body of toxins as long as your intake of fluids is adequate.
  • Don’t put lemon juice or fruit in your water even if the instagram pictures look amazing. If you are taking in that much sugar with every mouthful all day and night, you will not only spike your blood sugar all of the time and keep it high, it will ruin the enamel on your teeth. Keep fruit whole and consume it whole, fibre and all. Keep your water filtered if you can and on its own.

8. Keep drinking your coffee.

  • Why? It’s good for you and is loaded with antioxidants. No need to go a mega grande super size – Most of the time it has still only one shot of coffee and just more milk.
  • Try something different and change the way you drink it. No sugar. Small and and dash of milk. Macchiato is my fave. A shot of black coffee has almost no calories.

9. Go Green.

  • Green tea is a great beverage to curb your hunger and is one of the healthiest beverages on the planet. It is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients that have powerful effects on the body including: improved brain function; fat loss; lowering your risk of cancer and many other incredible benefits.
  • Green tea contains less caffeine than coffee, but enough to produce an effect. It also contains the amino acid L-theanine, which can work synergistic with caffeine to improve brain function. Theanine has been studied for its potential ability to reduce mental and physical stress, improve cognition, and boost mood and cognitive performance in a synergistic manner with caffeine.
  • Green tea has also been shown to boost the metabolic rate and increase fat burning in the short term. Swapping a soft drink or sweet juice out for a green tea for your afternoon drink will also help your food cravings.
  • Top Tip – Don’t add green tea to boiling water. It’s bad for catechins, those healthy chemicals, in the tea. Better: 160-170 degree water. A good quality Loose leaf green tea is your best choice.

10. Spice up your meals.

  • Spices & or Spicy foods, known to ignite your metabolism.
  • It has long been thought that spicy foods help to speed up your metabolism, but the information on how and how long has been varied and remained somewhat unclear. It is thought the main element that gives chilies their heat – capsaicin – is responsible for creating this effect, as it creates heat generation and raises body temperature upon consumption. (Thermogenesis).
  • You have a variety of spice choices, from black pepper to fresh peppers such as jalapenos or thai bird’s eye peppers, to dried chili powders, which are readily available and keep for a long time.
  • Adding just a little bit of chili to your food can help you build up tolerance and expand your palate. If you’re cooking for many people, you can also keep sliced fresh chilis on the side to dress your dish as you like, so you can share your food with those who might be more heat-averse.

11. Take Supplements.

  • Only consider taking these supplements only after consulting your doctor.
  • Probiotics for digestion & Gut health – Symptoms of poor gut health include abdominal bloating, wind, pain, diarrhoea, poor nutrient absorption and a general unwell feeling. The most common causes include a poor diet (think lots of processed food and not enough fresh produce), a sedentary lifestyle, and stress overload. Other signs to look out for include frequent colds and flus, changes in appetite, worsening allergies and food sensitivities.
  • A multi vitamin – If you are not getting enough vitamins in your daily intake, its a great way to make sure you do keep up.
  • Omega 3 & 6 / Fish oil – Good for your joints, Reduction in inflammation, improve brain function and health, muscle growth, recovery & maintenance and much more
  • Zinc and magnesium – Magnesium is an essential mineral that plays a variety of important roles in the body ranging from energy production to supporting normal healthy muscle function.
  • Supplementation can help you keep the energy flowing when you are stressed and help support muscular aches, pains, cramps and spasms. Magnesium supplements may also help relieve premenstrual syndrome symptoms such as bloating, insomnia and leg swelling.
  • Zinc plays a key role in the immune system and wound-healing. zinc is also an important mineral for the immune system, it has been linked to cold and flu remedies.

12. Sleep more stress less. Stress makes you gain weight.

  • If you sleep peacefully you wake up more regenerated, better mood, more able to be creative, sharper of mind, Researchers at the University of Chicago found that dieters who were well rested lost more fat—56% of their weight loss—than those who were sleep deprived, who lost more muscle mass. (They shed similar amounts of total weight regardless of sleep.)
  • Your body responds to all stress in exactly the same way. So every time you have a stressful day, your brain instructs your cells to release potent hormones. You get a burst of adrenaline, which taps stored energy so you can fight or flee.
  • At the same time, you get a surge of cortisol, which tells your body to replenish that energy even though you haven’t used very many calories. This can make you hungry…very hungry. And your body keeps on pumping out that cortisol as long as the stress continues.
  • Easy to say I know, but you are a grown up and you need to take control of your life. Find out what your stress factors are, what is getting you all uptight and anxious.

A little more on managing stress.

If work stresses you find a way to manage it, take breaks, walk the block at lunch time, take deep breaths and count to ten in regards to people who stress you.

In extreme cases of stressful job, makes steps to leave and find other work. Your health should be your top priority, we weren’t sent here to not enjoy life and be a slave to someone else and be unhappy for 8 hours a day…that’s half your life.

Make a move to take charge of your life and make it worthwhile to enjoy. Otherwise what’s the point ? With family and friends have a good look and see weather its worth limiting your time with those who stress you the most. Or learn better ideas or habits about how to deal with the stress.

There are so many more things I could write here I could seriously write a book… I didn’t even mean for it to go this long. My last tips are:

Eat Berries, all kinds, fresh or frozen.

Shot of lemon juice in warm water daily has so many benefits its crazy !