‘What’s her secret?’
That question is often asked of the fit and healthy. I’m sure you’ve heard it before, and I’m more than certain you’ve asked it once or twice too (I know I have). But is there really a secret?
If you’re reading this I’m sure you’ve already figured out that there’s not some secret magic pill that gives Kayla Itsines her rock hard abs, or Sam Briggs her engine. No, it’s simply down to a good work ethic and a thirst to succeed.
Read on for my Top 10 not-so-secrets:
Find a workout routine you enjoy – An hour slogging it out on the treadmill isn’t everyone’s idea of fun, so why not try a new fitness class or join your local running club or sports team. These days there are literally hundreds of ways to get fit, from Crossfit to barre core and from running to gymnastics, try everything until you find something that sets your heart racing and not just your legs. Remember – Variety is the spice of life!
Follow an 80-20 rule – Yes the super fit cheat too, but they cheat wisely by planning their cheat meals around their goals. You’ve probably heard it said a million times before, but the moment you tell yourself you can’t have something, it’s all you can think about. Instead turn a cheat into a treat – say you’ve fit in that extra workout, you’ve hit that 7 pound weight loss goal – just make sure you enjoy it without the guilt.
Have a positive outlook – “See the positive side, the potential, and make an effort.” – Dalai Lama. The fit and healthy practise positive thinking and positive action in order to achieve their goals. Sure things get tough at times, but once the negative thoughts start, they often spiral out of control and before you know it you’re sat on the couch working your way through the contents of your fridge having achieved absolutely nothing. Instead, make positive thoughts the norm and you’ll soon start to attract the positive too.
Get a good nights sleep – The more you exercise, the more stress you are putting on your muscles and nervous system, meaning the more rest, especially sleep, you need to recover. Yep, even the biggest and the best need to make sure they get their 8 hours beauty sleep!
Prep, prep, prep – Fail to prepare, prepare to fail. It really is that simple. When you’re hungry and you don’t have your healthy lunch or snack with you, you’re more likely to reach for the nearest convenience food. Sure, there are more health food products in your local convenience store than ever but does that fruit and nut bar really fit in with your goals?
Mix up your routine – If you continue to do the same thing for months on end your body will plateau. As with any type of training or weight loss plan, your body will naturally slow down. That steady 3 pounds a week you were losing turns into 1, that 2.5 kg you were continuously adding to your back squat becomes less frequent – its bound to happen. The solution? Switch it up and shock your body. Add some weights or sprints into your routine and try something new in the kitchen – you’ll feel better about yourself and will eventually push through your plateau.
Drink lots of water – During exercise our bodies can lose a large amount of water mainly through sweat in order to cool down our rising body temperatures, so it’s important that you keep hydrated before and after exercise. Dehydration can lead to muscle fatigue, dizziness and headaches. Not exactly the signs of a healthy person, right?! And what’s more, staying properly hydrated will improve your focus – a must have quality in any successful athlete.
Make exercise a necessity – Exercise doesn’t have to get in the way of your social life but it should be just as important. In the same way you’d schedule a date with your girlfriends, schedule a date with the gym. Put your workouts in your diary and make sure you stick to them. And if you can’t fit the two of them into your life, why not take your girlfriends to your favourite fitness class. Everything is better with a friend.
Don’t compare yourself – Yes, look to others for advice and to see what you can do to better yourself, but don’t you dare compare yourself. No two people are the same and we all have different strengths and weaknesses, focus on your own and let everyone else focus on theirs. Otherwise, while your busy comparing yourself to them, they’re busy improving.
Never give up – Like Michael Jordan once said ‘Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it”.