We have said it before, and we will say it again, starving yourself to death is not healthy. There is no point in having skinny legs when you can’t even walk straight. No standard of beauty is worth your wellbeing. If you want to stay fit, you need to ensure you are not compromising your health.
There is a thin line between healthy ways to get fit and unhealthy options to hit your body goals. When too obsessed with changing the way you look, people often cross that line without realizing. As a result, they end up with more problems to deal with.
So, whether you want to lose weight or gain muscle, or both, these seven great ideas will help you get fit in the healthiest way.
Be Realistic with Yourself
How many pounds can one lose in a week? How much muscle can you gain in a month? While they will tell you to push your limits in the gym, it doesn’t mean setting unrealistic goals. Our bodies are different, and there are many factors that help us lose fat or gain muscle. For some people, the process is faster than others. While it is good to find inspiration in those who can defy the odds, it is unfair to demand the same from your own self.
A healthy change is one that comes gradually. There are two outcomes of being overly ambitious: you end up disappointed, or you resort to risky options. None will help you stay fit and healthy in the long run. So, keep in mind that flexible goals are workable goals.
Stamina before Strength
The moment we hit the gym, we set our eyes on the person lifting the heaviest. That is where we all want to be. But first, you need to build the endurance to get there. You cannot expect yourself to be lifting 50 pounds right away, no matter how strong you think you already are. If your muscles aren’t trained to endure that kind of weight, you will end up injuring yourself. So, it is okay to start with a six pounder. Let your own body decide when it is ready to raise the bar.
While we are telling you to focus on endurance before you lift heavy, ‘stamina before strength’ is not how your daily routine should go. With that said, keep in mind it is a safer practice to do your strength training before stamina training. Strength training, when your muscles are tired from the endurance session, will increase the risk of muscle injury.
Go for Gains
Losing weight, burning fat, and shedding inches- that’s not all there is to stay fit. If we have to define what a fit body is, we would say it’s the one with the right amount of fat and muscle on it. Of course, you need to lose the flab, but gaining muscle is equally important. It is exactly why fad diets and cleanses aren’t healthy or useful at all, for anyone. Your exercise regime shouldn’t be limited to a cardio workout. Add strength training to see better results.
If you are cutting carbs and calories, make sure you are getting your proteins, minerals, and vitamins in the right quantity. You need to focus on building lean muscle just as much as losing the flab.
Everybody Needs a Break
We are all up for breaking the barriers when we work out, but we all need a break, nevertheless. Listen to your body. If it is sending you a signal to stop, you must stop. Give yourself at least one day in a month when you can go easy on yourself. Catch up on the sleep you have been missing for so long. Indulge in activities that do not involve working out. If there is a day when your body is simply refusing to be dragged to the gym, do it a favor and skip the workout.
However, we understand that there is always a chance of getting too used to such breaks. Your body might just ask for it too often. It is why it is best to schedule your cheat days and rest days beforehand.
You Cannot Supplement Everything
High-quality protein shakes and supplements can help you attain your fitness goals quickly and easily. It is safe to take them in reasonable quality. However, keep in mind that those supplements are just for the extra work you are demanding out of your body. They are in no way replacement for a healthy meal, especially the breakfast. Breakfast is indeed the most important meal of the day. Change what you are consuming early in the morning, and you will notice a visible difference in your fitness level.
No matter what your fitness goals are, you need to increase your water intake to stay fit and healthy. Our body is 60 percent water, and it is the most basic fuel we need for any activity we perform throughout the day. Lean muscle has more water than fat tissues. If you are dehydrated, you won’t have the energy to workout properly. Even if you do, your muscles won’t be able to gain much from that workout.
Let’s not forget that water is also the most effective detox fluid you can ever find.
Consistency Is the Key
Finally, consistency and moderation are two things essential for ensuring that you have a healthy fitness routine. While you should change your routine from time to time, it is important to give one routine enough time to see how it works for you. Most experts believe two weeks is the minimum time you should dedicate to one routine. Changing it too often will actually get you closer to a plateau.
Be consistent in making fitness routine an important part of your lifestyle. Do not even thinking of taking a month-long break after every few months. It will leave your body in a much worse condition than ever before.
It won’t be wrong to say that an excessive obsession with staying fit is not healthy. Be very careful about the choices you make. It is important to put your health first. After all, being fit is all about living a healthy life.
Judy Robinson is a passionate health and lifestyle blogger. She loves to write on women’s healthy lifestyle, fitness 101 and DIY related topics. Follow @judyrobinson for more updates.