If you’re stuck in a plateau with your fitness program or are motivated to drop those last few pesky pounds this season, make a few simple changes to your weekly fitness regimen to reach your goals that much faster. Modifying your fitness routine every three to four weeks is a great way to keep challenging your body and enjoy lasting results.
These five fitness tips that can help you reach your goals faster:
#1: Keep Lifting
Weights, that is. Resistance training is essential for maintaining or building muscle, and can also help you shed those extra pounds faster than doing cardio alone. Make sure you’re really challenging your muscles with heavier weight loads to rev up your metabolism. Adding weights to any cardio-only regimen will be enough to trigger changes and help you reach your fitness goals faster.
#2: Drink More Water
I never realized how important it was to drink more water until I committed to drinking a gallon a day. That seems like a lot – and it is for most – but you need to drink a lot of water if you want your metabolism to run efficiently and lose weight. If you work out regularly, increasing your water intake is essential for performance. Get into the habit of drinking more water throughout the day and you may just be able to reach your goals that much faster.
#3: Track What You Eat
Get into a routine of logging your daily food intake so that you don’t slip up with your diet too often. It will be much easier to reach your fitness goals of losing fat, building muscle, or increasing strength when you are eating right. Track everything and take the time to read nutrition labels. The simple practice of tracking what you eat can make you more mindful about what you eat throughout the day and prompt you to make better choices.
#4: Challenge Yourself with Intervals
Interval training is a great way to break up the monotony of your usual exercise routine and rev up your metabolism for hours after your workout. Challenge your body and mind with any type of circuit training workout a few days a week. Interval training with cardio might involve changing up the incline on the treadmill or increasing the resistance levels on the elliptical machine. Interval training with weights might mean limiting rest time between sets and doing a variety of supersets in a shorter period of time. Create a plan that will increase your heart rate and challenge you to push yourself.
#5: Cut Out Sugar and Caffeine
Sugar and caffeine can give you a short energy boost to get through that next workout but the effects of the crash afterwards can be more detrimental to your health. If your goal is to lose weight, you need to do everything you can to keep blood sugar levels stable – no highs and lows. Caffeine is a stimulant and diuretic, so you will be losing a lot of water and feeling low on energy without it. Cut out sugar and caffeine so that your body is getting energy from natural sources and using its own stored energy (body fat) for fuel.