3 Signs Your Workout Isn't Working for You
Spring is around the corner and if you're like most folks, you may want to increase your exercise routine. Are you picking up where you left off? If so, you may not reach your goals as fast as you want. Here are three workout practices that may be keeping you from getting steady results. Read on to find out.
Sign #1: Your clothes feel the same. This is a pretty good indicator of how your workouts are going. If you want to lose weight and your favorite jeans aren't feeling any different, that's a sign that you need check-in on a few areas. One area is your body composition (aka lean body mass). As your body composition changes, meaning you have more muscle than fat, there should be a noticeable difference in your clothes over time. Adding sculpted muscles is a clear sign that you're getting healthier and your workouts are effective. Don't rely solely on your BMI (body mass index) though. This crude measurement doesn't take into account your age, gender, or activity level. Seek professional guidance and enlist the help of a personal trainer who can determine your body fat and design a fitness game plan for you.
Sign #2: You do the same workouts. If you get on the same treadmill everyday, walk the same pace for the same amount of time, it's time to make that change. Your body is an amazing machine and it's very fuel-efficient. Once you get in a routine it can adapt rather quickly and you may experience a plateau or even gain a little weight. If you notice that your 45-minute walk isn't doing what it used to do, jog for the first 20 minutes. Instead of the elliptical machine try the stair climber. Love those weight machines? Try a strength training circuit incorporating free weights with cardio breaks in-between.
Sign #3: You eat too much after your workouts. Ouch! There's a lot of confusing information out there especially when it comes to post-workout foods. For example, should you drink a protein shake after a workout or eat a meal? What should you eat and how much? It's not uncommon to feel like you've earned your meal especially since the machine displays your calories burned as 500. The reality is that most machines overstate calories burned so if you have a generous meal you could actually be eating more than your body needs. Post-workout meals should be small and relate to the type of workout you did. For example, an hour-long strength training session could easily call for a protein shake afterwards to aid in muscle recovery. On the other hand a recovery meal after a 30-minute walk could consist of bottled water with a banana. Whatever you do, avoid overeating after your workouts to ensure the best results.
I encourage you to consistently assess your workouts. You'll see better results and know when to change things up to target different areas. Check out my March Fit tip over at Fitwell Training Solutions. In my next post I'll discuss specific ways you can target your trouble zones without throwing in the towel.
Be sure to check out a post I did awhile back on how to get your workout mojo back.