If you are someone that misses a workout here and there, reluctantly puts on your activewear and at times forces yourself to work out, then you may need some more self-care in your fitness routine.
Self-care is about taking actions that help you stay physically, mentally and emotionally well. And, in today’s society, where burnout, stress and anxiety are at an all-time high, it is more important than ever to become conscious and engage in a self-care routine that will help prevent you from burning the candle at both ends.
So, here are 5 tips that will help you find the balance, love and approach that you need to take towards your fitness journey.
1. Ignore Calorie Burn and Do Workouts That You Enjoy
Working out and exercising regularly shouldn’t feel like a burden to you. It is supposed to be challenging, motivating and something you look forward to.
So, if you find yourself missing a workout because you don’t like the routine, or doing a workout simply for the calorie burn, then look for something that you find more fulfilling and can get excited about.
This will help you stay consistent, and consistency will bring you the results!
Alternative exercises to try:
– Martial Arts
– Team sports (basketball, netball, football/soccer, volleyball, etc.)
– Skipping/Jump Rope
2. Start Early
If consistency is what you are after, mornings are one of the best times to get your workout in. You are more rested, have a clearer head, minimal distractions and less interruptions. It is also easier to fit into your routine, a great way to start your day and perfect for an energy boost.
If you are not used to training in the morning, we suggest you start slow to adjust and pay attention to whether you need to eat before or after your session.
3. Stretch Pre- and Post-Workout
Don’t neglect a good pre and post-workout stretch routine!
Performing dynamic stretches before your workout helps to properly warm up your muscles as well as help prevent injury during exercise. It increases circulation, sends more nutrients to your muscles and gets you in the zone, ready to workout!
On the other end, stretching at the end of your workout is also hugely beneficial.
Performing static stretches throughout the whole body at the end of your workout is a great way to relax your muscles, reduce lactic acid build-up, limit post-workout muscle soreness, increase your flexibility and improves your overall range of motion.
Dynamic Stretch examples:
– Reverse Lunge with an Upper Body Twist
– Butt Kicks
– Walking Knee to Chest
– Hip Circles
– Arm and Shoulder Circles
4. Take Rest Days
Many people think that they hinder their results if they miss a session or don’t train daily. This could not be further from the truth. Rest days are essential!
They give your muscles time to recover, rebuild and grow.
Here are some signs that you need a rest day or two:
– Persistent muscle soreness or pain
– Persistent fatigue or sluggishness following a previous workout
– Injury or run-down flu-like feeling
– Excessive eating of comfort foods
– Change in mood or behavior
How to program in rest days? We like to program our rest days after two consecutive days of training.
The best thing you can do is listen to your body and rest when it tells you to.
5. Slow your movements down
We are huge fans of slower reps!
By slowing down, you have greater control, better form and you are able to connect with your body, all of this makes for a more effective training session. In addition, the slower movement places your muscles under tension for longer. This is great for muscle growth and safer on your joints.
The next time you do a squat, deadlift or push-up, try slowing the movement down and see how different you feel by the end of your workout.
A few words…
It is natural to fall off the wagon once in a while and succumb to the daily pressures that exist all around us. The most important thing is making sure that you get back on.
One of the ways that you can better manage is to ensure that you follow self-care routines, not just in your fitness but also in your day-to-day.
Give yourself an easy to follow morning routine that will help you structure your day and follow a simple bedtime routine that will create a clear signal that you are ready to rest and recover. Adding these two structures to your life is game-changing and will definitely help set you up for the success you deserve!
If you found this article helpful, do share it with a friend or loved one.
Until the next post x
Mike and Viv aka MrandMrsMuscle