Are you tired of going to the gym and still not getting the results you oh so desire? Is spending hours at the gym starting to seem pointless to you? Then this definitely calls for getting strategic about your workout routine. You have to make sure that your workout is working for you in the best possible way. To do that, there are some tricks that you can pick up that will help you speed up the process of getting fit. To help you attain your dream body shape, The Week caught up with Ashok Maharjan, instructor at River Field Fitness in Nayabazar, Kathmandu, who gave us some incredible advice for making the most of each and every workout you do.
A nutritious diet
“Remember, just spending long hours at the gym is not enough. The food you eat outside the gym actually determines your body shape and how you will look. If you lose 500 calories at a gym and have a chocolate pastry right after your workout, you will certainly gain more than 500 calories in less than a minute,” says Maharjan.
The best thing to do here is to have protein rich food as that’s not only good for health and will keep you full for a longer period of time. Also breaking your big meals into four to five small meals a day helps in improving your metabolism. Make sure each meal comprises of fiber, carbohydrates, protein, calcium and other minerals as well. Having small meals at frequent time intervals is a great to lose weight and remain healthy.
Intensifying your workout
Another way to make the most of your workout is by cutting down on your workout time and increasing the intensity of your workout instead. “Around eight seconds of intense exercise then 12 seconds of low intensity cardio for twenty minutes is a great way to lose weight and strengthen your muscles,” says Maharjan. This high intensity workout can be done three times a week as it will be a lot more effective that most slow paced exercises.
You must also make sure that you chose compound exercises over isolated exercises. Compound exercises like sit ups, lunges, step ups, and squats give better results as they include the movement of multiple muscle groups at the same time. “To increase your workout density, you can pair two sets of exercises together and do them one after the other. This method is certainly very tiring but will give you your desired result quickly,” says Maharjan.
Ample rest time
“It may sound strange but a complete eight hours of sleep is extremely important for weight loss,” says Maharjan. Sleeping is not just about relaxing but it also helps in rebuilding your muscles by reducing body fat.
It is also important to take a day’s rest away from the gym. “Most people believe that going to the gym everyday will give them maximum results. But giving your body a day to rest is extremely important to help it build and strengthen its muscles,” adds Maharjan.
People often crib about not getting enough time to sleep due to their busy and hectic schedule. The best way to get rid of this dilemma is by spending less time on social media. According to Maharjan, one must try setting a time limit on their television hours or avoid using smart phones right before sleeping. This helps a lot in hitting the ideal target of sleeping hours. Maharjan vouches for it.
Any kind of acute stress will not hamper your regular workout but chronic stress can certainly hinder it. “Working out when you are extremely stressed can cause body injuries and may result in lackluster results,” says Maharjan. An overworked body and a tired brain may negatively impact your exercise routine. One must try to reduce stress by performing exercises that make them happy. You can also workout with your friends at the gym or surround yourself with people you love.
Music is also a source of happiness for many. So it is also a good idea to put on earphones and enjoy your exercise instead of looking at it as something that must be done. Reducing your stress level and developing a positive attitude towards life and exercise will make a huge difference in the end result.
Never neglect water
Water certainly helps in speeding up your body’s metabolism and reducing toxins. Water is also extremely essential to digest food. Therefore, keeping yourself hydrated during your workout and throughout the day is extremely important for weight loss. If a person keeps sipping on water throughout the day then that will also help reduce their cravings for junk food. “I know many people who turn to carbonated drinks when they feel thirsty. You are consuming too many empty calories that way. Try replacing soft drinks with water and you see the difference in no time,” says Maharjan adding that another good thing about water is that it helps in strengthening your muscles helping you work out in a more effective manner.