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Is Your Exercise Regime Actually Working?

run-750466_640You’ve been working out for the last couple of weeks. Hard. You’ve been eating healthier, cutting back on alcohol, delicious sweet stuff and drinking plenty of water.

But you’re not seeing your stomach any flatter, your thighs any more toned, or your scales any lighter.

What’s going on?

Truth is, it can take several weeks before you actually see changes to your body shape.

In fact, many experts suggest it can take around 3 months before your physique looks more svelte and firm.

Yep, we said it – three months.

But don’t let that discourage you.

Whilst it may take longer to see the physical results, it doesn’t take as long to feel the benefits.

For example, you can see results of being able to do more bicep reps within 1-2 weeks. Or in terms of energy levels, you can see these increasing within 2-3 weeks of starting a regular exercise regime.

Not to mention better sleep, feeling more alert, improvements to your skin and mood that comes within just a few weeks of starting out.

So don’t give up if the scales aren’t budging or your jeans aren’t feeling any loser.

It will happen.

If you give up, it won’t.

Many of us start exercising with rigour in those early days. But by week two if we see no change, our exercise regime can take a nosedive.

And that’s the problem.

So in answer to the question – is your exercise regime actually working?

Yes, it is. But it will take time to prove itself to you.

So here’s 3 tips to make sure the exercise routine you started is working hard for you and you persevere.

Tip 1 – Mix it up

The biggest mistake many people make when they get into a new exercise habit, is they do the same thing over and over and over again.

Here’s the problem – by doing so, your body becomes accustomed to those same exercises. Expecting them. Preparing for them. So after a while, they feel pretty easy to do.

That means, they’re not working hard enough for you anymore.

Mixing your routine up every week or every couple of weeks, means your body has no idea what’s coming next.

It doesn’t have time to prepare.

It doesn’t know what muscles are doing to be used. What speed it’s going to need. How long it’s going to last.

In order to see results regularly, you need to vary that routine.

If you run on the treadmill for 30 minutes, add in a 5 minute sprint at the end. If you’re lifting weights, add an extra set or use a higher weight. If you cycle 5kms every week, try cycling 10kms once in a while.

You get the idea.

Mix your routine up to see better results, faster.

Tip 2 – Move more

It’s not rocket science – the more the exercise you do makes you move, the better (and quicker) the results.

So when deciding on an exercise, think about your end goal.

Want to lose weight – think cardio.

Want to bulk up – think weights.

If you’re heading to the gym, hit the treadmill or cross trainer and work as hard as you can for the time you allocate.

Or perhaps you’re pushed for time – do a Tabata or HIIT workout for 4 minutes, 8 minutes, 12 minutes.

Just because you only have 15 minutes to spare, doesn’t mean you can’t work up quite a sweat in that time!

And when it gets hard, or painful, or both … imagine your sweat is that horrid fat melting right off you.

Tip 3 – Set a time

No professional athlete (or gorgeous celebrity for that matter) ever got to where they are without setting a schedule and sticking to it.

The same goes for your body goals.

If you don’t set a time, you’ll easily have something ‘more important to do’.

Prefer exercising before work? Schedule your workouts for 7am three times a week.

More of an evening person? Workout at 6.30pm Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Then stick to it.

But … if you miss one session for whatever legitimate reason, just pick it back up again for the next one in the calendar.

Don’t let it be an excuse to change your schedule entirely.

Bonus Tip – Rest

Your muscles need time to recover.

So don’t be tempted to hit the gym seven days a week because you’ve started seeing results. Contrary to what you might think, this could hinder and slow down the pace at which you see results.

As mentioned before, if your body becomes used to something (in this case, exercise) it will go into preparation mode by storing calories, fat and energy in order to get through it.

You need to surprise your body.

So include rest days to your schedule, include additional reps, speed or minutes to your routine, and those regular workouts will eventually be visible for everyone to see.

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