By Karen Trom from the October 2012 Edition
Why Isn’t My Workout Working?
I recently received an e-mail from a reader who has made some good choices but is getting frustrated that she isn’t seeing big changes.
We talked a bit about what she has been doing and decided that while she is on the right track, she might need to tweak things a bit before seeing results.
One big thing to remember: you can’t work off a bad diet. Exercise is awesome, but if you’re not eating a nutritious diet with the appropriate number of calories for weight management, you could be shooting yourself in the foot. Proper nutrition fuels your workouts, but eat too much and you could gain weight (or hurt your weight-loss efforts), and eat too little, and you won’t have enough energy to exercise. Healthy living is 80% nutrition, 10% exercise, and 10% DNA.
Another thing to remember: it takes 4 weeks for you to see your body changing, 8 weeks for friends and family to notice and 12 weeks for the rest of the world. It takes time but it is the best feeling in the world when you notice that your pants are a bit looser, you aren’t panting at the top of the stairs, and you start craving vegetables!
There are a few other reasons while you aren’t seeing results:
1- Too much, Too soon.
Many of us decide to get in shape and go all out right away. Your body didn’t get like this overnight and you can’t fix it in a day! It takes time and consistency to get in shape over the long haul. Be patient. Remember that you’re creating a lifestyle change that you can sustain for the rest of your life. While there’s temptation to start off doing extra-long and hard workouts, don’t. Build up to doing hard workouts gradually as the weeks go by. Not only will this prevent injury and give your body more time to adapt and change, it will also give your life and habits time to change—permanently!
2- Rewarding yourself.
We are all guilty of “bargaining” with our body. If I go for a walk, I can have a bowl of ice cream! Trouble is, we usually don’t walk off more calories than our reward takes in! If you are seriously trying to lose weight, you need to track calories to realize how much those little treats can add up.
3- You sit all day.
This is my biggest problem. I work out pretty much every morning but then I work on the computer the rest of the day. When I’m done working I lie on the couch and watch TV. So, even though I get a good
I am undoing all that hard work by sitting so much. I now have a timer on my desk that goes off every 30 minutes. This tells me to get up, walk around, stretch, and maybe take a few trips up and down the stairs. Take at least 5 minutes out of every 30 for a health break.
How about some laptop yoga?
4- You aren’t working hard enough.
Once you get into a regular exercise routine, it’s time to switch it up! You will want to increase the intensity and start pushing yourself. As you work out more and more, your body adapts and becomes more efficient at doing that certain activity. This means that over time, the 30-minute workout that was challenging for you three months ago doesn’t provide the same results.
5- You are only doing cardio.
Yes, running, walking, dancing, etc. are great for your health- you also need to do some strength training and stretching for flexibility .Lift weights or do exercises like lunges and push-ups at least twice a week to reap the amazing benefits of resistance training; including decreased body fat, increased muscle mass and stronger bone density.
It will hurt. It will take time and will require dedication. It will require willpower. You will need to make healthy decisions. It requires sacrifice. You need to push your body. There will be temptation. But, when you reach your goal, it is SO worth it!
(I’m getting excited to leave chilly Wisconsin for beautiful Manzanillo! Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like some help with an exercise routine or just get together for a workout.)