Having a fitness schedule not only helps you stay in shape, but it can also help you feel good. But sometimes, something can go wrong and you end up getting an injury. When that happens, you’ll deal with physical pain as well as the emotional upset.
You might experience sadness, and even struggle a bit with situational depression because of not being able to do what you were able to do before. If you get sidelined with an injury, that doesn’t mean that you can’t be active at all.
It just means you need to readjust your workout and do things a little differently. The worst thing that you can do is to keep on trying to push through and worsen an injury. It’ll take twice as long if you do that and you can end up with damage to muscles, joints or bones that require invasive treatment.
While some pain is normal with fitness, you know when you’ve injured yourself because it doesn’t feel normal. The part of you that’s injured must go into a fitness time out so that it can heal.
You may have injured your upper body. That doesn’t mean that you can’t work on the lower part of your body. Or you may have injured a shoulder. That doesn’t mean that you can’t walk on the treadmill or go for a run.
What you can do is look for modified fitness routines for whatever part of your body that you’ve injured. While it’s okay to exercise while you’re injured, it’s never okay to experience extreme pain or difficulty moving a part of your body.
You’ll still be able to work out on your schedule, but you just have to make sure that your routine has exercises that avoid the muscles in the part that’s hurt. Sometimes, all it takes for an exercise injury to heal is just time and rest.
If you protect the area by not injuring it further, then you’ll be back on track quicker. If you injure your knee joint, don’t do any exercise that stresses that joint – no lunges, no cycling, no running, etc.
What you can do instead is focus on exercises that build your abdominal muscles, tighten up your core or strengthen your arm muscles. You can also lower the amount of strain that you experience when working out so that your body doesn’t have to deal with as great of an impact.
To do this, you would cut high intensity, high impact exercises out for the time being. You would replace these exercises with ones that are low impact only. This would be something like swimming or walking, depending on your injury. Keep in mind that most fitness injuries are a result of working out too long, not warming up or cooling down, improper training, trying to go to fast or muscle overuse.
Don’t Let Lack of Time Be an Excuse for Not Working Out
One of the top five excuses for not working out is a lack of time. Most people who use this excuse point to their busy work schedule, time spent commuting to and from work, and their busy home life once they leave work.
On the weekends, the no time excuse is paired with the need to catch up on chores around the house, spend time with family or they need time to relax and not do anything.
Even though it’s used as an excuse, the problem is actually not a lack of time. Everyone gets the same 24 hours in a day. Yet, plenty of people with busy schedules find the time to exercise.
So it’s not the lack of time that’s the issue at all. It’s how you choose to allot those same hours that you’re given. You choose every day how you’re going to spend your portion of that 24 hours.
You might spend half an hour texting a friend or playing a game on your phone. Or maybe you spend an hour watching television. You might spend a couple of hours on a weekend going out to eat with friends.
Or you might be at home checking out what’s happening on social media, which is one of the biggest time wasters there is. It’s easy to tell yourself that you’re going to pop onto Facebook or Twitter or Instagram for just a second and then the next thing you know, you’ve spent an hour or longer browsing the feed.
What’s happening is that you’re trading the time you do have to exercise for other things. You’re subtracting from your allotted hours every day by choice because you do have the time to exercise if you truly wanted to.
The problem is that people become comfortable with their excuses. It’s easier to not do something than to do it. It’s easier to stay out of shape or overweight than it is to face the truth.
It’s more honest to tell yourself that you’re rather waste portions of your time on anything except exercise than it is to continue to deny the truth. You make the “no time” excuse because you view exercise as something that’s forced on you.
Exercise is viewed like work – something to just get through so you can get on with your life. Anything you see as not being fun is going to make you want to run from it. The key to overcoming the lack of time excuse is to find what motivates you to work out and then make that workout fun. When it’s something that you enjoy, you’ll look forward to working out rather than finding reasons to put it off.
How Often Should You Strength Train?
Some people think that strength training means trying to bulk up your muscles, but strength training just means using resistance in your workout. The resistance can create stronger muscles, but not necessarily bulky muscle.
It can firm muscles and give your body a more defined appearance, though. So if getting toned is part of your fitness goal, there are different types of exercises that you can perform that will can sculpt your body and boost your endurance.
These exercises are used to tighten your abdominal muscles. They’re also used to strengthen arm, leg muscles and more. But to put that resistance to proper use, you do need to have a strength training plan.
Having a plan can help you know how often you should strength train. You can decide how often you want to strength train based on how often you want to exercise. Even if you only have time in your schedule right now to strength train once a week, you can still firm up your body in that time alone.
Of course, the more you strength train, the faster you’ll notice a difference in your body. When you’re first beginning, if you’re not big on exercising at all, then you should start out with one strength training session in a week.
Then, once you gain some strength and get used to it, move up to two times a week for the training. Then on to three times a week. The key to proper strength training is found in continual workouts.
Strength training isn’t a plan that you can do hit or miss. You have to do it on a regular basis. Otherwise, you can easily lose ground. You’ll discover that there are various plans that cover only a particular area of the body and suggests that you just work on that one area at a time.
That is one option, but it’ll take a lot longer to see any effects from strength training if you do that. What’s best is to strength train faithfully every week and to make sure that you work on your entire body with the exercises rather than isolating one particular body part.
To gain the maximum benefit from strength training, you’ll want to alternate the days that you do it. So if you strength train on Monday, skip Tuesday, but get right back at it on Wednesday.
This way, you can do it three times a week. If you can only work it once a week, choose to do an entire body workout. If you have room in your schedule to do it twice a week, do the same thing. If you can do it three days a week, you can alternate between upper and lower body workouts or choose entire body workouts.
Is It Possible to Spot Train an Area of Your Body?
You might look at your body and think there’s an area or two that you’d like to spot train. You wonder if that’s even possible. You’d like to develop a tighter abdomen or bigger biceps and you think that it’s possible just to focus on what you want.
The answer to the questions lies somewhere between what’s believed to be a myth and what the truth is. First, the words spot training and spot reduction are often confused with each other.
The first one has to do with defining muscle in one area of the body, while the other has to do with getting rid of fat in that area. The fact is that when you spot train an area, you’ll be performing certain exercises that strengthen and build muscle.
But these trouble spots that you have, and everyone has these spots, may not reach the perfection that you’re looking for if you’re trying to target specific fat loss. However, you will be able to shape your body using spot training.
As you work on a particular area of your body, the muscle strength develops and you end up losing weight as you build those muscles. The fat doesn’t necessarily go anywhere, but what happens is you lose weight and fat throughout your body rather than in only the particular area that you want to target.
So if losing fat in an area is your goal for spot training, just know that’s not going to happen. When you work out, even if you’re working on that problem area, you can’t just tell your body to take away that fat in that one spot.
The fat that’s burned comes from a variety of areas all over and may not concentrate in the area of your choosing. But you do lower your BMI, which is a win-win situation. Spot training isn’t necessarily wrong.
But you don’t get the same exercise benefits as you do if you concentrate on working out the entire body. By targeting your whole body, you use more muscle groups. This firms up those muscles and raises the amount of calories that you burn during a workout.
You might imagine spot training as the key to changing your body. What you have to understand is that just because you hone in on something like spot training abdominal muscles, if you don’t concentrate on lowering your overall BMI, those muscles will never develop that defined look you seek.
This is why doing 500 abdominal crunches by itself daily never gives you the six pack abs you want. Instead, you need to focus on cardio, eating healthy and strength training for your entire body not just building up one area. Then, you get to see the results that you want – including those six pack abs – and the reason is because you’ve lost fat all over your body.
Is Sugar Addiction Sabotaging Your Overall Fitness?
Studies have shown that 6 out of every 10 people have given dieting and losing weight a try only to fail in the end. The diets chosen are all sound diets and will work if followed through.
But during the dieting period, what happens is, the person begins to cheat “just a little” and then before they know it, they’ve kicked another diet to the curb. The reason for this is because of sugar addiction.
When the cravings hit, the willpower to say no is simply too weak. So most people end up beating themselves up for failing yet again. But the problem isn’t you. The problem is that the power of addiction isn’t something that’s easily broken.
What most diets fail to take into consideration is just how strong a sugar addiction can be. So these diets instruct followers that it’s okay to have a little bit of something sweet. “Go ahead and eat that sugary dessert in moderation,” the diets explain.
You would never tell someone who’s addicted to alcohol or drugs to go ahead and have a little of what they crave. You would never tell them that it’s okay as long as they practice moderation.
That’s because you know that moderation isn’t something that’s within an addict’s ability to control. Yet, that’s what you try to live by when you have a sugar craving and you’re aiming for moderation.
Instead of treating sugar as that food you need to avoid so you don’t blow your fitness goals, you need to treat it for what it is: an addiction. One that can be just as powerful as cocaine.
That shocks some people because they don’t see the connection. You can put it to the test. Quit sugar cold turkey. Check everything you eat and make sure that you don’t eat it in any form.
You’ll experience the same withdrawal symptoms as if you were coming off drugs. You’ll battle depression, anxiety, irritability, insomnia, cognitive issues, cravings, headaches, nausea, fatigue and more.
Sugar becomes an addiction because it does the same thing to the brain that alcohol or drugs do. It stimulates the reward center. You end up going through the same emotions and the same brain reaction as an addict using drugs or alcohol.
Many people have sugar addictions and it’s not treated as an addiction because it’s viewed as one of those habits that society deems okay. You may not be consuming massive amounts of junk food that contain sugar.
You don’t eat handfuls of cookies or have slabs of cake. But what you are doing is eating the sugar in everyday foods which keeps the addiction active. Hefty amounts of sugar are found in so-called good for you foods like low fat yogurt, protein bars, and granola.
It’s in condiments, juices, flour, cereal, pizza, even the misnamed sugar free foods contain sugar in the form of sugar alcohols. To prevent a sugar addiction from sabotaging your fitness, you have to go sugar free. Once you get through the withdrawals, not only will you have more energy, but you’ll have an easier time losing weight and reaching your fitness goals.
What Should Go on Your Fitness Pump Up Playlist?
The kind of music that you listen to as you work out can enhance your fitness routine. Researchers discovered that music plays such an important part that if you listen to the wrong tempo of music while exercising, it can actually make it harder for you to get fit.
During the research, it was discovered that specific types of music should be played during specific types of exercise during a routine. Music can cause you to speed up, slow down or change your movement or gait.
It can cause a change in your heart rate as well as in your blood pressure. Rock music has a beats per minute (bpm) of 120 to 130. Pop music is 116 while rap music is 120 to 140.
Heavy metal, depending on whether it’s slow or fast ranges from 60 to 150. Country music has a bpm of 120. There is a rhythm during exercise and the type of music that you listen to should enhance that rhythm rather than disrupt it.
Studies found that one of the genres of music that can throw off your rhythm is rock music, especially during cardio workouts. That’s because the beats per minute don’t always remain steady and there’s too much fluctuation.
If you’re going to be running on the treadmill, you want to listen to short, punctuated beats, which are found in rap music. You can also use this kind of music when you’re stretching before you start exercising.
But if you prefer, you can listen to pop music when you’re warming up. This type of music is good for the cool down portion of your fitness routine as well since the bpm is steady.
Some people have a heavy metal playlist for when they’re lifting weights. That’s because the music’s bpm isn’t too slow or too fast. Even though it’s heavy metal, there’s a steadiness to the rhythm.
For more fluid exercises such as yoga, you’ll want to play music that has a more tranquil flow. This would be music such as classical, or slow pop music. To create your fitness playlist, you can go to Spotify.
You can create your own list from scratch simply by tapping “new playlist” to get the songs you want. You can search the library for Spotify radio, your friends’ music or you can search by artist.
You can search playlists that are specific for working out. These might have titles such as “workout mix” or “fitness playlist” or you can even name a particular type of exercise such as “step aerobics” or “running.” If you prefer to use iTunes, you can simply sync your phone to the workout list that you create using your iTunes library or the library you share with family or friends.
What to Do When You Burn Out on Fitness
Exercising is good for the body – plus, it produces mood boosting hormones. Everyone enjoys the benefits of keeping fit but sometimes, burnout happens. Usually, this burn out is something as simple as just not wanting to exercise for that day and you’re able to get right back on track.
Sometimes, however, the reluctanc6e lingers, and you just can’t make yourself get going with your fitness routine again. When you experience burnout, it usually happens because you’ve been going at it too hard and too long.
You don’t give yourself enough of a break. When you push yourself to the max continually, eventually, you do reach a point where you want to stop and your enthusiasm wanes.
That’s one cause of fitness burnout. Another is boredom. Just as your body doesn’t enjoy eating the same foods for days on end, it doesn’t enjoy doing the same exercises for weeks on end, either.
When you reach the point of burnout, it can cause you to feel fatigued, make it more difficult to regroup and cause you to lose the strides you’ve gained by exercising. You might even reach the point where you find it hard to care about keeping fit.
You’re exhausted, sore, your muscles are overworked and your strength is lacking. When you feel this way, the best thing to do is not to make yourself exercise against your will, because burnout is different from just not wanting to exercise.
If you push yourself, you’ll only hate it more. To get back on track with your fitness routine, go back to when you did enjoy it. Stop pushing yourself for the time being. Don’t compete with yourself to reach the next level or to do more repetitions.
Slow down and find what you liked about exercising. Stop setting do-or-die goals and set your routine up only with exercises that appeal to you such as cycling, jump rope, dancing or swimming or whatever you find fun.
And lose the clock while you’re at it. Stop forcing yourself to stick to a certain length of time for your exercises. If you exercise for 10 minutes, great. If it’s 20, that’s great, too.
Stop working out so often or as long and make sure that you take time off from exercising.
When you skip time off, your body doesn’t get the benefits it needs from a recovery period. Beat the boredom by doing new things or switching around your routine. Boredom is the death of exercise.
Who wants to get fit when it’s a snooze-fest? Your brain needs to be excited by your routine just as much as your body needs the fitness. So exercise outside. Go hiking or swimming outside or join a fun fitness group. Use different music or take a dance class. Exercise at different times of the week if you can. You don’t have to stick to the same schedule every day.