Can’t find a reason to stay fit? Think again. I find good health to be the most important motivation one should have to achieve an active lifestyle. Active lifestyle does not mean being at the gym 24/7 or to stop eating ‘unhealthy’ food. Rather, it’s as simple as choosing for the ‘right’ option.
Take the stairs instead of the elevator, drink lots of water, get 8 hours of sleep at the RIGHT time.
Take a look into my ‘commit to fit’ lifestyle: the way I stay healthy, fit and happy!
Sleep expert Shawn Stevenson, and many others, have concluded that the optimal sleep schedule is from 10pm to 6am because of our body’s natural rhythm. However, your own bedtime depends on genetics, so you should NOT force yourself to sleep at 9pm if you are used to sleeping after 1am as it will backfire on you. You will feel terrible in the morning! Gradually, make your body used to sleeping earlier.
You must be thinking: wasn’t this post about being fit…?! It definitely is, but if you don’t sleep well and eventually don’t feel well, you won’t be in any mood to commit to anything.
So, let’s continue…
I agree that the start is the most difficult part of your journey to being F I T. But remember: once you start noticing the difference – which is sooner than you might think – you will feel sooooo happy!
Cardio vs Weights
Over 5 years ago, I started going to the gym. I had already done various sports (tennis, badminton, horse riding, swimming, and more), but I thought hitting the gym was easy as I could go whenever it was convenient due to the amazing opening hours!
From the beginning up to ~1.5 years, I did lots of cardio: 3 to 4 times a week of running, cycling, cross-training and so forth. I used to sweat a lot, which was amazing ’cause I knew that after a nice shower my skin would glow like anything – no make-up needed to fake it! However, I didn’t see much change in my body, except for much more stamina of course.
To be honest, I did not do much with my diet. I am a foodie and love eating to my mood. I am sure you will agree with this: ‘life is way too short to live on healthy food only’ 🙂
I started thinking: what am I doing wrong? My aim was to look slimmer, have tighter skin and, of course, the glow in the face! I did achieve my glow, but what about the rest? Even though I was never fat or chubby, I was definitely missing that tightness – those beautiful muscles!
Exactly, there we have it: M U S C L E S! I had to train my muscles, but how? I didn’t want to become a bodybuilder – haha, that’s what we think of when we talk about training with weights. Nothing like that will really happen. Rather, you will achieve that tightness, those divine shoulders, beautiful collarbone, (light) visible abs, slim legs and arms and more…
However, you have to do it right – meaning: less weights, more repetitions!
Every body is different and so the weight your body can handle will vary. You have to figure out for yourself how much weight that specific part of your body, which you are training, can carry – it should definitely not be too heavy. Keep in mind that you have to do 3 sets of 12-15 reps. As guideline to make it easier: the last 2 reps should not be easy, because that’s going to make the difference; however, your weights should be sufficiently heavy that you can still do those last 2 reps. If you are unable, then of course you have to reduce the weight.
Also be aware of your breathing while doing the exercises. It might sound silly, but it makes a huge difference. Moreover, there is no need to do the exercises fast. Take your time – each move should be controlled. Keep sipping water and take 30 seconds to 1 minute of rest between each set.
Cardio totally out?!
Definitely NOT! Cardio is important, too. With weights you don’t sweat as much as with cardio exercises and we all know it – sweating is good for the health of your skin. You don’t want to miss that glow on your face, right?
I would advise to start with a good cardio warming-up. Do what you like: cycling, cross-trainer or running. I prefer jumping a rope, as it gets me warm very fast and I enjoy it (2 in 1!). Afterwards, I train specific body parts – whichever I want to train that day. Try to do a part a day.
For example: Monday, legs; Wednesday, arms; Friday, back and abs.
Often, the last part of your training is not considered important, but believe me you won’t like it if you can’t move your body the next day – so don’t skip the cool-down at the end! Mostly, I do a full body stretch with the emphasis on the body part I trained that day. You could also do some cycling or running, whatever you prefer.
Another fun thing I used to do is combine ‘weight days’ with ‘classes’, so one day I did my weights and the other day I joined a pilates, core or dance class. I feel that if you maintain variation you will enjoy your exercises more, instead of doing the same every time.
Secrets, but facts too!
When doing workouts with weights you don’t only burn calories during the exercise but you also burn them AFTER you are done training! Isn’t that great? Sitting on the couch after a great workout and your body is still busy reducing calories… Do your research – it’s true!
After a little while you will already start noticing the difference: your skin is tighter, your body more defined – much sleeker and slimmer! Time to go shopping ladies 🙂
Moreover, forget the weighing scale. When using weights, you will work on your muscles and muscles are heavier than fat, so obviously you will weigh more on the scale. However, I can promise you that when looking at the mirror you will feel so good about your body that there is no need to step onto any scale!
Another tip: by adding variety to your schedule (cardio, weights, classes) your body will have to work harder, meaning it will burn more and won’t get used to the exercises (which only reduces efficiency). Eventually, you will enjoy much more!
Lastly, you can eat WHATEVER you want WHENEVER you want without stressing about your waistline, hips, mood swings, belly fat or anything of the kind.
Continue the active lifestyle, trust your dumbbells, have patience and love your body!
What are you thinking about? Get up beauties, a great workout is waiting for you!
I will be sharing my fitness outfits on Instagram this week 🙂
Share your thoughts and tips on maintaining an active lifestyle.