Mix Up Your Routine!

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It’s the end of March already, a dangerous time for all of us who made our New Year resolution to get fit and healthy this year.

For some, it is because we haven’t made the time or effort, or despite all your hard work and dedication, you have only lost a few pounds and inches. We need to take a closer look at what you may or may not be doing that can sabotage your results.

1. Mix up your exercise routine. It is important to have variety in your exercise program and not to overdo it. Working out constantly will break down muscles. The rest days are when your body repairs and rebuilds. Make sure you take at least one rest day a week.

This is when the magic happens! Make sure you include a 5 to 10 minute warm up and the same for a cool down. Incorporate cardio—running, swimming, rowing, elliptical or bike—and swap around the cardio equipment you use at the Gym.

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is another great form of cardio for ongoing fat blasting that lasts up to 38 hours after your work out. However doing HIIT daily will put stress on your heart and muscles, so it is recommended to do strength and resistance training on alternate days. This creates “muscle confusion”—a good thing, and adds core strength. This will help you achieve that tight, toned, sculpted body and six pack a lot quicker!

2. Don’t eat the same foods each day! This will deprive your body of vital nutrients. Make sure you have variety in your diet and include healthy carbs, protein and healthy fats. When we are making a conscious effort to eat ‘clean’ or ‘healthier’, we tend to over-consume our servings of vegetables and fruit. These are healthy choices but contain sugar and starch, which will stagnate your weight loss.

Greek yogurt is healthy but the vanilla flavor, for instance, contains approx. 16g sugar vs plain which is only 6g sugar. Another mistake is to skip meals or use meal replacements. You cannot achieve optimum weight loss and build a strong body by eliminating specific food groups.

You do need to rehydrate with water, but not sugar loaded energy drinks. Don’t work out on an empty stomach. Fuel your body with carbs for pre work out and protein post work out, and try and avoid packaged foods and protein bars that contain sugar alcohols.

Other key exercise mistakes: Weighing yourself daily, not getting sound, balanced sleep and not having an organized schedule. Check your fitness and health plan and re-evaluate where you can make some small changes that will give you great results. With a little discipline, dedication, and committing to as little as 3-4 hours a week you can achieve your best body yet in 2014!

To read more of Carolyn’s advice on healthy eating, fitness, and living visit www.jamestowngazette.com and click on the Fast Track to Fitness page. The Jamestown Gazette is proud to present our county’s most creative and original writers for your enjoyment and enlightenment.