Having goals is a great way to stay on track, to improve health and fitness and to keep your mood up. Goals give you something to work towards. However, most of us are impatient for results. We set a goal and we want to hit it; we don’t want to wait. Sometimes, you must. Trying to meet your goal too quickly can lead to injury. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t things that you can do to reach your fitness goals faster.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
When it comes to fitness, your weight certainly isn’t the be all and end all. People who are overweight can hit fitness goals and targets, and even complete long-distance or otherwise challenging events. In some cases, those of us whose weight falls into the overweight category are fitter and healthier than people who are underweight and failing to nourish their bodies.
But weight can play a part. If you are overweight, or your weight fluctuates dramatically, you are putting excess pressure on your cardiovascular system, your legs, your joints, and your muscles. It can make being fit harder, and it can mean that pushing yourself is more uncomfortable than it should be.
Losing just a few pounds can make cardio exercise and strength training easier. It can increase your range of motion, reduce muscle soreness and chafing, and give you a far better chance to hit your goals.
If you’ve got a lot of weight to lose, a calorie deficit combined with healthy eating and exercise is the best way to do it. But if you’ve reached a plateau and just can’t shift those last few pounds, you may be a candidate for Coolsculpting – it’s non-surgical and ideal for people with an active lifestyle.
One of the biggest mistakes that people make when trying to hit fitness goals is focusing solely on those goals. They are training for a marathon or trying to improve their 10km time, so they run and run and run. Or, they want to lift a specific weight, so they focus all their attention on that area of their bodies.
You’ll have better results if you cross-train regularly. Your cardio performance will improve faster if you lift weights to strengthen your muscles, and practice yoga to improve core strength and increase posture and flexibility. You’ll lift heavier if you commit to cardio, improving your cardiovascular health, stamina, and mental strength.
Incorporating alternative workouts challenges different parts of your body, shocking your muscles and helping you to increase full-body strength. It also stops you from getting bored and helps you to stay interested.
You can still practice your main exercise, training towards your goals perhaps 3-4 times a week. But try to fit cross training in at least once a week to keep things fresh.
Practice Active Recovery
Recovery days are important, especially when your muscles are sore and tired. Recovery gives them a chance to build and grow, but also to reset, so that they are ready to go harder, stronger, and faster on your next workout. But there’s a big difference between active and passive recovery. Passive recovery is when you rest. You do as little as possible, and you give your body a break. Active recovery is when you move. You don’t push yourself hard, you still give your body a break, but you keep it moving with gentle activity like walking, yoga, stretching, and gentle swimming.
Active recovery helps you to keep your momentum if you are training hard. It also reduces tension in your muscles by stretching them out. Active recovery days can also reduce lactic acid in your muscles, reduce aches, improve flexibility and mental health, and give you a great opportunity to try new things.
Set Smaller Goals
Those big goals are fantastic, but when a goal is so far away in terms of both time and journey, it can be hard to measure your success. This is bad for your mood and your progress. For quicker results, keep those big goals but add smaller ones to help you on your way. Set smaller, attainable targets, so that you can more easily measure your successes, and stay on the right track without losing motivation.
Sometimes, the best thing that you can do to reach goals faster is to take a break. If it’s not your body holding you back, but your mind, it can be helpful to step away for a while and focus on other things, before coming back raring to go.