You exercise regularly and eat well, yet you’re far from having abs like Kate Hudson.
While this can be super frustrating and you’re probably wondering what you’re doing wrong, there are a few things you need to remember: 1) Kate Hudson has a dedicated team of fitness gurus who help sculpt those abs (not to mention Photoshop); and 2) you are already well on the way to achieving the results that you want with the great effort you’re putting in.
It’s normal to plateau occasionally in your exercise routine, and if you feel you aren’t noticing many changes to your body, it could be because you’re missing a few important little tweaks.
These simple fitness moves will help you make dramatic changes, get the most out of your workout and get closer to achieving the body you want.
I know what you’re thinking: “Pfft, I drink SO much water every day.”
No, really. You might think you’re a water-drinking ninja but most of us don’t actually drink the recommended amount of water per day (especially for when we’re exercising) and drinking adequate water is the golden rule to getting your best out of a workout (and to recovering swiftly).
When you exercise, you lose water through your breath and through sweat. If you start out dehydrated, you’ll get dizzy and lethargic, your muscles won’t work as well, you won’t feel as sharp mentally, and you’ll get cramps sooner. So how much water should you drink prior to a workout? About half a litre one to two hours before, about a glass 15 minutes before, and during your workout, drink about a glass every 15 minutes.
When it comes to fitness, more is not necessarily better. You don't need to exercise for three hours a day to get a sculpted body; in fact, working out too much may be hindering your results.
When your body is fatigued, you may jeopardise your form and technique, which can lead to injury. Your muscles need time to rest and rebuild to make you stronger for your next sweat session, so consider your day of rest an important part of your exercise schedule. Listen to your body! Plus, the better you sleep, the more energy you'll have to tackle tomorrow's new challenging workout to get the results you've been working towards.
Find your “thing”
You know that saying “do something you love and you’ll never work a day in your life”? Well, the same thing applies to exercise – if you find something that fits with you, it will make everything easier. Staying fit and healthy is not a one-size-fits-all approach – not everyone is made to be a marathon runner or a yogi. If you can’t find something you enjoy, keep trying until you find something that meshes with your lifestyle and interests.
Change it up
Even once you’ve found something you love, whether that be running, swimming, Pilates, playing beach volleyball or walking the dog, there’s a chance that your enthusiasm may plateau or you may lose interest (we’re only human, after all!). Changing up your routine every now and then will not only keep you motivated, it will also ensure you are challenging your body and working your muscles.
Don’t neglect your diet
Whether you're trying to lose weight or just tone up, you need to be conscious of what you're putting into your body to make sure it's helping you reach your goals.
Vegetables remain the champion of all food groups; you basically can never eat too many. Aim for five to nine servings of fruit and vegetables a day, and limit your intake of processed foods and saturated fats.
If you run for an hour but snack on chips and drink a couple of vinos afterwards, you're not going to see the results you want. Remember: all calories are not created equal. Consider 100 calories from zucchini, carrots, and kale versus 100 calories from a cookie. They may be the same caloric count, but the nutritional values are very different. Those veggies will give you the fuel your body needs to power through a workout, whereas a cookie (even if it’s delicious) doesn't give your body a whole lot to work with.