Whether you’re a regular at the gym or just starting to commit to a new exercise routine, staying motivated isn’t always easy.
Along with the physical and mental health benefits of incorporating exercise into your daily routine, many people are also motivated by the prospect of muscle tone and definition.
In most cases, the results an individual person achieves reflect their lifestyle choices, body type, and the types of exercises they do. For example, those who start running are likely to notice improvements in their cardiovascular capacity as they become more fit, says a fitness expert. The Independent.
Eating well also plays an important role and nutritional needs vary from person to person. Experts say many women don’t get enough protein, while harmful eating habits adopted by both men and women, such as avoiding carbs, can also lead to an imbalanced macronutrient profile.
But how can you maximize your results when adopting a new exercise routine, and how long does it take to see physical and mental changes? We spoke to Nancy Best, personal trainer and founder of Ladies Who Crunch, to find out more.
How long does it take to see results from a new workout routine?
How long it takes to see or feel results from a new workout routine depends on your workout format, Best says.
“If you focus on a new running program, for example, you should notice improvements in your cardiovascular capacity and adjustments in your resting heart rate as you improve, within weeks,” she explains. .
“If you’re starting a weight training program, you’ll instead need to dedicate at least six weeks of consistency to give your body adequate progressive overload to improve.”
Is consistency really essential?
Although the amount of exercise you need to do varies for each individual, consistency is of universal importance, so it’s important to find ways to stay motivated.
“Whether you’re starting the 5k couch running program or joining a CrossFit gym to master barbell complexes, the biggest mistake people make is going all-in and then losing momentum,” says Best.
“Generally speaking, committing to three to five quality workouts (depending on your format or goal) per week is a realistic goal.”
Experts also recommend considering broader lifestyle choices, like making sure you get plenty of sleep and take plenty of steps each day.
Do some exercises give faster results?
“If you’re focused on getting results, you want to make sure you don’t hurt yourself! Prioritizing functional mobility is so important to supporting your body when adopting a new training regimen,” says Best.
She recommends incorporating resistance training as the foundation of any training program, as it has a “plenty of benefits” such as building lean muscle mass, which will help support your musculoskeletal system. and to provide aesthetic results.
How does diet affect how quickly you will see results?
Experts recommend aiming for a balanced macronutrient profile that contains a mix of protein, fat, and carbs.
“Nutrition and consistent training go hand in hand for the best results,” says Best. “My clients often underestimate their protein servings, which can affect their level of nutrition for training, so this is a good place to start.”
Best also stresses the importance of drinking enough water. If you participate in an intense workout and sweat a lot, be sure to replenish your sodium levels.
How to stay motivated if you don’t see results when you stick to a regular workout routine
“Unfortunately, much of the fitness industry is still focused on selling ‘quick fix’ solutions, which can freak you out if you don’t have the perfect abs shown in the ad after 12 weeks,” says Best.
She says it’s helpful to think of exercise as a form of self-care.
“Remember, first and foremost, that exercise is linked to improving your mental health. Approach your training as an act of self-care, rather than a form of punishment that only ‘works’ if you see results, can help you reframe your motivation.
“Motivation isn’t linear – it’s natural to feel an ebb and flow. Try not to fall completely off the wagon – that’s where a lot of people struggle, as it’s much harder to get back into it. training after a big break.
What can you do if you don’t see results?
On the other hand, if you’re consistent with training and feeling frustrated with not seeing results, you might want to consider changing up your routine.
“Maybe you need to try heavier weights or increase your running distance to keep progressing,” says Best.
“Being part of a community can also really help drive results. Members of my online community, Ladies Who Crunch, do not compete with each other, but there is a group accountability and support system to help everyone world to progress.
How can you be sure to stay consistent?
One of the biggest challenges of committing to a new exercise routine is finding time in your day to exercise.
One way to help stay motivated is to train at the same time or on the same days each week.
“Allocate blocks in your schedule and don’t let it get too flexible or other commitments will take over,” says Best.
Also, don’t take too much too soon. “Concentrate on the essentials. Regardless of your fitness level, we all need adequate rest (sleep) and adequate food (nutrition). Checking these boxes will build a strong foundation to move forward,” adds Best.
“Find your tribe. Starting a new exercise routine can be lonely and if you don’t have a sense of responsibility it’s much harder to stay consistent. It could be being part of a community or taking a regular group class where you can go with a friend.