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5 Ways You Can Exercise More Effectively All By Yourself

5 Ways You Can Exercise More Effectively All By Yourself

For many people exercise seems too daunting and too demanding of a task. There are numerous exercise programs to choose from, and many people don’t know which one is best for them. Getting started on an exercise program is a large enough challenge considering the busyness of your daily life. It’s easy to conjure up excuses for why you shouldn’t exercise today. Where is the time to exercise? You tell yourself you will start tomorrow, or the next day, or the next, etc.

Exercise doesn’t have to feel impossible. You are not expected to climb Mount Everest every time you work out. With the overwhelming amount of data available on the value of daily exercise to your health, both physically and mentally, exercise should be viewed with gratitude and positivity. Hopefully it can transform into something you look forward to, rather than something you dread.

Perhaps you prefer working out in a group setting. This is always desirable for many people because as a group you can endure mental and physical stress together, and help one another push through the work out. For many people this is not an option. So what do you do? Here I’ve outlined five ways for you to exercise more effectively by yourself. It doesn’t matter what kind of exercise you choose to perform. Implement these five simple steps into your routine and I believe you will witness wonderful results.

1. Set an exercise target or plan before you start

I don’t want to present the idea that you have to embark on a two or three month workout program and know exactly what you are going to do every day. If you prefer this kind of exercise regimen than go for it. I am proposing that for each day you exercise that you have a goal or plan of what you want to accomplish.

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It could be as simple as walking up ten flights of stairs or using the treadmill for twenty minutes. It doesn’t have to be grandiose but having a target for your exercise will help keep you focused. You will be more likely to complete your daily workouts when you choose realistic and attainable targets.

2. Focus on quality and not quantity

It took me a while to understand this one. There are a lot of people who go to the gym and spend two hours there. By the time they leave the gym they really haven’t accomplished much at all. It is not important that you spend a lot of time exercising but it is important that you spend quality time exercising!

Develop an exercise goal for the day so you can focus your workout without wasting unnecessary time. It will serve you better to spend thirty minutes at the gym lifting weights with a concrete plan of what lifts you are going to do and how much time you are going to rest in between each lift, than to wander aimlessly for a couple of hours. Spending more time at the gym doesn’t necessarily mean you exercised properly for the entire time you were there.

3. Challenge yourself with attainable exercise goals

Only you know your limits of how much you can push yourself. This is especially imperative when you are exercising alone. There is not going to be someone there yelling at you to push you.

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You have to go into each workout telling yourself that you are going to get the most out of the workout. A walk through the neighborhood can be a great form of exercise especially if you are walking at a brisk pace.

With an exercise plan in place, along with a time limit in which to accomplish the workout, you are more likely to challenge yourself. If you go into a workout with no plan you are more likely to coast through the workout.

If your goal is to run one mile in fifteen minutes then you have a tangible goal of what you are trying to accomplish. Let’s say you finish the mile in thirteen minutes. Next time you can make a goal that you will run the mile in under thirteen minutes. This is how you challenge yourself.

It is not necessary for you to increase the intensity of each workout but when you feel you can do more, expand your limits. Not every exercise routine is going to be grueling and intense, but you have to be willing to test yourself if you want to experience positive results from exercising.

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4. Concentrate on simple exercises, not complicated ones

This phrase can be utilized in many facets of your life. It is especially beneficial when exercising. You don’t need a complex exercise plan in order to notice results. You need to set a target, focus on quality, and challenge yourself.

Swimming ten laps in the pool might be an accomplishment for you. All you are doing is swimming, nothing else, but achieving the goal of ten laps will leave you confident and readier to swim more in the next workout. Exercise doesn’t have to include lots of fancy equipment. This stuff may help but if you are just beginning to exercise, this kind of equipment can be intimidating.

Focus on simple exercises and then work your way up to more complicated routines as you get more comfortable and gain confidence in your capabilities. This is vitally important when exercising alone because often you will not be able to use the fancy equipment on your own.

5. Be consistent

This is probably the most important aspect. You have to exercise regularly if you desire results. I am not saying that you have to exercise every day, although daily exercise has enormous advantages for your health. You have to exercise regularly, at least three or four times per week.

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This can be quite challenging for many people because they start exercising and they get excited for the first few weeks. Then maybe the results aren’t exactly what they expected so they give up or they get busy at work and they start making excuses for why they can’t exercise. Stick with it!

Exercise can never be harmful unless it is done irresponsibly and too frequently. If you maintain an exercise regimen of three to five times a week, you are living a healthy lifestyle.

Exercising alone isn’t always easy but often it can be necessary. If exercising alone is your only option, then make sure you take advantage of the time you have. Utilie these steps to enjoy more productive and fulfilling exercise!

Featured photo credit: Man run at autumn morning. Healthy lifestyle concept via shutterstock.com

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Mike Oppland

Mike is the Creator of Carpe Diem Motivation. He aspires to inspire individuals who are seeking a little extra boost in their lives.

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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