Whatever your drive to exercise – whether that be training for a marathon, weight control, weight loss, or sanity… we all share a common frustration – when you’re putting in the effort and not getting the results you deserve. Please, we beg you – don’t give up! There are 6 simple reasons why your workout isn’t working.
1.You sit too much
Inherently we know that sitting at our desks for long periods of time is not good for our health. But, hey, we will just do an extra 15 minutes on the treadmill and surely that will make up for it, right?! Well, not according to science! Sitting for even 3 hours, unbroken time has a negative effect on your heart health, risk of diabetes and metabolism – meaning weight gain. The scary part is, these health impacts were still observed when people engaged in moderate-to-vigorous activity at other times. It seems you can’t undo the effects of long hours of sitting at your desk or on the couch for that matter! The good news is, you can prevent this as a reason your workout isn’t working by taking regular breaks from sitting.
Tip – Get up now! Not everyone has access to a standing desk, but that isn’t stopping you from getting out of your chair and moving every hour. Make the most of moving from your desk by grabbing a drink of water at the same time!
2. You reward your workout with ‘treats’
We love a reward for a good workout, but maybe you’re ‘treating’ yourself with the wrong things. Replenishing your body (within half an hour post workout) with wholefood carbs is great for muscle recovery. BUT, undoing all your hard work with bubble tea or cendol could be a big reason your workout isn’t working – instead think a fresh banana, not pisang goreng!
Tip – Celebrating success and rewarding effort is a great positive momentum cycle. Think more of delayed gratification rewards – a massage, new workout gear or some funky socks for a week or two of consistent workouts.
3. You’re not exactly a sleeping beauty
Skimping on sleep is a sure-fire way to undermine your exercise efforts. A recent study showed that muscle strength improves with uninterrupted sleep of at least seven to eight hours. Scarily, lack of adequate sleep also had alarming results. Receiving anything less than six hours of sleep a night resulted in poorer muscle strength. Meaning that all your workout effort during the day can be undermined with poor sleep habits.
Tip – Get sleep fit with a simple bedtime routine. No screens half hour before bed; a cool, dark sleep space; comfortable mattress and linen; and reasonable bed time.
4. Why many women NEVER get toned
Heads up…there is more to life than cardio! Many women have the aim of losing weight, yet what they really want from their weight loss is to look a certain way. When this doesn’t happen it’s easy to think that your workout isn’t working for you. Enter toned muscles. Women especially need to incorporate regular resistance exercise (either weights or body weight) into their training to combat the effects of osteoporosis. Don’t worry, you don’t have to give up cardio and you definitely won’t look like a bulky body builder. But what will happen is stronger bones, stronger muscles (without the bulk), better fat burning, improved posture, enhanced mood and the look you want!
Tip – Download the Active8me app for a trial of one of our ‘toning’ workouts – you will be surprised at how fun and challenging they are. Active8me workouts are a specifically designed combination of cardio, toning, stretching and recovery!
5. Your workout isn’t working because you’re stuck on the treadmill of life
Habits can be a powerful tool for good or evil. If you’re in the habit of getting your workout done, that is awesome. If, however, it is the same old thing over and over, then your body has probably adapted to ‘getting it done’ as efficiently as possible. Your body also wants to ‘hold on’ to fat stores as you get closer to your ideal body weight. This is completely normal and is a built-in survival method. So, don’t worry it’s a good sign that you’ve been working hard. This phenomenon is known as the weight loss plateau and can be overcome by giving your exercise routine a bit of a shake-up.
Tip – Embrace variety and mix up your workout. Is the treadmill your go-to for cardio? Then try a bike, stair climber or trail run instead. Make sure you’re adding a HIIT workout into your schedule regularly too!
6. Your workout isn’t working because you’re expecting overnight miracles
Let’s get real – how long have you been working out *consistently*? Yes, the key word is consistent. If you are new to exercise it takes a consistent effort across 3 to 4 weeks before you start noticing that fitter ‘feeling’. Even longer before you notice change in your body (though, this also has a lot to do with nutrition). Even then, what you find is that you are able to push a little harder so essentially it will always be a challenge. This is a good thing! If you are shaking your head because you’ve been working out consistently and not feeling like it’s a challenge, then it’s time to up your game. You can’t expect a different result if you continually do the same thing.
Tip – Keep a diary, or better still use the Active8me app to upload a ‘before’ photo, body measurements and your weight. Then track your progress.
So, which one means your workout isn’t working?
Do you sit all day? Mis-treat yourself? Skimp on sleep? Covet cardio? Rely on habit? Chase miracles? Or, all of the above?
As you can see, it doesn’t take much to realise that your workout isn’t working for the smallest of reasons! It could be one or lots of small parts of the reasons above. There is also an important combination of workouts you should be incorporating into your regime to ensure that your maximising your body transformation or performance results. Active8me takes the hard work of coming up with the ‘right’ mix of workouts for you. All of your workouts, plus nutrition and mindset AND access to a coach in one convenient place, the Active8me app. It’s like having a personal trainer, dietician and life coach in your pocket!