Welcome to Week One of the 5 Week Body Transformation Challenge! Are you ready? I know you are, so let’s go! For this first week, we’re increasing our daily water intake and mixing up our workout routine. Let’s tackle one task at a time starting with your daily water intake.
Why is it important to drink water?
Water helps the brain function and helps energize the body. It also helps to reduce headaches, balance pH, keep you breathing, regulate body temperature, and prevent cardiovascular disease. Water is instrumental in weight loss too! Drinking water before a meal can help you lose weight because it keeps you more satiated. If you exercise, you should drink even more water. Drinking water before, during, and after a workout is critical because it fuels the body, prevents dehydration, and helps the body replenish. If you’re dehydrated, you won’t have the energy, strength, and endurance to give your all during your workout. Following the workout, drinking more water helps to replace the water your body loses through sweat.
What is recommended for your daily water intake?
Eight 8 oz glasses of water are the highly recommended standard. If you exercise, you should drink more. Check out the CamelBak Hydration Calculator to help you figure out how much water you should drink during exercise. For purposes of this challenge, if you are already drinking eight 8oz glasses of water each day, good job and keep going! Increase your daily water intake to include water before/during/after your workouts. If you aren’t drinking eight 8oz glasses of water each day, make that your goal this week. When you get that down, keep going and drink adequate amounts of water before/during/after your workouts.
Now, let’s move on to talk about mixing up your workout routine. If you don’t have a consistent workout routine now, don’t worry! Check out my post here for ways that you can start and keep a new workout routine. For those of you who do have a workout routine but need to mix it up, keep reading…
Why should you mix up your workout routine?
While it may be tempting to do your workout routine over and over because it’s easy and convenient, the gains and improvements that you experience will be limited. Your body responds when you trick it by varying your workout routine. If you don’t change it, your body will reach a plateau. Give your body some credit—it is smart! Here’s what happens. When you exercise, your mind finds a way to adapt to what you’re doing. It figures out what muscles you’re using, and how to use those muscles to get through the exercise efficiently. If you do that exercise over and over again, the body will master the exercise and you won’t see the same results. That’s why you need to mix up your workout. You want to keep confusing your mind and muscles, which will also keep your metabolism pumped. Besides that, you avoid getting bored with your workout routine if you keep things fresh by mixing it up.
How do you mix up your workout routine?
There are many things that you can do to mix up your workout routine. Here are three ways:
(1) Increase your intensity or resistance
As mentioned earlier, your body will find a way to adapt to the exercise that you do. Therefore, you must find a way to keep it challenging. Increasing your intensity or resistance will get you there. For instance, if you’ve been taking a spin class that seems to be getting easier and easier, consider increasing the resistance on the bike or taking a challenge that you’ve previously avoided. If you’re a walker or runner, try adding interval training to your routine during the week.
(2) Increase your weights
Do you use the same set of weights every time you workout? If you do, you may notice that your workout routine is becoming easier. Once again, your body has adapted to the workout. This is when you know it’s time to increase your weights. Don’t be scared to increase your weights. With proper instruction from your trainer or instructor, he/she will guide you through the exercise. And, you can always keep the lighter set nearby if you need to temporarily go down in weights (as you make the transition to heavier weights). Last, don’t be afraid to ask for help or guidance before you increase your weights. Always practice safety first when it comes to starting something new.
(3) Try a different exercise
Start by finding something that you love. When you do something you love, you are more likely to be consistent with it. Also, you will be more likely to do your workout routine instead of sleeping in or driving home after work. It’s important to be true to yourself, which means you may have to deviate from what your friends are doing. If your friends love yoga but you don’t, acknowledge how you feel then find your favorite workout. A workout may speak to you because of the instructor, the class music, the way you feel while in class (strong, accomplished, powerful), and/or the challenges that you overcome in class. If a workout doesn’t feel right (e.g., it’s too taxing on your body), try something else. Whatever it is, find that workout, then do it every week.
Be consistent with your new routine
For this challenge, we will stick to the new workout routine for 4 weeks. To maintain consistency, plan your workout week each week. Every week will be full of challenges and commitments; therefore, it’s important to have a place in your schedule for your workouts. Do you put your doctor’s appointments and conference calls on your calendar? You should do the same thing with your workouts, then commit to keeping your workout appointments. Try to respect those appointments in the same way that you would respect an appointment with a doctor, co-worker, or boss.
Now that you have your actions for the first week of the challenge, take some time to plan what you’re going to do. Then, go forth and make it a wonderful (and transformative) week!
By the way, if you haven’t committed to the 5 Week Body Transformation Challenge yet, you still can! Grab your 5 Week Body Transformation Action Plan here. Think about your goal and write it at the top of the Action Plan, and sign the form at the bottom. Check back here on the blog because I’ll add a post each week about the “Tweak of the Week”, how the change can benefit your body, and give you extra motivation.
Have a great week!
Mrs. Traylor is a Fitness Instructor, NASM Certified Personal Trainer & Nutrition Coach, AFPA Certified Prenatal and Postnatal Fitness Specialist, wife, and momma who provides actionable advice for positive lifestyle changes with fitness, nutrition, and wellness. Read about Wendy’s inspiring entrepreneurial journey, and subscribe to Wendy’s newsletter here!