Lent is a time for denial. Generally, people chose to give up the food and drink that’s bad for them, or their less appealing habits, or their not so productive pastimes. While all this is commendable, most people overlook their bad fitness habits because they think that because they are exercising everything they’re doing is beneficial.
But it’s not. Seasoned exercisers, in particular, would have slipped into routines that involve prolonged rests and easily manageable sequences. Throw the lack of variety of exercises, equipment and environment into the mix and you have a whole heap of poor fitness behaviours that are too often overlooked.
Turn the world’s Top Five sacrifices into Fitness Goals
Across the world at Lent there is an established list of what people give up EVERY year. And since they give it up every year it would appear the sacrifice is never for the long term.
So we’ve taken the top five of these and found their exercise equivalent. We promise if you give these up for a month that you’ll have more motivation and muscle than ever. And because you won’t miss them like a coveted bar of Cadbury’s or a warming glass of red wine, we think you’ll want to give them up for good.
It’s time to ditch the clichéd options like chocolate and chips and consider your bad fitness habits instead.
Fast Food = Fast Reps
Speedy sit-ups, pull-downs and press-ups are the workout world’s equivalent of getting your tea at KFC. You may feel satisfied for a while but the regrets soon kick in and last way longer.
Slowing down any resistance work makes you concentrate more on your form, brings in greater control from the moving muscles, often stimulates the core to a greater extent PLUS the muscle fibres you use will be different to those that have become used to the action.
So for Lent slow, down those reps and work on a fuller range. You’ll feel the difference on day one and see the results at Easter.
Shopping = Strolling
Shopping is just as much about the trying as the buying, and if you’re the kind of person who saunters around the gym between sets then Lent is the perfect time to give up this bad habit. Instead of resting to recover, take an active recovery instead. Work an opposing muscle group like the triceps when you’ve just built your biceps, enjoy a lower body exercise while the upper body rests or alternate resistance work with cardio.
Do this within your usual time frames for workouts and you’ll double the variety and veracity of your regime.
Personal Technology = Gym Machines
Coming off social media or mothballing the iPad for Lent is a popular and challenging choice as we’re increasingly entwined with our handheld devices. It’s the same with gym machines – both CV and resistance – we’re in a comfort zone as they determine our speed, our stride and our range of motion.
So for Lent come off the techie fit kit… do your workout with free weights, go outside to run rather than going on the treadmill, get on your bike try the TRX. See how it feels to keep to the same program with old school, low-tech kit.
We promise you’ll feel a difference and enjoy the experience.
TV = A minute on the mat
We all need to unwind at the end of the day and TV is the popular choice for most. Likewise, after exercise, we need a little comedown, and typically at the end of a fitness session we find ourselves on the mat for a quick stretch before heading off.
For Lent find a more active way to recover and repair the body. Yoga is a great way of stretching muscles, lengthening ligaments and realigning the whole body. Get at least 30 minutes on the mat each week using deep stretches and Yoga poses to improve your flexibility and posture.
You’ll end feeling re-energised.
And after Lent
We hope you’ll have found the benefits of these new, better habits and stick with them as you return to your established regime. Even if you just pick one for this year you’ll have a more effective workout routine.
Good luck and remember, the Easter Bunny is watching you!
If you need any fitness equipment or sports gear to help you with improving your exercise habits then check out our store where you’ll find some great offers on a wide range of products!