It's easy to get sidetracked with sustaining your fitness goals but you can get back on track!
Have you ever started a fitness plan or wellness journey but didn't stick with it?
Why does this happen?
Well, I can't speak for everyone but many people give up on their fitness plans because they don't see the immediate results that they desperate want. They enjoy the benefits of working out but lack the discipline and motivation to stick with it. When this occurs, you’re likely to give up and quit without achieving sustainable results.
Now we’ve all heard it: “Work out regularly to stay in shape.”
Yes, working out regularly to stay in shape and most importantly healthy is important and beneficial to your overall well-being. We all work out for different reasons – to lose weight, build muscle, tone up, feel more energized, relieve stress or improve our cardiovascular system. The problem is that life can sometimes get extremely busy and it’s easy to de-prioritize exercising or maintaining a fitness plan. No one wants to spend their time in the gym working out for hours upon hours and not see results.
Additionally, there’s work, family, cleaning the house, shopping, spending time with friends and other responsibilities. You may even have experienced an intense exercise program in the past but over time, your progress seemed to slow down or you started skipping workouts due to other obligations or perhaps you even got injured. When this occurs, exercising becomes less fun and you start having negative thoughts about staying fit and healthy by saying things such as: “I can’t do this anymore!” “Why bother? I'm not getting any results" or "I look the same anyway so why am I doing this!”
But when you set aside time to develop and stick with a focused and disciplined approach to fitness as a healthy mindset and lifestyle, you WILL obtain results. Yes, it takes discipline, but once you make it a part of your daily schedule and routine, it will become a habit that you don't want to break. If you want it bad enough, you'll make it happen.
Trust me, I know it's not always easy. However, I've learned to truly commit to my health and wellness by setting realistic goals that worked within my daily lifestyle (and budget). Once I implemented daily practical habits and strategies with the right knowledge, my results became more permanent because I learned what to do and how to sustain it over time.
Below are some tips that will enable you to not only create a detailed fitness plan, but also continue it while enjoying the benefits of working out.
1. Clarify your goals. Start by asking yourself some questions to clarify your goals.
Are you looking to lose weight, build strength and endurance, or improve your fitness level?
If you have a busy schedule, it’s important to consider how much time you can realistically devote to exercise every week. It’s also important to consult with your physician about any limitations related to your fitness program (if this is your first fitness program, your doctor should be able to give you some guidance).
Are you disciplined to hold yourself accountable or do you need support (from a workout partner/group, a personal trainer or a fitness/wellness coach)?
Do you have access to facilities and equipment that will meet your needs? Does the cost of equipment limit what types of exercises you can do and where you can do them? If exercising outside, are there safe places nearby to jog or walk when weather permits? Do you enjoy being around other people when exercising, or do you prefer privacy and solitude? Are there people who would join you if they had time and interest (e.g., family members)? What type of activities would they be interested in doing and how will their availability affect the choices available to you?
As you can see, this is a critical step because your goals will determine the type of exercise plan that is right for you so you can meet your objectives.
2. Set up a regular schedule. Finding time for your workouts can be challenging. Make it a priority by planning for it and aim for consistency. You may find it refreshing to work out during your lunch break or after work or if your like me, you may prefer an invigorating morning exercise regimen to kickstart your day.
I know it's tough but if you can train first thing in the morning before the daily grind of your job kicks in and before life's distractions take over, you'll be more likely to stick to your routine. A good way to start is by choosing an activity that doesn't require a lot of equipment or special clothing and doesn't require a lot of time to complete. Make sure you choose an activity that appeals to you as well as one that will address your fitness goals.
In any case, create a routine that coordinates with the other demands on your time and stick with it!
3. Vary your workouts and create challenges. Mix up the exercises. Your body adapts quickly to familiar movements, so if you do the same exercises over and over again, you’ll likely get bored and hit a plateau unless you add variety. Vary the number of sets and reps you do each time you work out — even if it’s just by one or two more per set.
Go for variety in terms of intensity as well as activity. If you’ve been walking for two miles every day, try adding intervals during which you continue to walk but jog or run a bit between certain landmarks along the way i.e. a tree or telephone pole.
Exercise is supposed to be enjoyable. If it’s not, that’s probably why you haven’t stuck with an exercise program for very long. By keeping a variety of activities in your workout mix, you’re less likely to get bored and give up prematurely.
4. Avoid injuries. Injuries are a very common part of fitness, but they can usually be prevented. A good rule is that if you feel pain and then try to push through it, you could end up with an injury.
Treat your body like a finely tuned machine and allow it to fully recover between workouts. If you feel pain during a workout, stop right away and rest before continuing. If you’re just starting out in training and want to lose weight, it’s best to work with a personal trainer or coach first. A good coach or personal trainer (like myself) will help you master proper form and build a solid foundation before going at it on your own.
5. Reward yourself. After a great workout, celebrate your small wins. You can treat yourself to a healthy new meal or go all out and pamper yourself. If you’re having trouble sticking to your goals, consider investing in some kind of reward system that will give you something to work towards.
Showing up is the hard part. Your job is simply to get there — this is where discipline takes over even if you’re not feeling motivated. Build in some positive self-talk as well: Remind yourself why you’re doing this and what it means to you. Tell yourself, “I got this...It’s only 30 minutes!”
Hopefully, you’re reading this with a renewed sense of purpose. The truth is, there are a lot of things that you can do to ensure that your exercise goals are met. It may not seem easy to do but it's definitely worth persevering if you want to sustain and achieve transformational results.
Remember: clear goals coupled with well-planned strategies will help you make consistent progress towards your goals.
And that’s really what makes a difference in the long run.
So ask yourself the following:
What are some clear health and wellness goals I want to achieve daily, weekly and monthly? How do I plan to accomplish and sustain my goals?
The time is Now...You Got This!
For more information and services to help you to Elevate2Wellness, check out my website at https://www.elevate2wellness.com/.