It’s the season of New Year’s resolutions, and getting fit is consistently near the top of everyone’s list. For such a popular goal though, it can be really hard to achieve. Here are five tips to help you see it through.
Don’t declare an intention to jog every morning if the thought of getting up with the roosters fills you with dread. Morning workouts are great for some; others prefer to hit the gym after work. Find the option that works best for you personally.
When making your exercise plan, lean into your natural tendencies. This is especially important if you generally are not a big fan of exercise. If you schedule a non-favorite activity in a non-favorite time of day, you are far more likely to give up and skip it altogether.
The same is true regarding your dietary regimen, as well as any other accompanying habit you may want to adopt. For example, if you love sweets, you likely will not succeed in sticking to a “no sweets month”. If you hate leafy greens, forcing kale and spinach into your diet is going to make you miserable. Don’t make things unnecessarily difficult by forcing yourself into a strategy that doesn’t suit your personality.
If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, you won’t be motivated to keep doing it. Take some time to figure out what exercise you really enjoy.
Some people enjoy the traditional fitness training options. They go to gyms, run, take pilates classes, play sports, or lift weights. Others rather take up some creative form of exercise such as ice skating or competitive dance.
Still other people prefer to go modern and utilize smart equipment and data-driven personal training plans. You might want to try out electric muscle stimulation, a.k.a. EMS training, or incorporate other non-traditional methods in your exercise regime.
Whatever you decide to do, it should be something you can commit to. If standard gym isn’t your thing, look into classes, amateur teams, workout buddies, and local exercise groups. Also, this is the perfect opportunity to explore something new. If there’s an activity that you’ve always been curious to try, give it a go!
Revise your diet
Getting in shape is immensely harder when your eating habits are unhealthy. If you really want to improve your physical condition and stay well, resist the temptation of faddy cleanses and fashionable diets. Those aren’t sustainable nor healthy, and they can even be downright damaging.
Instead, commit to long-term changes. Gradually limit or cut out unhealthy foods and drinks. Learn how to cook your own food. Learn about calorie intake, weight-to-height ratio, and your particular metabolism. Challenge your limits, but don’t push yourself so far that you won’t follow through.
Setting overly ambitious goals can be a recipe for a fitness disaster, especially if you are new to working out regularly. Big milestones are daunting, alien, and likely to make you give up before you even honestly commit.
Instead, set smaller, more reachable benchmarks. For example, instead of a rigorous routine of weightlifting five times a week, opt for some resistance training and cardio three days out of seven. This gives you time to rest in between, enjoy your results, and build up the motivation to keep going.
If you don’t quite know where to start, discuss your desired outcome with a personal trainer. They will assess how realistic your aims are and what your body can currently do. Your trainer will help you make a workout plan that aligns with your abilities and sets you on the right track towards your fitness goal.
In other words, keep your ultimate goal in mind. Whether that’s running a marathon, achieving a certain appearance you find attractive, regulating your overall health, or anything else, remember why you started.
Having a reason that’s important to you will keep you going when you lose the willpower. When it comes to getting into shape, a bit is always better than nothing. So even if it’s just 20 minutes a day, remember why you started and keep your new healthy habits going.
To sum up, focus on short-term benchmarks and realistic parameters. Choose workouts you enjoy. Build a routine that fits your natural rhythm. Take a strategic approach to any dietary changes, and always keep your motivation in mind.