Staying fit is a struggle not because you don’t want to be healthy, but because keeping the momentum is never easy.
If you’ve been on this journey for a while, you’re probably familiar with the obstacles along the way. The weather could be bad, your family may call you for an emergency or bad days may just prevent your motivation to keep going.
Once your momentum is disrupted, starting over again is harder to deal with than when you first started. However, you can overcome each obstacle along your way when you follow the strategies used by experts. Here they are:
1. Have the right motivation
Having the right motivation helps you to hold on when the going gets tough. Your motivation must be strong enough to keep you going. Ask yourself why you want to work out.
Avoid short term goals like working out to look great in your swimming trunks for the coming summer or to look fit on your friend’s wedding day. This motivation will condition your mind to work out only for a short period of time.
Studies show that most young people go to the gym to improve their physical appearance, but for older people, it goes more than that. Older people work out for more valuable reasons. They see workouts as a way of reducing stress, increasing energy, and making friends. Your motivation may fall along these lines.
2. Start small
There’s nothing wrong with aiming high like getting the abs of the model you saw on TV the other day. But you can’t have that six packs abs without starting small. Getting off to a slow start means understanding that you don’t have to do it all at once.
Don’t pressure yourself by starting to exercise one to two hours a day. Your body needs initiation. Whatever your fitness regimen is, you need to introduce your body to it slowly at first. Otherwise, you’ll get overwhelmed and toss the motivation away. Doing it for half an hour for three to four days a week and resting for some other days is a good place to start.
3. You don’t have to really love it
When you’re a small child, you do things for the love of it. You go biking, swimming or running all because you love these activities. But when it comes to getting fit, you don’t have to love it. You only need to do it. The pleasure will only come when you feel how your body responds to what you’re doing.
4. Get real
Getting real means giving an assessment of what you want and how you’re able to have it. For example, you want to stay fit with a professional workout instructor but none is available in your locality. The best thing you can do is search for online instructors who are doing it with online students and enroll yourself.
If you’re living near the countryside, outdoor activities might work best for you. According to science, a “green exercise” is the best exercise to combat stress, improve your mood, and enhance your focus.
Another thing to consider is your workout schedule. You need to assess whether your body still has the energy to work out after office work or not. Or if you do it in the morning, will it not create a conflict with the children’s schedule for school.
5. Skip relying on willpower
Your willpower is the control you have over yourself on a daily basis. You often call it in your decision making processes like choosing between a blue shirt or a white shirt. It also helps you restrain from impulses.
Willpower is usually strong in the morning and gets weaker as it tackles several things all throughout the day. Struggling to resist temptations throughout your day deflates your willpower. And there are stressful days when your willpower isn’t at its peak.
Forgetting willpower and focusing on why you do what you do helps you much better to keep going.
6. Look for a purpose
Find a purpose in your life that helps support your fitness goals. This can give you a sense of fulfillment that is greater than the cost of not doing it. For instance, if being in nature makes you feel wonderful, then running or walking helps you be with nature. You’re not only making yourself fit, but you’re also making yourself feel way better than getting fit.
You can also combine a physical activity with other things like walking to the grocery nearest to you to buy the items you need in the kitchen, instead of calling for grocery delivery. The more physical you get in a day, the more you’re able to hit your fitness goals.
7. Make it a habit
Forming a habit is difficult only in the beginning. When you already get a hang of something, you’re likely able to do it with less effort and less mental energy.
Doing your fitness regimen on a regular basis will start to become automatic. When you’re starting to get results, your body is looking forward to doing it as soon as you can.
8. Give it a priority
The success of getting fit lies also in your ability to plan and execute. Working on two jobs or having a busy schedule is enough to keep you pushing away your fitness goals.
However, self-care must be at the top of your priority list. It’s not just possible to achieve success in other areas of life when you’re not healthy. And getting fit is one of the means to be in your best shape. Just plan how you’re going to do it, when and where. You don’t need to complicate things.
9. Keep it short
If your schedule is too tight, doing a structured exercise for at least 15 minutes will certainly do it. There are HIIT exercises on YouTube and other sites that you can do in 15 minutes or less. Doing these exercises on a consistent basis will give you amazing results. You can also extend your workouts on days when your schedule is not too tight.
10. Find out what works and what doesn’t
Stop blaming yourself if a particular exercise doesn’t work for you. It’s not the end of the world, though. If one thing doesn’t work for you, you can try another. The options are limitless. Just keep on pushing until you find the right regimen that is able to bring you to your desired shape.