Congratulations! You made a commitment to be a healthier you. It’s the greatest gift you can give yourself, your family and those who love you. I enjoy staying in shape because it gives me more energy to tackle the day, helps me feel great physically and puts me in a happier mood. BUT. It can feel overwhelming to get started and especially once the New Year enthusiasm starts to slip away. I’ve put together 5 tips that come from my own experience and from talking to experienced coaches and trainers. YOU CAN DO THIS! Here are 5 key fitness tips for avoiding a fail.
When exercise is a chore, you’ll be tempted to skip it or cut corners. Find an enjoyable fitness class at the gym, take up a sport or get active with your kids. Fitness can be fun, just look for new activities — or some that you haven’t done in a while — that will get your heart pumping.
Include A Friend
Make a weekly plan to meet at the gym (or park, rec center, pool) instead of a coffee shop. Catching up over a walk or light jog makes the time go by fast and you will likely keep that date! I love exercising with my husband too, when we can find the time together.
Make a realistic schedule
One of the most common challenges we all face is an attempt to maintain an unrealistic fitness schedule. Instead, start off with a schedule that you can maintain for the long haul. My goal is to get to the gym three times per week but I also enjoy weekly bike rides with my son and daily walks with my dog. This routine works for me most weeks but you need to find what works for you. It might feel at first like you’re setting a low bar, but setting a low one and clearing it feels a lot better than a high one and missing it altogether a few weeks out.
If that great post-workout high isn’t rewarding enough for you, create an incentive plan! Whatever keeps you motivated to give it all you’ve got. Whether it is a trip to the spa after meeting your first fitness goal or a new workout outfit, find little ways to celebrate you. Like to sew? Make a fun new headband! Or gift yourself an awesome new water bottle!
We’ve saved the best for last. This is, by far, the most important secret to success. Much like checking in with a boss at work, holding yourself accountable will keep you motivated. There are several ways to approach this, so choose one (or two) that will work for you!
- Hire a trainer – Personal trainers are wonderful at creating personalized fitness routines that help you achieve goals. Meeting them on a routine basis keep you motivated to stay on track AND follow through on your fitness commitment. They are also a wonderful source of encouragement.
- Track your progress – Maintaining a fitness log is easier than ever thanks to technology. Download out a fitness app to help keep track of your movements. Save your data and watch your progress. Monitoring your fitness level is even easier by wearing a tracking device. A (affiliate) Fitbit Charge will automatically calculate the number of steps you take and calories you burn each day (along with a whole host of other informative data!)
- Join a support group – Work out as part of a group, check in with friends online or become part of a Facebook support group. All three are sources of motivating praise, support and fitness guidance. A few of my friends joined local running groups and have been members for years! Together they train for races, go on weekly runs and encourage each other to go that extra mile. It is a fun way to meet new people and learn tips from fitness enthusiasts. You can also check in with friends virtually by sharing your fitness statistics. Several apps permit you to share your information so you can lend support and encourage your fitness buddies even if they live too far for a bike ride in the park.