It’s January 26th and many New Year’s Day fitness resolutions are already shot. Why is that? I’ve done it, you]ve probably done it, we’ve all done it. It’s easy to quit a fitness program, but why do we let it happen, sometimes, over and over again?
I have some thoughts on that subject. As with anything, there are many reasons why. Let’s go over a few and see if they fit:
- The place where you exercise is not convenient. It’s too far from home, or too far from work, or it is too crowded. Sound familiar?
- You are too sore from the first time you hit the gym. Been there, did that.
- You injured yourself, working out too hard or incorrectly. I did that too.
- Your exercise program didn’t fit your goals. In other words, you want to lose weight but are lifting heavy weights in a manner that builds large muscles.
- Lastly, I’m too busy and tired to exercise. Very common.
The good news is that all of these challenges can be overcome. First and foremost, figure out what you want out of exercising. What is important to you? Most people forget that it is important to your overall health, both physical and mental. Keep that in mind and make it a top priority. Then determine what you want to achieve. Weight loss, a toner body, lose the muffin top, prepare for a particular sport, increase muscle mass, etc. Just remember, in a world of instant gratification, results from exercise can take time. It is a marathon, not a sprint.
The next step is developing a plan that will help you achieve your goal. That is where an instructor can come in handy. A good plan will build on itself. You will start slow and work on core endurance first, and then go from there. Each phase will last about 4 weeks. This can help eliminate the old, I’m too sore excuse typically experienced in the first week, and lower the risk of injury.
Now that you have your new plan, determine when and where you can exercise. Maybe some of the exercises can be done in your own home, removing the inconvenience of going to the gym. Many exercises that can provide various benefits do not require weights or machines. They are posture bearing or cardiovascular based exercises. Determine a schedule and mark it on your calendar. Treat this calendar item the same as you would an important business meeting. In other words, don’t miss it. Having a workout partner can also help. It makes it more fun and each person can put a little pressure on the other not to back out or miss a session.
You definately want to keep your workouts interesting and challenging. You can do this by using different pieces of equipment for an exercise. For example, you might use a kettlebell for a specific exercise for a couple of weeks, then change it up to dumbbells. Keep increasing the intensity of your exercises every few weeks. That not only challenges you, but it pushes you through plateaus to where you will see improved results. It is also popular to add music or TV to your routine when possible.
There are tips and tricks to help ensure that you stick to your workout routine. But when the rubber meets the road, you have to want it. You should want it, after all, it will most likely lead to improved health. Most importantly, as with anything in life, you have to be disciplined. Now get your butt to the gym!