Getting your bum started on a new fitness journey can be challenging. Even more challenging is sticking with it and making a fitness a part of your lifestyle. A few simple steps can help you achieve your goals and stay fit!
1. Set Achievable Goals and Track Your Progress
What is your reason for making this change? Once you have figured that out, set an achievable and measurable goal then monitor your progress weekly (not daily- results don’t happen overnight). If your goals are health related, select a measuring tool such a blood pressure to determine your progress. If you would like to increase cardiovascular fitness or strength, keep a record of your workouts. You may track time, distance, and speed for cardiovascular fitness and weight, reps, and sets for strength. Perhaps you simply want to look better. While measuring your weight is a way to monitor progress, the most accurate measures are body measurements and body fat percentage. Exercise increases muscle mass (which weighs more) and decreasing fat mass (which weighs less). Measurement Tracker
2. Tell People About Your Goals
Telling people about your goals helps you stay accountable and keeps you on track. People will ask you how your new workouts are going and you won’t want to let them down. You don’t have to blast social media with your plans (unless you want to) but letting close friends and family know about your goals certainly helps you stay on track (maybe one of them will jump on board with you).
3. Find a Partner
Do you know someone that has similar goals as yours? How about someone that workouts regularly? Having someone to meet you at your workout location (trail, neighborhood, gym) will get you there. You wouldn’t want to stand-up one of your friends. If you are looking for a partner, consider joining an exercise group (running club, stroller strides, etc.), a gym or checking out group fitness classes. Many regulars to group fitness classes become friends making working out a social event!
4. Create a Plan and Make it a Part of Your Routine
Decide how often and when you are realistically able to fit exercise into your week. Picking a specific time of day helps to keep this a part of your routine. With busy schedules, choosing a time that works for you is key to making exercise a part of your routine. If you are a morning person, wake up a little earlier to fit it in. If you prefer to sleep in, try fitting in time directly after work. Sticking to this time, even if you are tired or just don’t feel like it, creates the habit of exercise. Trust me! You will feel better after a quick workout!
5. Have FUN
One of the biggest factors in exercise adherence is enjoying your workout. Choose something you enjoy doing. If you enjoy running, swimming or biking (or at least the ability to zone out), then you have a great go to exercise. Many people don’t like exercising at all. This is when you really need to try new things. Check out a Zumba, Ballroom Dancing or Sh’bam class if you like to dance, an aqua class if you like to be in the pool, a strength, HIIT, or Tabata class if you just need to be told what to do, or maybe you enjoy being outside- go hiking, walking, riding! You may be thinking I don’t like any of these things, then perhaps you will rely more on the social fun you can have while exercising!
6. Be Forgiving of Yourself
Hey! We all fall off the horse sometimes! Don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s okay! REALLY! Get back on that horse. The sooner you get back into exercising, the easier it will be to get into your routine.