Hands up anyone who’s started a fitness plan, only to quit later on? Yep, thought so! We’ve all been there but the good news is, there’s always time to get on track for that elusive summer bod.
If you’re trying to get fit but feel like stumbling at the first hurdle, I suggest identifying the emotional triggers that spurred your original enthusiasm.
After all, psychology has as much to do with getting fit as physiology. Remember, the important first step towards fitness is actually wanting to do it.
Here’s some ideas for staying on track when the going gets tough…
- Find an exercise that doesn’t make you sweat tears of hate. If the thought of hitting the treadmill makes you turn the car around, find something that doesn’t instil despair. Why not try something outdoors? Kayaking, cycling and hiking are all just as beneficial – and really fun!
- Buddy up! I actually prefer to work out alone but working out with a friend who has similar goals can be really motivating. You can support each other to achieve better reps or greater lifts and you’ll be able to share a pep talk if you struggle.
- Keep it fresh. As a minimum, it’s recommended that you switch-up your routine every six weeks. For example, I like to try one new variation on a particular exercise every day. It prevents boredom but is also proven to improve your progress – a win-win!
- Be kind to yourself. If you can’t think of anything worse than the ten-minute drive to the gym or you’re falling asleep at your desk, it might be time to cut back a little. Just like not doing it, overdoing it can lead to failure too. If you miss a gym session, don’t punish yourself, there’s always tomorrow. At the end of a work out, congratulate yourself on a job well done. Positive reinforcement is a powerful technique for self-motivation.
- Assess the value of physical fitness. List the benefits of regular exercise and look for ways it can improve your personal life. What do you want? To get in that party dress? To slim for summer? To run about with your kids? Set achievable goals and celebrate them by taking a cute selfie, buying a new outfit or trying a new protein powder.
What’s the most important thing in the world you possess? Your health. Exercising for a few hours a week will boost your vitality, helping you to enjoy your wonderful life.
A weightlifting and nutrition nerd, I’ve tried it all! An eternal endomorph, I have to work really hard at keeping trim and honing those muscles, from gruelling HIIT sessions to desperately trying to up that deadlift. Aside from writing and marketing (the day job), my gym session is the best part of the day! – Stephanie Evans.