Getting and staying fit takes a huge amount of willpower and self-discipline. We see many people go through phases – the “New Year’s resolution” phase, the “perfect summer body” phase or even the “instructed by Doctor” phase. More often than not, these phases are short-lived. Some may last a few weeks and then fall off the wagon. Some last for months, but once they reach their targeted event, their motivation takes a dip and they fall back into their old, less active routine.
Keeping fit can take up a lot of time as well as requiring a huge amount of motivation, so when people are leading busy lives, it becomes even more difficult to stay on track. Once that routine of exercise is broken, some people give up entirely. One missed session can be the beginning of the end and all of that previous hard work goes to waste.
It is really important to keep on track to maintain fitness. Here are some of our favourite tips for helping to keep you motivated and on the right track with your workouts:
Set up a schedule
If you are fitting workouts in whenever you have some free time without a schedule, then it’s all too easy to go a few days, or even longer, without committing to a workout. By having regular times and days set up, you know when you are due to do a workout. Let’s say you are due to go for a run but the weather doesn’t look too great – you might think “I’ll go later when the weather is looking better”, then you might end up missing it completely. If you have a time and stick to it, regardless of other factors and distractions then you are more likely to keep on track.
To be able to track how well you are doing, it’s vital that you set yourself goals to achieve along the way. Whatever your goals are, you’ll get motivated to hit your targets. So, if you are looking to lose weight, gain muscle, improve your running times or the distance that you can run, set yourself one major specific goal to reach, weekly targets to aim for, and then break these down into easier, more manageable daily routines. Having one over-arching specific long-term goal to shoot for, and more easily attainable shorter-term goals to meet each week, will make staying on track with your fitness a lot easier.
Get a workout buddy
Find a friend who wants to get fit and go on the fitness journey together. Knowing that you’ll be letting them down if you cancel will motivate you to stay on track. Also, when one of you is not feeling too positive about doing exercise, you can try to encourage each other. It’s more fun when you do a workout with a friend or even a small group of you and you can have it as part of your social life, as well as your fitness plan.
Join a class you enjoy
One of the best ways to ensure that you keep doing a workout is by joining a group that’s doing it. So joining a running group, for example, will help you to keep going and seeing others carry on when you want to quit will also stop you from quitting. Even if you’re a novice, you’ll find lots of clubs and groups that are open to all abilities. Bootcamps are a great group exercise and people love to have that added motivation of having an instructor shouting at them! If you can’t afford a PT, then a group session is the perfect option.
When you do hit your goals, make sure that you reward your achievements. Maybe buy yourself a new item of clothing or something else that you like, to congratulate yourself. Then when you achieve your next goal, allow yourself another treat, so that you’re always looking to the next accomplishment. Once you get into the routine, people say it gets addictive so once you have broken that first few months it should get a lot easier to stay on track.
What are your tips for staying on track with your workouts? Share your opinions with us in the comments on Facebook.