This is a great guest post from Mitch of Home Fitness Manual. Thanks Mitch!
Do you really have to plan your whole life around exercise?
For most people trying to get in shape centers around heading out to the gym and spending 1-2 hours at a time to get their “dream” body.
If you’re doing this everyday, it’s no wonder why exercise feels like a chore…because it’s treated just like one. The real secret to getting a fitter body is simply through Consistency.
The best way to stick to your workout plan is by making exercise a habit. To help you get started, I have five tips that I feel will get working out on a regular basis while not letting exercise consume your life.
1. Let Your Energy Guide You: This is easily one of the more practical tips I feel I’ve come across to help me stick to my daily routines. The premise is pretty simple – Only workout when you can be the most engaged with a routine.
If there’s a certain time of day when you regularly run out of steam, note that this is NOT when you’ll be wanting to pencil in some exercise time. Even if someone has the most hectic schedule ever, you don’t want to allow yourself to give into some couch and TV time instead of heading out for a run, or lifting some weights.
But what are you supposed to do if the most convenient part of your day is when you’re the most haggard?
I know the lure is there. But sometimes sacrifices (if you think of them as that) need to be made for the things you want. For a healthier and fitter body there’s almost certainly a trade off that needs to be made somewhere down the line. Typically, what this means is you’ll be scheduling a workout in place of something else that normally would vie for your attention. What you decide your workouts will take priority over is all up to you, though.
2. Know Your Goals: When we’re inspired to live and eat healthier no goal will ever seem out of reach. However, there is a very big difference between having long-term goals and short-term goals.
Losing 5-10 pounds in a month or two is doable. This usually falls in line with a long-term goal of having a leaner body. The good thing about this kind of time frame is it’s a realistic one.
Shedding body fat is a slow go most of the time. Luckily, there are ways to speed up the process with the right know-how . However, it’ll take time to drop down to a target weight without killing yourself by scrambling to make make it happen in a hurry.
Now, losing 5-10 pounds in a week or two, um, yeah…that’s not feasible, nor healthy. I feel losing body fat is a more important task than simple aiming to losing “weight”.
When the alarm clock goes off each morning our goals short-term and long-term should play off of each other. Getting stronger muscles means putting the body under a certain amount of tension in a certain way. Getting a leaner physique means eating cleaner and sweating more. But these changes happen over time. They can’t be squeezed into a single weekend with the hope of getting the results you want.
3. Be a “Little” Selfish: I know a lot of people will find this idea a little hard to grasp. Yet, it doesn’t have to be all one-sided. An example I want to share with you is a friend of mine purposefully schedules a workout on Saturday mornings. She already regularly works out during the week. However, she always feels rushed most of the time to get on with the rest of her day. So, one day she decided her family could do without her for at least a couple of hours on the weekend.
At first it was a rough transition. Her husband and kids grumbled when “Mom” headed off to the gym because they were stuck at home with nothing to do. They didn’t have school or work to distract them, and when “Mom” got back they whined about how bored they were the whole time.
But my friend stuck to her guns. And, eventually, her time away became a welcomed habit for all members of the household. Dad and sons started enjoying their “Guy” time, while Mom got the “Me” time she needed.
The goal of being a little selfish isn’t so much to say it’s all or nothing, but to make other’s realize you need your time just as much as they need theirs.
4. Keep Motivated: I like to think of Motivation like being a glass of water. You’ll find there are times when it’s full to the top, or sometimes when it’s almost down to the last drop.
If you find you need a little bit of help in keeping your glass full every now and then there are ways to help keep yourself motivated to exercise . My favorite method is using photos of who I recognize as great examples of what fit looks like (to me) on film or in magazines.
It’s natural to be inspired by the hard work someone else has put into their physique. So, if you want to look like such-and-such celebrity…go for it! Clip a picture of them and stick it on your fridge. Use it as a way to remind yourself what you’re after.
Understand, though, you’re using their image as a guide to help better yourself. Don’t get frustrated if you can’t come away with the exact shape and tone of their legs, or if your abs simply aren’t structured like theirs. You are you. Enjoy what you achieve because no one can ever take that away from you.
5. Share Your Goals With Others: Placing a bit of accountability on oneself is a great way to up the ante on your fitness future.
The first people who come to mind are probably going to be your family and co-workers. This is great if you have that kind of relationship with them. But, I actually feel it’s better to clue in your closest friends first. They’re usually the people who are the most supportive to all of your endeavors…and that’s what you need the most to keep moving strong.
When you’ve started to nail down a method that keeps your training consistent you’ll be less-likely to come across any “haters” who’ll say it’ll be too hard and you’ll never be able to do it. Once you’ve figured out how to keep with your routines it’ll feel great to say, “I already have…what about you?”
Lastly, I know there are certainly other ideas you can use to help make your workout routines happen like clockwork. But by applying these five tips you’ll build the right kind of understanding to keep yourself on track with the workouts you schedule.
What other ways do you use to stick to your workout plan?
Mitch Wright is a fit dad who’s goal is to inspire his daughters to live a healthy lifestyle. He runs the blog Home Fitness Manual , where he interviews†expert trainers and respected authors to prove you donít need a gym membership to get in great shape.