When it comes to starting a fitness routine, we all begin with the best of intentions. We’re full of motivation and feel ready to throw ourselves into exercise, ready to be feeling fitter and healthier within a matter of weeks. But then… we actually start exercising. We remember just how hard it is, how time consuming it can be and how much we really don’t want to drag ourselves out to the pool, gym or running field when its cold, wet and dull outside. Shortly after setting your goals, you might find them falling by the wayside as you slip back into your old, sedentary routine. If any of this sounds familiar then you’re certainly not alone, every year gyms are packed in January and empty again in February as people fall off the wagon. But this doesn’t need to be you, even if things haven’t gotten off to as good of a start as you’d have liked, don’t wait until next January and do it all again. Pick it back up again, and bear the following things in mind.
1. Set realistic goals.
One of the very best things you can do in terms of health and setting goals is to be realistic. In a motivated moment of scribbling down goals onto a list, you might decide that you want to hit the gym five times a week for an hour each time. Once you start trying to do this and realize you have neither the time or energy, the whole plan can go out of the window.
Instead, start as you know you will be able to go on, getting fit takes time and commitment and needs to be something you can fit around the other things in your life. Maybe you could attend two gym sessions a week, then go swimming or bike riding with the kids at the weekend. That way you’re still exercising but don’t need to find childcare and it can be a fun bonding activity. If you know you can only commit one or two hours a week to designated exercise, find ways to incorporate activity day to day. For example, could you walk or cycle to work?
2. Take Up Something New.
Does your fitness routine tend to stop because you get bored? One thing to remember is that exercise will always feel like hard work but it shouldn’t feel like punishment. If you really don’t like running then don’t run. If you hate hiking then stop going on hikes, and if you can’t stand getting dry after getting out of the pool then don’t go swimming. Instead, find something you do like!
It could be anything from cycling to horse riding to rowing, martial arts or some kind of sport. The novelty of trying something new can give you the boost you need to get back into things, and if you discover that you’re feeling bored again after a few weeks or months then simply switch it up again. Instead of giving up completely, try something new!
3. Buy Some New Workout Clothes.
When you feel good in what you’re wearing, it can give you an added boost of motivation to get out there and exercise. So treat yourself to some new gym or sports gear that you feel confident in, even just purchasing some new exercise clothing can help to get it into your head that you’re going to be exercising again which improves your frame of mind.
And it’s important to remember that it’s your frame of mind that will be the cause of your failure or success. Start being positive, visualize yourself after months of exercise and picture how toned you will look. You could even try meditation and hypnosis to help get your head in the game. If you’re wondering does hypnosis work the answer is yes! It can be used to help you achieve all kinds of goals, including fitness goals.
4. Rope in a Friend.
When you have someone to workout with, exercise becomes more fun. You can motivate each other and even have a little healthy competition can be a good thing too. Just having someone to go with to attend new classes and sessions can make everything feel less daunting and mean you’re more likely to go and take the plunge rather than backing out. If your partner is also wanting to get fit, working out as a couple can help to improve your relationship. You’re far more likely to keep it up when you have someone working out with you.