Starting a new exercise regime is hard, but it’s even harder to stick to it.
It’s easy to lose momentum and motivation without a concrete plan in place. Here, we list five easy ways to stay on track and keep up with your fitness goals.
1. Plan Ahead
Planning is crucial when it comes to committing to a healthy lifestyle. It’s all about seeing the bigger picture, and implementing it.
An example is the common practice of going to the gym and just picking machines at random, based solely on what’s available. While a random workout is better than none at all, you’ll get much more out of your time at the gym if you give yourself a set exercise plan and stick to it.
2. Make It Fun
Most people associate exercise with being tired and running out of breath, not to mention the soreness that comes a few days after a particularly gruelling workout.
Although fatigue and pain are a part of getting fit, training doesn’t shouldn’t revolve around these issues.
The irony, of course, is that exercising releases chemical that induce happiness and excitement. Breaking a sweat causes your brain to release happy hormones, which is the feeling commonly associated with “runner’s high” or how lifters feel after a good session.
However, there are times when those happy hormones just aren’t enough. That’s when you need to go to the extra mile to make your workouts fun again.
Try making a game out of your fitness by exercising with friends. Test yourself against a set of exercises to see if you can beat your personal record. Heading outside the gym is a great way to break up monotony, so treat places such as beaches, parks, or playgrounds as places to train.
3. Set a Regular Schedule
Many just think that the right time to workout is when they a spare moment or when they don’t have to go to work. But this is counterproductive for your body, as exercises done during random occasions will not be as effective as going at regular times, no matter how structured the workout is.
Similar to planning, having a regular schedule for your exercise is just as important as setting that appointment with your doctor. Both would result in a healthier body and peace of mind but unlike going to the doctor, exercising won’t cost you so much money.
Just like how it converts the air we breathe, the human body is one giant chemical process that revolves around a system of routines it needs to function normally. As such, workout routines are called routines for a reason.
Whether you prefer to do them during the day or night, having a scheduled routine makes you much more motivated to complete your workouts that effectively translates to achieving all the goals you set for yourself. It also removes most external factors from becoming excuses to skip training.
4. Try New Things
Following a fitness program is an effective approach to getting fit and strong but sometimes the same old routine can either get boring or somehow becomes inaccessible to you either by lack of equipment or time. During these instances you may become demotivated to continue and make the workout feel more like a chore than a way to strengthen yourself.
When this happens, it’s perfectly fine to try something new. It can be something as simple as a new exercise your friends have been doing or an entirely new workout routine altogether. You can have someone teach you how to include jump ropes or kettlebells in your routine (if you haven’t yet I suggest you do).
Trying new exercises won’t be considered as straying since this will act as a backup plan. This will also allow you to know more types of exercises which makes you that much more flexible when you need a workout on the go.
Lifting heavy is good but lifting often is better. No matter what new exercise you try, it’s all good as long as the body gets its share of regular sweat and tears. Specially tears.
5. Imagine Yourself on the Beach
Last but not the least, imagining yourself naked or about halfway there can become your single most effective motivation ever.
If there’s one thing people exercise for, it’s their bodies and how they want to make it look sexy and strong. With much emphasis on “look.” And what better time to show your body off than summer time? It’s the perfectly legit time of year to display your gains.
If you ever feel like slacking off on your workouts, imagine what you would look like when summer comes by and ask yourself: “Do I look good topless?” If the answer is yes, workout to maintain that body. If the answer is no then now’s the perfect time to get started.