Have you ever started a fitness program with drive and determination, only to find your enthusiasm waning after a few days? If yes, then don’t fret because you’re not alone. The reasons for the gradual decline in enthusiasm could be because of slow results or simply because of the monotony of the exercise routine. Is there a way to work around this vicious cycle? Yes there is, and these 7 tips will show you how.
Set Achievable Goals
Make your goals realistic and easily achievable. For instance, don’t expect yourself to run for 30 minutes straight on your first day. Set a short term goal to walk or run for 10-15 minutes three days a week for the first week or two. Once you start to achieve these weekly targets you can plan for a long term goal such as completing a 10km run. Expecting too much in a short period of time is unrealistic and only leads to disappointment. Exercise is a slow and steady process, and the results only become noticeable after a few weeks of regular practice. So be patient, be consistent, and soon you will be on your way to physical fitness.
Make It Fun
Find activities that you enjoy. If you find running to be monotonous, alternate days between running and a sport of your choice. If there is a health club or fitness center in your vicinity find out if they offer kickboxing classes. You could join dance classes or Zumba if that strikes your fancy. What we’re trying to imply is that exercise doesn’t have to be a chore. In fact, you’re more likely to stick with a fitness program that you find fun, exciting and engaging.
Make Physical Activity Part of your Day
Schedule workouts as you would schedule any other task during your day. If you can’t head out to the running track or gym, there’s no reason why you can’t get your daily dose of exercise at home. You can run up and down the stairs, engage in a vigorous jump rope routine, go cycling, walk around the neighborhood, or use the internet to find some fun exercise videos which you can do at home. The options are endless, all you have to do is be creative.
Keep an Exercise Diary
Do you want to lose weight? Are you searching for ways to boost energy? Do you want to sleep better? If you answered yes to at least one of these questions, experts suggest that you should maintain a diary. In your exercise diary you can record how you felt before the exercise, what you did during each exercise routine, how long you exercised for, and how you felt after the exercise. This will help you work towards your goals and remind you that you are making progress, even if the physical changes are not entirely visible yet.
Exercise with a Partner
Having an exercise buddy who shares your fitness goals serves as a powerful motivator. Invite friends, family or co-workers to join in with you when you exercise. The mutual motivation will increase the chances of you sticking to your daily routine.
After each workout session, take a few minutes to appreciate how you feel post exercise. Exercise releases endorphins (feel good hormones) which are responsible for giving your mood that extra boost. If you’ve surpassed your personal target during the routine, reward yourself by decreasing the intensity of the workout for a short period of time. These rewards may be small, but they will work wonders to increase your self-confidence and internal drive. As far as external rewards are concerned, they can be reserved for the achievement of significant milestones. For instance, you can treat yourself to a new set of clothes when you achieve your goal of losing 5 pounds.
Fitness experts encourage the use of rest days during workout programs. A rest day is one day of the week, of your choice, which is dedicated to relaxation and recovery. On this day you do not need to do your daily exercise. Why is this break important? For two reasons: firstly, your body needs time to rejuvenate itself from the intense activity of the week, and secondly, a break will increase your motivation to get back on track the following day.
Stick to the Program, You Can Do It!
Following a fitness program requires drive, dedication, patience and stamina, but with the help of these tips you will never have to worry about going off track again. So set your goals and appreciate your efforts. Have fun with physical fitness, and remember, you can do it.