You want to get in shape – great! So you devise a fitness plan, buy some shiny new equipment and the latest workout gear, even sign up at that trendy gym everyone is going to and then….well, you know the rest. According to some studies, over 50% of people who embark on a fitness plan will give up within 6 weeks, citing all kinds of reasons. Whether it’s not being able to find the time, difficulty following a plan or just simply losing interest along the way, we can always find an excuse to sit on the couch bingeing on Netflix and pizza than getting up and getting active. If you find you’re in the half of the population that finds it hard to stay on track, here are a few tips and tricks to motivate and get you moving!
Call a Friend
Whether you have a friend who is already a fitness fanatic that can show you the ropes at the gym, introduce you to his or her weekly class and keep you going on those early morning jogs or your best buddy also wants to get in shape and you can mutually support each other, there’s no doubt that getting fit with a friend makes it a lot more fun. And when something is fun, you’re more likely to stick at it, right? Making a plan and seeing it through is going to be so much easier when you have someone in your corner and to be accountable to. Even the simplest things, such as being picked up to go to the gym or finding cool new classes to take together will give you the motivation to keep going and, as a bonus, you have a buddy to go to the juice bar with after class (or any other kind of bar…we don’t judge!)
Let’s face it, some workouts are booooring! And what excites one person, such as pumping iron rep after rep at the gym, may send another running to the locker room. Unfortunately, as with most things in life, you won’t know whether you like it until you try it, which is why signing up for a variety of activities or classes is a great idea. Many gyms will offer a pass that allows you to do just that, so you get to experience a whole range of workouts while other places, such as martial arts or yoga studios, will offer their first class free to give you a taste of what they offer. And think outside the box too – fencing, wrestling or trampolining may just turn out to be your passion!
Write it Down
The best motivator for any plan is seeing results and, while you can check all your physical milestones in terms of weight loss (if that’s your goal) and your BMI, keeping notes on how you feel is just as important. More and more, health experts are seeing a link between exercise and our feeling of wellbeing – even going as far as ‘prescribing’ exercise to people with depression. And with the emphasis these days more on feeling good rather than how we look, noticing these changes can do wonders for keeping you going, even on a day when the last thing you want to do after work is hit the treadmill. Need more proof? Exercise actually releases those ‘feel good’ endorphins, which some refer to as nature’s anti-depressant! Keeping notes is a great tool to help you figure out what you like doing and what isn’t working for you (see tip #2!), identifying these positive changes in your mood, and seeing just how awesome working out can make you feel.
The most important part of any fitness goal is not to give up and giving yourself a break if you slip up – getting off track doesn’t mean giving up altogether, it just gives you an opportunity to refresh that plan and make it work for you this time!