For many people the intent to exercise may come naturally, but the actual exercise doesn’t. Like all good things in life, fitness is lovely to have but hard to get. You may begin a fitness regime in a blaze of glory, but pretty soon you’ll be bent over, gulping air, wondering why you’re putting yourself through this at all.
A commitment to being fit will usually entail some serious changes in lifestyle, and if it’s not thought through, the likelihood of failure can be extremely high. Let’s look at a five step plan to increase your chances of fitness success.
1) Go in with the Right Intentions
It is vitally important that you want to get fit for the right reasons. It has been proven time and time again that those with ‘internal motivations’ are far more likely to succeed than those with ‘external motivations’. ‘I want to be fit enough to run around with my children’ is a far greater motivator to succeed than ‘I want to look hot for my high school reunion’.
2) Take Baby Steps
When it comes to exercise, doing too much too soon is a recipe for disaster. You might feel like you’re gaining quick headway by running an extra mile every day, but this sort of system is one that will quickly put you off exercise, as well as being ultimately unsustainable. This is about undertaking a lifestyle change. You need to be comfortable with taking baby steps, and reaching your fitness goals gradually.
3) Keep Things Fresh
Monotony leads to boredom, which leads to quitting. Exercise should be fun. It should be exciting. It should be challenging. While running X amount of miles per day will be just the ticket for some, others will find it incredibly tedious. For those people, be sure to give yourself exercise options, so you can switch up your activity depending on how you feel on a certain day. Running might give way to tennis, weights or yoga.
4) Make it a Habit
Just as you (hopefully) wouldn’t go to bed without brushing your teeth, if you’re serious about your fitness, you should be just as uneasy about going to bed without exercising. Forming a habit is key to success. If exercise fits into a very specific timeslot in your day, it is far likelier that you’ll get up and do it. If you commit it to your routine for a while, it’ll soon become a habit that you don’t even think about.
5) Find a Partner
Moral support can be the difference between you making or breaking a fitness routine. If you’re answerable to someone, any motivation that you may lack yourself can be made up by your friend. And it works both ways; on their down days, you can be the one to get team fitness into gear. If you’re a competitive type, a friend can also help to push your fitness further than you may have thought possible.
When it comes to exercise motivation, everyone will be pushed by slightly different buttons. But if you’ve got the right foundations in place, and go about your journey with these few points in mind, you’ll be far more likely to succeed in your fitness quest.