A lot of us will dream big about being thin or just capable of walking up the stairs without taking a breather every 10 steps. Although many will come out of the gate like a fitness locomotive, several of us will lose steam rather quickly. I lost 20 pounds back in 2014, but gained it all back because I lost momentum and never got it back. This time, it’s different. I’ve found methods that allow me to stay the course. Here are my ways of staying locked in an exercise routine without losing that pep.
Ways to View the Exercise Routine
There are several things that can affect how you manage your regular exercise routine. Boredom, lack of proper motivation, disappointment and many other facets can change how you view fitness. The first thing we should focus on is our mentality towards being more healthy. The hardest part is being less negative about the prospect of working out.
Find Your Motivation
I have several things that keep me motivated this time. My children, this blog, my YouTube channel and dressing up as a Marvel superhero for Halloween are the biggest influences. One of my driving goals is to prove that you don’t need fad diets, personal trainers or expensive exercise machines in order to live a healthier lifestyle. I’m not saying these are bad things. I just don’t believe they are absolutely necessary. You need to find what motivates you and focus on that.
It’s a Life Decision
Like I said before, I lost quite a bit of weight inside two months. However, I didn’t make the decision to make fitness and health a part of my life. You don’t need to become a hard-core, gym-going, bodybuilder. But you do need to make the decision to find a different way to live. Obviously, what I was doing in the past wasn’t working. At one point I was well over 280 pounds. You’ve got to make the commitment to change or you run the risk of diabetes, heart attacks, stroke and a long list of other things that come with being overweight.
It’s Important Enough to Schedule
One problem that many people have, including myself, is setting up and sticking to a set schedule. For me, it’s because I have other things that I would like to do. But are those things more important than health? Not really. I tend to binge watch shows on Netflix and then claim my day is “so full.” In reality, it wouldn’t take much to squeeze in 20 to 30 minutes of an exercise routine. Scheduling this time should be just as vital to your day as a meeting with your boss. Choose a time when you’re normally free and dedicate yourself to that schedule.
Setting Goals the Right Way
It’s common for people to set goals that are grandiose and almost unreachable. It’s the way they view these goals that can weigh on progress. For example, I need to lost more than 100 pounds. That’s a lot of weight to lose and it could be easy to get disappointed in my progress if I don’t lose it inside of a month or two. That’s because most humans have issues regarding instant gratification.
Breaking Down the Goal
Set small goals that will play into the main objective. I usually focus on one day at a time. I try to make sure that my caloric intake remains in the green according to MyFitnessPal and that I earn a certain number of points in physical activity through Exercise.com. Don’t worry about the end result. As long as you can achieve a victory every day, you will reach your ideal weight. If you don’t meet your goal for the one day, it’s not a problem. Focus on getting back on track the next. There were plenty of times where I would gorge myself once or twice throughout the week and still would lose three to five pounds.
Smaller Goals Improves Your Mentality
Two of the biggest problems a lot of people have when it comes to being locked in an exercise routine is the lack of confidence and self-esteem. When you set smaller goals that are easier to achieve, you build your confidence to continue. The sensation of feeling good about yourself can be a powerful motivator – because everyone wants to feel good. Every victory, whether it’s a cardio workout or reducing your food intake each day, boosts your levels of confidence and self-esteem.
Choosing the Right Forms of Physical Activity
Choosing the best forms of physical activity for your exercise routine is vital to your overall success. It can be incredibly easy to get bored after a while, which could cause you to slowly quit. How many people do you know have pilates and workout DVDs gathering dust in the living room? I know quite a few. That’s because a lot of people will get bored of doing the same thing day-in and day-out.
Muscle or Weight Loss?
Building muscle and weight loss are somewhat different approaches to health. One will help you bulk up and add strength while the other centers attention around purely burning fat. Now, either way can help you lose weight. However, I’ve found cardio to be more effective at burning more calories while engaging the entire body instead of a few muscle groups. Personally, I like to mix it up throughout the week. For instance: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays are spent more on muscle development. Tuesdays, Thursdays and the weekend are focused more on cardio. It’s nice to toss around the 50-pound bag of dog food with little effort. You need to decide which is important to you and how you want to shape your body.
Mixing It Up
Nearly every workout routine I’ve seen that has worked successfully for others involves a series of different kinds of exercise. This is done to focus effort on key parts of the body while giving you something else to do. For instance, there are more exercises that can be done for the abs outside of planks. By mixing up different exercises into your routine, you prevent yourself from getting bored too quickly. Personally, I like to try and beat my personal records across a wide scope of exercises.
Pushing Yourself Into a Habit
Exercise can be just as habit forming as many other things in your life. A lot of people get almost addicted to “runner’s high,” the increase of endorphin through excessive physical activity, as it closely resembles the feeling they get after smoking marijuana. However, you don’t need to be that hard-core when it comes to getting yourself into a habit. Once you force yourself into a regular routine, it can become quite natural. Before you know it, you’ll be locked into an exercise routine without really thinking.
It’s not that difficult to improve your overall health. It just takes determination, perseverance and a change in mentality. Realize that what you’ve done in the past hasn’t been all that successful. Take a moment and understand that better health can lead to a plethora of benefits ranging from less pain in the joints to enjoying the outdoors without passing out on the park bench. Change the way you view exercise routines and give your body the best chances for living longer.
What kinds of things would motivate you for better fitness? What do you believe is your greatest weakness?