Sticking to a fitness program is one of the best things that you can do for overall health and well-being. Being physically active on a daily basis helps lower high blood pressure, regulates sugar levels and can even help lower bad cholesterol while boosting good cholesterol.
Starting on a fitness program can be fun and exciting, but a lot of people tend to quit 3 months down the road. It helps to be motivated with short term goals that help you keep steady and be focussed.
Here we share some tips that will help you stick to your fitness program.
Keep achievable goals in mind
When you have a lot of weight to lose or if you need to build muscle, having goals will help you reach your fitness levels faster. They are something to work towards and look forward to. The ultimate aim of your fitness should be to strengthen and keep your body healthy. Avoid any crash/ fad diets or gulping down too many protein shakes.
Start slow and think about several short-term goals that you can map out for the next 3, 6 or 9 months. It could be something like fitting into a dress or increasing the weights during strength training. Remember being consistent and dedicated will help.
Schedule your workouts
You schedule meetings, doctors’ appointments, family functions etc, why not schedule your exercise sessions and plan to stick to them with utmost seriousness. You can contact a fitness trainer for a mix of workouts for each day of the month. This works whether you plan to exercise 3 days or the week or for 5 days. Aim for a mix of strength training and cardio for fitness and weight loss. If you want to build muscles, you will need strength training with rest days in between.
A definite time and place
Once you schedule your exercise routine stick to the timings and exercises mentioned. If you cannot exercise out of the home, create a small niche for you to exercises. This could be in the corner of a room with a yoga mat, a skipping rope, weights or an exercise ball. If you like to wake up early and exercise then fix a time and set your alarm to help you wake up in time. If you plan to exercise in the evening, then do not let anything deter you from doing this.
Bring a buddy
This is so helpful on days when you do not want to drag yourself out of bed. An exercise buddy can keep you focussed and motivated. It helps to exercise with a friend whose exercise goals and fitness intensity can keep you motivated to go that extra mile.
Something is better than nothing
We all have those days when for some reason or the other, we miss our exercise session. Well too bad we think, I can always work out tomorrow. Stop right there! There are ways in which you can still reclaim that lost exercise time. At office, you can do some light stretches, climb stairs or take a walk. Keep targets ready for such days. Do not stop or give up on exercise all together, it will cause a setback bringing you back to square one.
Come ready with your workout snack and always keep a spare set of clothes with you. This can help if you miss a home or gym workout, but have a chance to use the office gym instead or if you can attend an aerobics class close by. Set yourself up for success, sometimes something as simple as going home to pick up your snack/ workout clothes, before your gym session can cause you to miss your exercise session. Be prepared for anything you may need beforehand.
Weather can often play spoilt sport and can hamper outdoor exercises like your morning run. On those days, keep other options ready, try including a day of strength training instead. Or get a DVD aerobics or Tabata video that you can use indoors. You can sweat it out inside, while it is raining outside!
Listening to music while exercising can be a fun way of staying motivated. The rhythm and beats keep you going. You can download a play list that suits your exercise, preferably one that runs for 45 to 60 minutes. This way you don’t skip a beat (literally) when it comes to exercise.
Keep this little acronym in mind to remember the importance of FITNESS!