Tuesday, May 21, 2013

How To Stay Committed To A Fitness Program

One of the biggest obstacles individuals have with their fitness program is actually staying committed to it. There can be many reasons for this since we all live very busy lives and finding the time can be unrealistic at times.  However, what if we planned our whole day around getting our exercise in every day.  When you change you thinking and make it one of your top priorities of the day then, perhaps, fitting it in won't be an issue.

Here are some of my tips for staying committed to a fitness program:

  1. Make a plan for the week:  If you make a plan for the week, then you have prepared yourself for a particular fitness activity for each day.  This will also help you be better prepared on those days when you just don't have enough time to fit in anything extra like a workout.  On those busy days, doing a quick 30 minute high intensity fitness session would be more suitable.  I usually take it day by day and make adjustments to my fitness routine when issues come up unexpectedly.  Being a mother, plans can change on a hourly basis!
  2.  Pack clothing and equipment the night before:  To make things easier in the morning, pack your gym bag the night before your next day's exercise session.  Even if you plan to exercise at home, setting out your cloths and equipment may make it easier for you to actually do the exercise.  If youR life is frantic in the morning, you may forget to pack your fitness stuff then won't be able to fit in your workout for the day.
  3. Make realistic and attainable goals:  I think one of the biggest obstacles to staying committed to a fitness program is when people make unrealistic goals for themselves and end up quitting because they feel like a failure.  If your goal is to achieve fast results, then you will probably end up quitting because improvements in fitness and health takes time.
  4. Have it be not all about the weight loss: For most of us women who exercise, the ultimate goal is to lose weight.  But when we focus on only weight loss, it makes it difficult to measure the actual progress.  For example, typically when women start to exercise they will gain more strength from increases in muscle mass.  This is a good thing because a higher muscle mass will increase metabolism.  However, women get discouraged because they did not lose any weight.  In fact, they probably decreased in other factors such as arm or hip circumferences.  When I train a client, we try to focus on other components such as improving time on their fitness run or achieving a one minute plank instead of thirty seconds.  As the weeks progress,we keep focusing on achieving better overall fitness, and the weight loss becomes secondary.
  5. Have an accountability partner:  Whether it is a close friend or a family member, having the support to stick with your fitness program can make all the difference.  They don't necessarily have to participate in the program with you.  They may just check in with your daily or weekly to help encourage you.  It may also be beneficial for you to hire a fitness coach to get you started and committed to your fitness program.  Finding a professional with a degree in exercise science, can ensure you have a program properly customized for your fitness level.

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