Do you start a fitness routine, but can't seem to keep it up?
Guest post by Andrew Fox.
For most people, getting in reasonably good shape doesn’t seem to be the problem, it’s maintenance that really gets them rattled. They find inspiration at the moment and go all out to become fit to look good for an occasion such as a wedding or a graduation picture or the year-end company event. However, as soon as the event has passed, they quickly lose interest, and their inspiration gets flushed down the toilet.
Then there are others that make consistent efforts for as long as 6 months to a year, but either due to frustration or pushing too hard too quick fail to cultivate the habit of exercise. Often they will start off a program with great zest and make unrealistic commitments. They might even sustain them for relatively long stretches, such as exercising for 2 hours/5 days a week and cutting all junk and sugar for a few months. However, in my experience, such unrealistic commitments often burn the person out and leave them feeling exhausted and unable to sustain for longer periods.
The keys to staying fit for life can be found in the development of the following time-tested habits. These 6 habits cultivated and applied over time will help you stay the course as well as find enjoyment in your fitness journey and routine.
1. Know Your Why
Sitting down and really asking yourself why you wish to be fit is perhaps the most crucial step you can take towards cultivating a firm resolve towards achieving your fitness goals. Your why is much more powerful than the allure of losing weight for a function or an event. For example, on doing some introspection, you may discover that the real reason you want to stay fit is so that you can play with your kids and grandkids without worrying about your health. Such a revelation will help you commit to your exercise, even in the days and weeks when you don’t feel like it.
2. Develop a Firm Resolve
The people who successfully stay fit all year round, year after year, have developed a firm resolve. They know that real success comes from understanding that commitment isn’t about what you do when you feel good, but rather it’s about doing what you said you would long after the mood you said it in has passed. Simply put, developing commitment requires that you remember your goal and work from there rather than allow the whims of a mood or feeling to dictate your actions. By doing what has to be done regardless of how you feel over time, you develop a warrior’s resolve.
3. Focus on How You Want to Feel vs. Look
As I mentioned earlier on, knowing your why is your biggest ally. If you’re only motivated by a media-fed image of fitness, you might be successful for a while, but you certainly won’t develop the lifelong passion for fitness and being healthy. So shift focus towards how you wish to feel rather how you wish to look.
4. Keep A Journal
Some of the most successful fitness stories I’ve had the privilege of being a part of, all kept journals of the workouts and exercises they performed. Keeping a journal not only tells you where you are but also gives you ample motivation to get to where you have to when things get tough. It also tells you at a glance for long you’ve been consistent and where you’ve failed to be regular so that you’re not wasting energy getting frustrated with your program.
5. Eat Whole Foods
Nutrition is a major part of maintaining fitness; even more so than the actual exercise program. However, rather than being a reason for worry and anxiety, learning to eat healthily can be the key to success for someone who doesn’t have the inclination to exercise several times a week. And, don’t worry it isn’t as tedious as counting calories at every meal and cutting out all junk and processed foods in a day or even a week.
You simply have to start choosing more whole foods while understanding that there are large caloric repercussions of eating a diet of processed foods. Over time you will learn to enjoy the taste of whole foods and who said you can’t sneak a few calorie dense meals after a long week of commitment.
Andrew Fox is the founder and CEO at Aim Workout. As a passionate fitness professional and triathlete, there is no adventure he won’t embark on. From mountain biking, deep sea diving, rock climbing, and cycling to boxing and mixed martial arts, Andrew has a penchant for the wild and extreme.