We all know how important physical fitness is to our overall health and well-being. So how come it seems that our fitness routines derailed? For many of us, we know what we need to do, but the challenge comes in following through on our fitness plans. Here is a list of five common hang-ups that can ruin your fitness routine and how to conquer them.
1. Loss of motivation
Often times we lose our motivation when our goals aren’t carefully spelled out. For example, we may generally declare, “I want to lose weight,” or “I need to start working out.” But it’s hard to track your progress when you don’t have a definite target. It’s much more motivating to come up with a specific amount of weight you want to lose by a specific target date, such as, “I’d like to lose ten pounds in the next three months.” Then keep careful track of your progress by weighing yourself on a regular basis and writing down the amount of weight you’ve lost on a calendar or in a journal. Seeing the pounds come off is a big motivator to keep going until you reach your goal. If you happen to fall a little short, you can revise your goal by setting the target date back a little bit. It’s okay to make adjustments. We all experience setbacks from time to time. The important thing is to set a goal and keep working at it. If you aim at nothing, you’ll be sure to hit it. Instead, meticulously plan out what you want to accomplish with your fitness routine. Then keep your eyes on the prize and go for it!
2. Bad habits
It’s easy to fall off the wagon with your fitness routine if you let bad habits get in your way. Some of these bad habits would include oversleeping your alarm and missing your time at the gym, crowding too many extra activities into your schedule so you don’t have time to work out, or overeating until you feel too sluggish to reach your fitness goals. The best way to kick a bad habit is to replace it with a good habit. If you’re able to sleep through your alarm, set it louder and place it across the room where you have to physically get out of bed to shut it off. Pencil your workout into your planner and consider it just like a doctor’s appointment that you wouldn’t cancel except for an emergency. If you’re struggling with overeating sabotaging your motivation and progress at the gym, consider joining a weight loss group or meeting with a professional dietician to get back into the habit of healthy meal planning. Don’t let those bad habits discourage you. Conquering them is half the battle toward improving your overall physical fitness!
3. Lack of Discipline
Closely related to bad habits is a lack of discipline. You need to get to the point where you want to see a change in your physical condition badly enough that you won’t allow yourself to keep making excuses. Anything worth having is worth working hard for, and hard work can be painful. To overcome your lack of discipline you need to exercise extreme mental concentration on reaching your goals. You could listen to or watch motivational recordings from others who are further along in their fitness journey than you are. You could tape up motivating phrases in conspicuous places in your home, such as the bathroom mirror, beside your bed, or on the refrigerator. The great feeling of accomplishment you’ll feel when you learn to deny yourself and do what you don’t naturally want to do will be totally worth all the temporary deprivation you may feel.
Many of us tend to give up and quit when we get bored with our usual fitness routine. There are only so many crunches, sit-ups, or hours on the treadmill we can take before we just get sick and tired of the same old, same old. If you find yourself failing to stick to your fitness plan out of sheer boredom, it may be time to shake things up a bit by trying an exciting, new type of fitness activity. Sign up for that Zumba or Jazzercise class you’ve been wanting to try. Consider adding some weight lifting to your workout. You may want to try swimming or taking a walk or jog outside. Variety is the spice of life, so varying your fitness activities can transform your workout from stagnant to spirited.
5. Lack of Accountability
If you’re having trouble with steps one through three, you may need a little outside accountability. Finding a friend who is willing to go to the gym with you or even just regularly ask you how your workout is going can give you an extra push to help you keep going when the going gets tough. That same camaraderie can be taken up a notch further when you join a local weight loss group. You can take an even more individualized approach by hiring a personal trainer from a company like Halevy Life. A personal trainer can not only help keep you accountable for meeting your fitness goals, they can help you set goals that will keep you challenged without getting burnt out. They can also help to ensure that you’re doing exercises correctly for maximum benefit and minimal potential injury. Just make sure to do your homework and find a qualified personal trainer, such as one certified by a reputable organization like the National Strength and Conditioning Association, The American Council on Exercise, or the American College of Sports Medicine. They should be knowledgeable enough to push you without causing you to go past the limits of your body’s capabilities.
If you’re frustrated by falling short of your fitness goals, you’re not alone. But with a little extra determination and careful planning, you can find the success that’s been eluding you. Follow these simple steps and your routine will be back on track in no time!