How To Avoid The 6 Traps Of A New Exercise Routine
Getting in shape starts with good intentions. You’ve decided to turn over a new leaf and branch out when it comes to your exercise routine. You’ve bought the gear, have signed up for a gym or a program that’s going to make incorporating exercise into your life surprisingly easy.
But truth is, good intentions can often go off track, for any number of reasons. Here are some of the most common roadblocks to realizing the success of a fitness plan – and how you can make sure your own goals don’t go awry.
If you’ve decided on an exercise plan, motivation is what gets you going in the first place. But sooner or later, everyone hits a day when motivation peters out, and you end up feeling more plodding than pumped. When you feel a lack of motivation creeping in, realize that deciding to include fitness into your life isn’t very different from making other daily decisions such as what to eat or what to wear.
Consider fitness a regular, sustained part of your life that can help you maximize your best self. When you understand that motivation will come and go, just as it does with other activities in life, you won’t let an off-day of little motivation distract you from your goals – or become an excuse for putting your workout on the back burner and your gear back on the shelf.
Getting Real About Realistic Goals
Exercise and workout goals are no different than other goals in your life: The key to success is being realistic and pragmatic. Most likely, you won’t be able to completely change the way your body looks after just a few weeks of daily gym trips. And being able to lift the heaviest weights is probably a ways off. Many fitness plans have been derailed by setting an impossible target that only leads to feelings of defeat and even despair.
You’re more likely to achieve your goals by being realistic about where you’re at fitness-wise, and then setting attainable goals. It also helps to be kind to yourself and realize that fitness should be embraced as a welcome and beneficial part of your life, not as a burdensome chore.
Not Being Perfect Is OK
Suddenly, you find yourself in a group at the gym where people are effortlessly chatting about obliques, quads, delts, and more. Yes, you might temporarily feel like a fish out of water, but realize that you’re just learning to dip into this world of exercising and better health.
Starting a new exercise program or workout routine means learning something new, trying something different, experimenting with what works for you and what doesn’t. Keep in mind that every instance of losing your balance or running out of breath or failing to successfully lift a weight is an opportunity to learn. And remember that everyone around you that seems so physically accomplished and at ease as they workout started out the very same way.
Taking A Time-Out From Excuses About Exercise Time
For many people, life can seem unrelentingly busy. Weekdays and weekends blur together. Work responsibilities linger long past work hours. Family obligations mount up and day-to-day demands pile up. All of which can lead to the familiar phrase, “ I just don’t have the time to work our regularly.” But if you treat working out like any other appointment you may have, you’ll find you’re less likely to skip a session at a moment’s notice.
Take a long, hard look at your day, and determine where you can sacrifice 20 or 30 minutes of time, especially since exercise can help release stress and elevate your mood. Consider cutting back on streaming a favorite TV show, or shortening your lunch break. And even if you can’t commit to a full workout each and every day, remember that doing something is better than skipping your workout altogether and doing nothing.
Becoming Fit Should Fit Your Lifestyle
How you feel about working out can make all the difference when it comes to fitting exercise into your life. If you dread working out or if you feel it’s a boring, joy-busting chore, it goes without saying you won’t sustain your commitment to exercising. To maintain a positive workout attitude, find a fitness program or method that you’ll consistently enjoy – not just for a day or a week, but over the long haul.
Choose a workout space where you feel motivated, be it a home gym, a nearby sports complex, or the park down the street. As with most things in life, the more you like what you’re doing, the more you’ll be motivated to continue doing it.
Nix The Comparisons
They’re out there: The gym-goers who look to be in perfect shape. The Facebook and Instagram photos showcasing the absolute fit-and-trim. The posts supposedly meant to share information but that, instead, deflate inspiration. Comparing yourself to others seldom results in motivation; in fact, it can lead to a feeling of “Why bother trying?”
When you focus on your own goals, your own achievements, and your own milestones, you’re more likely to continue on a path of progress. No two bodies are alike and no two fitness paths are the same, which means “To each his or her own” should be your exercise mantra.