Embarking on a serious fitness journey, developing greater strength and endurance, building muscle, and trimming down body fat are among some of the most commonly sought after personal goals for huge numbers of people.
Of course, however, it’s one thing to want to get in shape and to begin a new fitness routine, and it’s another thing altogether to actually make that routine stick, and to have a positive time with it, as opposed to ending up in a situation where you feel like the routine itself is dragging you down rather than lifting you up.
Judging by the large numbers of people each year who set New Year’s resolutions to get into better shape, but end up dropping those resolutions after a couple of months, having a few techniques and approaches at hand that can help you to make your fitness journey work for you can be very valuable.
Here are a few tips for making your fitness journey work for you.
Get in the habit of getting started quickly, and not letting your “monkey mind” talk you out of it
Whenever you have a workout coming up, there’s a good chance that the little voice in your head will, at least from time to time, try to talk you out of it.
If you allow that little voice to have too much of a say and to become too established before you move forward and take action, it can easily end up happening that you find yourself becoming completely disheartened, and believing that the workout is going to be a lot more painful and frustrating than it actually will, with the end result being that you will feel like quitting before you even begin.
This restless little inner voice is sometimes described as the “monkey mind,” and it tends to be behind a lot of the procrastination that we all end up indulging in on a regular basis.
Working to get into the habit of getting started with your workouts quickly, before the “monkey mind” can talk you out of it, is a good way of potentially sidestepping this issue and generating momentum in the right direction.
Find ways of adapting the process to make it enjoyable for you
All too often, people end up having a bad time with their health and fitness routines – and end up abandoning them – because they’ve allowed themselves to become convinced that they have to do things in a very particular way that doesn’t align with their interests and preferences.
When push comes to shove, however, you can just as well try this easy chicken enchilada recipe as any other recipe or foodstuff when dieting, as long as it fits into your daily calorie allowance. And you could just as well work out via dancing or hiking as you could via hitting the treadmill or lifting weights.
Finding ways of adapting the process to make it more enjoyable for you is one of the best ways of making your fitness journey work for you, as well as making it more sustainable.
Train, don’t strain
Today, many people are drawn to high-intensity training programs that lead to extreme exhaustion at the end of every session. But while this may work for some people, there are plenty of reasons to think that is not the right approach for many others.
Interestingly enough, certain health and fitness advocates from the past – such as Charles Atlas – emphasised that the correct approach to exercise was to “train, don’t strain.”
If you work out at a moderate intensity and end each workout session feeling tired but not completely wiped out, you will likely find it a lot easier to stick with your routine, and you’ll likely find your routine a lot more pleasurable, too.
Aim for balance in the other areas of your life as well
Any fitness routine is going to end up taking a lot out of you, and being a source of stress, if you are completely run down across the various other dimensions of your life when trying to exercise and get in shape.
If, for example, you are barely getting any sleep each night and are subsisting on a junk food diet, your workout routine is unlikely to be sustainable.
By aiming for balance in the other areas of your life as well, you can ensure that your fitness journey has the best possible chance of progressing consistently in the right direction over time.
This is a collaborative post.