Frustrated by Your Fitness Routine? Here's How to Find a Better One for Your Needs
At one point or another, we've all enthusiastically started a fitness routine, only to quit it a month later. We hear about a great new workout and get swept up in all the promises of amazing physical transformation. After a bit of research, we dive in head first, proud of our newfound commitment. We initially feel fit and rejuvenated. However, a few weeks later, when we still haven't seen any change to our scale or bodies, discouragement seeps in.
Sound familiar? How many of us have then abandoned the fitness plan despite all the money spent on new workout clothes, equipment or classes? It doesn't have to be like this. A good way to get off this fitness "rollercoaster" is by changing our approach to it. Instead of focusing on the end result - losing weight, toning or gaining muscle, getting healthier - we need to focus on the process of getting fit. And yes, it is a hard, sweaty, grueling process. The sooner we acknowledge this, the sooner we will succeed in reaching our goals.
Commitment is Key
We all have different bodies and different needs. It shouldn't surprise anyone, then, that each of us responds differently to certain types of fitness routines and exercise. However, this individuality is often absent from the marketing of fitness trends. We need to remember that there is no one fitness routine that is perfect for everyone.
Keep in mind that no matter our body weight, height or fitness level, the best exercise programs are the ones we can commit to over the long haul. There won't be any physical results without consistent effort and hard work. Even when we are too busy, too tired, or too sore, our bodies need to get used to daily physical activity. Plus, we need to find a suitable way to incorporate healthy eating into our daily lifestyles.
4 Questions to Point You in the Right Fitness Direction
To achieve optimum health and fitness, we need to listen more to our bodies. We need to let them guide us in finding and trying out different wellness options that we can incorporate into our lifestyles long-term. It won't be easy, but it will be rewarding, physically as well as mentally.
So, how do we find a fitness routine and/or diet that will help us achieve long-term health and happiness? The next time you begin - or hear of - a new fitness plan and want to know if it's the right one for you, ask yourself these four questions:
1. Is it enjoyable?
While you don't have to be a diehard fan of the new workout, you should enjoy it enough to help keep you motivated even after the novelty wears off. It needs to motivate you even if you start feeling disappointed at not seeing results fast enough. You should also ask yourself "Do I hate doing it?" If the answer is yes, find an alternative.
2. Is it effective?
After two months of continued exercise, test your progress. Try a workout that you did when you first started. Can you do it at a faster pace? Can you complete more reps or lift heavier weights? Do you notice a difference in your body weight or measurements? How about your cholesterol level or blood pressure?
3. Can you maintain it?
We all juggle different work and life demands. No matter how much you love your new fitness endeavor, if you don't have the time to commit to it, especially over the long term, it won't be sustainable. Or worse, you can burn out if you approach it too intensely while trying to make up for lost time. Create a realistic fitness time table that you can stick to.
4. Do you have a support network?
In today's digital era, you don't have to look far to find an online community of like-minded people - no matter the activity or goal. Search social media or the Internet for forums or groups where you can find and voice support and information pertaining to your fitness goals. Such support will help you stay motivated and accountable, especially during challenging times.
A Way of Life
Before you can find the right fitness routine for you, it's important to remember that one size does not fit all. Choose a plan or program that best fits with your personality and likes. After all, the most successful workout is the one that you do consistently. And remember to think of fitness and exercise as something you love to do as part of your daily lifestyle.