It’s January, so the gyms are suddenly bursting at the seams. Everyone decides to get fit, so they go hell for leather for a month. Then gradually, keeping up this exhausting routine becomes harder, and life gets in the way, so they quit. However, if you want to get in shape and build your fitness without burning out, then here are some tips to get you on the right track.
Don’t Follow The Crowd
When it comes to getting fit, there are loads of fads. Every month there is some new killer exercise or dieting method that seems to be everywhere. Be wary of these super routines or diets. They may work, they may not. What really matters is if they work for you. By all means, give them a go. But, don’t be afraid to decide it’s not for you. Find something that suits you.
When you first start exercising, it can be a good idea to try lots of different classes. Classes are a great way to get motivated and to learn how to exercise safely. There are loads of different exercise options out there, so before you decide on what you want to do, give a few different things a go.
You might be surprised by what you actually end up doing. If you find a class you love, then getting fit stops being a chore.
Make Exercise Fit Into Your Lifestyle
Figuring out when to exercise can make a world of difference to if you keep it up. Exercise should fit into your life. It shouldn’t change the shape of your life drastically. For example, if you treasure your Sunday mornings in bed, then don’t try to go to the gym at 7 am every morning. You will just resent getting out of bed and may just press snooze instead of getting up.
If you like to get to bed early, then don’t work out in the evening, it can rev you up and make it a little harder to fall asleep.
A way to make this work is to build up slowly. Just find a short period of time in your week when you are going to do something active. You could just plan to spend 15 minutes walking during your lunch break, or get off the bus a few stops early. Start small. Then as you increase what you are doing it doesn’t seem like such a big sacrifice.
Listen To Your Body
Your body is an amazing thing. It knows what’s best for you. So, if your body is saying that you have done too much, then listen. Ease off and take a break. Don’t feel like you have to push through ‘the wall’ every time you exercise. It’s not good for you, and it will just increase your chance of getting injured.
If you miss a training opportunity because you are not feeling up to it, that’s fine. Don’t take that as a sign you should quit. Equally, if you find you have more energy one day, then why not get out and do something active? Just keep listening to what your body is telling you and go at your own pace.
When it comes to exercise and fitness, goal setting can be really motivating. Try and pick something that you want to achieve that you can’t do at the moment. Then, as you train, you will have a tangible goal in mind. You can track your progress towards it, and when you achieve it, you'll feel amazing.
Your targets should be challenging but achievable. So if right now, you can’t do any full pushups, but you can do them on your knees. Why not set a target of 5 full push-ups? You can slowly increase the number of modified push-ups you do and then work in the full ones. Targets can be anything at all. Just remember that good targets are measurable and ambitious but ultimately achievable.
If you do no exercise at the moment, then don’t set yourself up for failure. Going from no exercise to being down the gym ten times a week is a terrible idea. You will get injured and you won’t keep it up. Increase your physical activity slowly. If something isn’t working for you, don’t give up, change it up. It would help if you found what works for you and that might take some time, and it also might change over time. Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone.
The biggest reason people give up on getting fit is that they are unrealistic in their expectations. They expect to see significant improvements straight away. When that doesn’t happen, it becomes hard to keep beating yourself up at the gym. Be smart. Go slow. Don’t give up.