A fitness routine takes time and commitment, you know that if you want to see results you need to stick with it but that’s not always easy. You have spent time thinking about what you want to achieve and have either put together your own training program or maybe a fitness professional has done this for you, but even though everything is written out for you to follow you are still finding it difficult to actually commit to it. Does this sound familiar?
Maybe in the first few weeks you were keen and followed your plan but then things started to slip a little, missing a session here or there, maybe taking time off for a holiday and now you just can’t seem to get back on track. That’s fine don’t worry about it, it happens, it’s time to start again.
Here are 3 top tips to help you integrate your fitness plan into your life so that it becomes part of your daily/weekly routine. Not everyone likes routine but sometimes it is necessary to achieve results.
Book The Time
Integrating your fitness plan into your life is the first and most important step. Whether you use a calendar pinned to the wall, a paper diary or reminders on your phone, you need to have something where you can book out the time for you to dedicate to your fitness. The best way to creating a routine is to have the time already set aside. There will always be things you need to do and tasks demanding your attention, lack of time is regularly the number one reason people fail to stick to a fitness routine.
Look at your schedule for the week ahead and add in your workouts. If you are struggling to find the space to fit them in then you may need to prioritize your workouts over other activities. If you are serious about wanting to achieve your fitness goals then you are more likely to make the time. Could you go to bed earlier and then wake up earlier to fit in a workout? Would it be possible to fit in a lunch-time workout? If you are meeting a friend maybe it could be a workout meet up where you can catch up and exercise at the same time? Not only is it important to schedule your workouts but also remember to include rest days. These are important to allow your body time to recover. Once you have scheduled in your workouts try not to move them.
Nutrition is a major part of a fitness program and therefore also needs time dedicated to it, ensuring your meals are healthy, balanced and providing you with the fuel your body needs. You may find it beneficial to pre-plan your meals for the week ahead, this makes grocery shopping easier and frees up time each day where you don’t have to think about what to cook, whether you have the right ingredients etc. If you want to take it one step further you could even prepare your meals in advance.
Make It Enjoyable
If you don’t enjoy what you do then it is unlikely you will stick with it. This can be a challenge as the exercises you do are going to be dependent on your goals, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have choices about what type of exercises you do.
Think about what you can do to make the time during your workout more enjoyable, for example listening to some music, music can be great for motivational purposes. Maybe having someone else with you will make the workout more fun, it could be a friend, family member or even join a group. What about the environment where you do your workout – a park, beach, field, home, gym, whichever works best for you.
Also keep in mind that the more you work out the better you will feel, when you exercise your body releases endorphins which make you feel good, and the more you associate feeling good with exercise the more you will exercise. So you may need to push through it to begin with but your persistence will be rewarded by the changes you will start to notice, be it fat loss, increase in muscle, increase in stamina, more flexibility etc. There is nothing more motivating than seeing the improvements you have been working towards. There are numerous other benefits you will get from exercising regularly and future you will thank you for it.
Change It Up
The last tip is change, changing your workout plan is an important part of a fitness program. Your body needs to be challenged for it to make changes, when it is consistently challenged and for long enough it adapts to what it is being asked to do. Once your body has adapted (this could take 6 weeks or more – depending on your program and on your body) then you to should think about making a change to your program. If you start to plateau it could be time to change your program. Change will also prevent boredom.
The changes can be done in many different ways, different exercises, different amount of sets/reps, different weights, changing speed, distance, type of training e.g. HIIT, circuit-training, plyometrics etc. Don’t change everything all at once though, either change the type of exercise, or the weights or the amount of set/reps etc.
Well that’s it, 3 tips to help you stick to your fitness plan. So go on, schedule that workout in, have fun and keep at it.