We all know there is no single exercise plan that is going to work for everybody. Ask anyone who has tried the any one of the millions of “fitness fad” workouts out there; they don’t all share the same success rates. Everyone likes their different workouts, their different routines and have certain programs and plans that work for them.
Yet if you ask anyone who has succeeded when it comes to their fitness goals, they all have one key factor in common that led them to reach their success: consistency. No matter what type of exercises you are doing, the main thing that matters is that you are actually doing it, and committing yourself to your workouts.
You first need to find a physical activity you enjoy doing to ensure you’ll stick to it. Yet even once you’ve found the activity, there is still no guarantee you are going to stick to it and commit to fitness as a part of your daily lives for good.
According to this online article from Men’s Health: How to Be Fit for Life, “more than 91 percent of people who start an exercise regimen bail early, before the habit has taken hold. And 61 percent throw in the barely used towel with the first 7 days.”
No matter what they all say their excuse is, lack of time, busy schedule, work restraints, family commitments, it all leads back to one thing: lack of motivation. If you have that motivation to fit fitness into your life, you’ll be able to conquer any excuse out there.
Below are a few Tips to Help You Commit to Fitness while infusing it into your lifestyle for good, stick to your work out plan, and kick the excuses to the curb:
- Aim for Four. Try aiming to fit in at least 4 workouts a week. According to that Men’s Health article, “in a recent survey, the National Center for Health Statistics found that only 19 percent of Americans perform three or more intense workouts a week.” Only 19 percent! That is a drastically low number. From this you can see it’s unrealistic to expect those who are trying to begin fitting in fitness into their lives and gain that motivation to suddenly start exercising 6 or 7 days a week, they’ll burn themselves out. Fortunately more than 3 days a week is not necessary. You can still receive just as many benefits working out hard three times a week opposed to moderate level 6 days a week. So if you aim for four, even if you fall one short, you’re still reaping in the benefits of physical activity.
- Be a Weekend Warrior. Although many have busy weekends are full of family commitments, and running errands, weekends are usually not as jam-packed as weekdays. If you save one workout for the weekend, on a day you will have more time to fit it in, you’ll only have to fit in 2 or 3 more sessions during the weekdays.
- Go hard, not long. As we’ve stated in a previous post Are Longer or More Frequent Workouts Best?!, “the more frequent you make your workouts the more likely you are to stick to a healthy active lifestyle.” So don’t think just because you are not able to fit in an hour long sweat session that your workout is a waste. If you like the longer workouts, by all means go for it, but don’t think it’s the only way. Actually according to that Men’s Health article a study was done by the YMCA that found men who performed shorter workouts gained more muscle and lost more fat, because they were able to workout at a higher intensity throughout their workout, “rather than just going through the motions of a long workout.”
- Make a Goal. Setting goals for yourself is a great way to motivate yourself, as stated in this article Ways to Stay Motivated to Run on the Treadmill, set your goal of either time, distance or calories burned before your treadmill run to motivate you throughout your workout. We are psychologically wired to thrive on that feeling of reaching a goal, so by setting a goal for yourself, you’ll be more inclined to want to fulfill your expectations. Better yet, make it a competition and challenge a friend. Making it a friendly competition will not only help keep you motivated, but to try that much harder when pride or even an actual price is on the line.
- Track Your Progress. As we’ve stated in a previous post found here, keeping track of your workouts and the progress your making is a great motivator. All of your progress is not always seen physically, such as a drop in pant size. Yet keeping track of the weight you are able to lift, the time you are able to push yourself, and the minutes of exercises done a week can all improve without you noticing if you were not keeping track, motivational inspiration that could have been missed. Men’s Health also suggests gauging the performance of not only your workouts, but of your overall job performance for the day. The article stated, “it’s likely you’ll find that you score higher and get more done on the days you exercise, despite taking time out for your workout.”
- Keep Your Streak. Men’s Health stated that “research shows that when people skip a workout, there’s a 62 percent chance they’ll miss an exercise session the following week.” They went on to explain how a single lapse can result in feelings of failure that the person just ends up quitting. To keep this from happening to you, stick to a streak. If you have your set workout days it helps keep you at a schedule to keep you from losing time and never fitting in that workout. Make it habit to keep this streak going and aim for this consistency. Even if something does come up and you don’t have time for your entire workout, try doing just 10 minutes of exercises, such as pushups and jumping jacks; then aim to make up for the lost time another day. But keeping this set streak will help you from feeling of being unsuccessful.
Fitness does not have to be a chore, make it fun and make it a part of your weekly routine. You’ll soon get in the habit and not think twice before throwing on those running shoes and jumping on the treadmill or picking up those weights every Saturday. Committing yourself to a healthier lifestyle with fitness is a great first step!
Still not convinced? Need even more tips? Check out these related articles:
20 Ways to Stick to Your Workout – Men’s Health
5 Ways to Stick to Your Exercise Goals – Exercise.About.com
Stick to Your Workout Routine: Top Tips from Real Women – Shape Magazine
5 Ways to Stay Fit Forever – ProForm Coupons Blog
Hopefully with all these tips listed about and the articles here, you can find something that works for you to help you stick to your workouts for good and make fitness a part of your life forever!
Have any good tips to share with our readers that you use to keep you committed to fitness?