Here at Lilliput Health we regularly treat professional and recreational athletes that stick to rigorous training regimes. Looking at these athletes, it’s hard to imagine that at one point they were where you are now, but just remember: everyone has to start somewhere. So here are some of our tips to help you make a success of your exercise routine, helping you on your way to a new and healthier you!
- Have a goal in mind. Before you start, think about what you want to achieve with your exercise regime. Have a plan in your head of your ultimate aim and set yourself mini goals that you can achieve along the way. For example, if your ultimate aim is to 28 lbs , your mini goals might start with exercising for 5 minutes every day for the first week. The next goal might be to lose 4 lbs by the beginning of week three and so on. It’s a good idea to write these goals down so that you can track your progress.
- Get inspired. Whether it’s a famous actor or actress or a picture that you’ve seen in a magazine, or even an old picture of yourself where you felt you looked great, allow yourself to be inspired. Getting inspired will help drive you to take action. A great form of inspiration can be reading articles on exercise and learning about people’s success stories. It might sound silly, but even watching the exercise and shopping channels on TV that advertise exercise equipment
- Mix it up. Variety is the spice of life, and this couldn’t be truer with exercise. You don’t want to get bored before you’ve barely started, so try and keep your exercise regimen varied by switching up your routines. Make sure that the exercises you set yourself are fun to do and achievable. If you get bored, you’ll undoubtedly give up, so mix it up and enjoy yourself. Remember, you don’t have to exercise every day, but it is a good idea to exercise at the same time; this helps to reinforce in your mind that exercise is part of your daily routine, which brings us onto the 21 day habit……
- Train your mind (21 days). Research has found that it takes 21 days to turn a new behavior into a habit. Being disciplined during the first three weeks is vital to your success and you will reap the rewards. After the 21 day period, your discipline will evolve into habit. The difference between healthy habits and discipline is that a habit is something you don’t have to think about doing. You do something enough, you’re disciplined about it, and you put in the time, eventually you don’t have to think about it anymore because it has become second nature to you.
- Celebrate your achievements. Making yourself go public will make you more determined to succeed, as you won’t want to be seen as a failure. Telling your friends about your new training plan and telling them about your achievements will not only drive you to keep up with your training but may entice them to join you in training which will also help you motivate each other.
- Stay positive. Above all else remain positive! Taking the initiative to actually getting started is a big achievement in itself. Some days will invariably be harder than others, whether it’s motivational issues or you’ve had a tough day at work, just remember that the key is to maintain your program taking each day as it comes. Your last workout may not have been as successful as the previous but remember consistency is the key and the benefits you reap from exercise such as improving health and reduced stress are great motivators in themselves! Refer back to your goals so you can track just how far you have come and believe in what you can achieve.
- Be committed. Commitment is half the battle of staying on top of your training. Be patient with the results, everyone’s physical state differs tremendously and as with most things in life exercise requires patience to see the results. Exercising takes dedication and persistence to reap the rewards. Remember it’s a lifestyle choice, be realistic and don’t expect changes to happen overnight. Check out this article with tips on Committing to Fitness for Life.
- Find an exercise partner. Finding a training partner is a great method to keeping on top of your training as you can bounce off each other when one of you is tired or not feeling inspired. An exercise partner will be there to motivate you plus you can celebrate your successes together. If you do not have a training partner speak to a member of staff at your gym or look online into the possibility of getting a personal trainer to help maintain your training schedule.
- Reward yourself. Reward yourself for all the hard work you’ve put in lately. Doing this is a great morale booster and will help break down the training schedule if you’re finding it arduous. Treat yourself to a sports massage to keep you in tip top shape, buy some work out garments or go to the movies. These will all help with keeping you motivated to carry on.
- Take care of your body. It is important to look after your body while training to avoid injuries. Take the time to recover from intense workouts. Stretching and warming up are really important factors as are a balanced diet, drinking enough fluids in between and during training and making sure that your body gets plenty of rest in between training intervals. The more you train the higher the risk of injury. In the event of a physical injury consulting a good sports physio sooner rather than later can drastically reduce your recovery time and severity of injury.
Article written by Mark Avern, specialist Sports Massage Therapist at Lilliput Health.