September always signals a fresh start, return to routines and re-setting goals for the remainder of the year. It’s the perfect time to reboot your fitness routine if you’ve been in a ‘lazy daze vacation mode’. Here are 4 tips on how to improve your fitness that are sure to get you back in action and motivated to stick to your workout regime.
1. Start with the WHY
On the surface it’s easy to come up with the reasons behind our fitness goals and routine. We all want to lose or maintain our weight and look our best. But if you dig a little deeper you may find a hidden tool to give you more motivation. Can you see yourself in one of the 3 scenarios below?
Perhaps you’re a mom with young kids and are still trying to lose that pregnancy weight. But really exercise is about much more than just weight loss. It’s a big stress reliever that helps you have more patience with your kids and sets a great example for them on the importance of exercise. Maybe you’re facing middle age with arms that flap about when you wave good bye. If your goal is simply to have ‘Michele Obama arms’ just know that those same resistive exercises that will get you toned, sculpted arms are also building bone density to keep osteoporosis and painful wrist fractures away as you age. Or perhaps you are a grandparent and staying fit is more than keeping those creaky arthritic joints moving and lubricated. Keeping fit will enable you to stave off heart disease, increase your stamina and lifespan so you can see your grand kids grow up or simply have a richer quality of life. What is the WHY behind your desire to exercise regularly and to be healthy and fit?
Whatever the deeper reason may be, get clear on why your goal matters and connect with that on an emotional level as a motivator.
2. Yes, Set a GOAL
Now that you know the why, define your goal then write it down. It’s been proven that writing down goals is more powerful than simple thinking about them or saying them. Include a picture to help you visualize the end result. Make the goal realistic, and then map out a few weeks at a time with smaller actions or milestones that will move you towards your goal. Setting milestones that progress you towards your goal will give you a sense of accomplishment and keep you committed to your exercise program.
For example, maybe you want to run / walk your first 5K. Start by committing to a brisk walk 3 to 5 times a week, increasing your time and distance gradually. Next add some aerobic exercise and cross training a few days a week, while continuing to walk / run 2 days a week. You may find even more motivation if your goal is tied to raising funds for a social cause you’re passionate about. Knowing you are making a contribution to others can be the ‘why’ that keeps you moving forward.
Revisit your goal daily, along with the deeper why (from step 1) and as you hit these smaller milestones you may see a positive ripple effect into other areas of your life. Keep a log of your progress –just as writing down your goal is key, charting your progress helps with both motivation and accountability.
3. Plan for Success – Carve out the TIME
The only way any goal gets accomplished is by dedicating time towards achieving it. If your life is full and you fall back on the excuse that you don’t have time to exercise, then look at what you can remove from your week to make time. Building your exercise time into your weekly schedule is crucial. Look closely at how you spend your time and remove some of those time sucking activities that aren’t real productive. Often committed exercisers find the best time is first thing every morning. Maybe this means getting up a half hour earlier to fit exercise into your day. Don’t leave it to chance or just trying to squeeze it in where you can. If morning doesn’t work for you find a time that does and book it. Go for a brisk walk after dinner, instead of hitting the couch to watch TV.
Exercising is just as important, or maybe more (remember the WHY) than anything else you have to do in a a day. If necessary start small, with only 15 to 20 minutes daily, gradually increasing the time you commit to achieving your fitness goals. Carve out your exercise time a minimum of 3 times per week, put it on your calendar and keep your commitment to yourself. Once you get back into your exercise groove, your body will reward you with a lighter mood, more energy and better sleep. Make the time –the payoff is well worth it.
4. Include Variety, Fun & Friends
Add variety and fun into your routine to make your exercise more enjoyable and help you stay motivated. Mixing up your fitness activities will also serve as cross training so you’re working different muscles groups and getting both aerobic and strength building exercises into your weekly routine. Whether you choose to head out for a solitary bike ride or to a Zumba class, include activities that you really enjoy. If lifting weights on your own is drudgery, try a sculpting or boot camp class a few times a week instead. The energy, music and motivation you’ll get from a group class can add the fun factor to propel you towards your goals faster. Once a week make your fitness activity pure fun, so you don’t even consider it working out. Go out dancing with your friends or sweetie, play a game of touch football, roller-blade around the park or do whatever moves you. Just move!
If you’re having trouble honoring your commitment to exercise, enlisting an accountability partner is a sure fire way to move you towards your goals. This can be a friend with a similar fitness goal, a personal trainer or a fitness coach. We’re more likely to skip an appointment with ourselves then to let a friend down that we’ve promised to work out with. If you just can’t seem to get started or keep to your scheduled exercise, then you need someone who can provide support and encouragement. Your friend may need the same. When we give back and help others reach their goals, we help ourselves in the process.
As you reboot your fitness routine this fall remember to start with the ‘why’, then use that to connect to a goal that’s meaningful and motivating. From there it’s all about execution. Write down your goal, book the time to exercise, mix it up to include fun and friends, log your progress to keep you on track and enlist an accountability partner. Just get moving and in no time you’ll be craving exercise like you used to crave chocolate! Order our WAGs gym wrist support gloves online today, to help you alleviate wrist pain during your workouts.