Everybody knows it is important to be fit. Not everybody finds it so easy to get fit and stay that way, though. Here, Daniel Calugar discusses the major problems that prevent people from following through with their intentions to get fit and offers solutions for each one.
To avoid becoming one of the nearly 80% of people that abandon their fitness routine after only a few months, begin by analyzing why you started in the first place. Embarking on a new journey to improve health is rarely just about becoming fit. People choose to start exercising, working out regularly, walking more, or running for a reason. A fitness routine is a means to an end. To successfully stick with your fitness routine, you must clearly identify your “why.” Ask yourself why you want to become more fit. Is it so that you’ll feel better physically? Or, is it so you’ll feel better emotionally? Maybe both? Often there are social motivators such as a new relationship that is the key.
Gaining a clear and accurate understanding of why you are driven to start a new fitness routine will enable you to revisit and reinforce your motivation as it begins to wane. On those tough days when all you want is to eat M&Ms and watch Netflix, your freshly polished inspiration will have the power to keep you moving.
You will never hit a target that you can’t see. A vague idea that you want to become more fit is never going to cut it. You must precisely define what being fit means to you. In other words, you must have clear goals. If you just want to “lose some weight” but don’t define how much weight and by when you are setting yourself up for failure.
There’s no need to be overly rigid about your goals. You can modify them to accommodate changing circumstances, but without knowing what you want to achieve and what success will look like, you will be unable to measure your progress and keep yourself on track.
Even if you clearly understand why you want to begin a new fitness program and what you what to accomplish, you must still know how to do it. Often the “how” question can be challenging to answer without help. Knowing that you want to increase the sense of peace that you find in nature (why) and then setting a goal to hike the Grand Canyon rim-to-rim on a specific date (what) will not help you know “how” to achieve that goal. You will need to learn the best places near you for practice hikes, the effects of incline on exertion, altitude on stamina, how to incrementally increase your distance while training, and a host of other details.
Options for determining how to reach a fitness goal include hiring a personal trainer, booking some time with a trainer at your gym, reading fitness magazines and books, or watching fitness videos online. Whichever option fits your circumstances and meets your needs will do, but make sure you check with your doctor first and follow sound physical fitness advice.