Deciding to get fit and shed some pounds is all well and good, but actually doing it for a long enough period of time to make a noticeable difference is easier said than done.
Even with the best intentions, life gets in the way, and that visit to the gym is forgotten due to a mate’s birthday party or a evening out with your family. Suddenly, your twice weekly runs become once a week, then fortnightly and then finally are forgotten.
With a bit of help, we can help you stick to exercise, maintain your regime, and keep fit, healthy and happy throughout the year.
How to stick to your exercise routine
1. Get an exercise partner
By making your exercise more social, you make it more enjoyable. Instead of going to the pub with your friends, go for a jog. It also means you have someone to keep you going. If you manage to get a group of you together, it means that if you have to miss a session, they’ll still be there for you to join in next week.
2. Get a trainer
If your friends aren’t motivating you enough, try a professional trainer. Not only will they offer you motivation but they will give you personalised training that will help you get the most from your body in the fastest time.
3. Make it fun
Exercise shouldn’t be a chore. Even going for a jog can be fun if you make it a bit more inventive. Take your dog with you or sign up to online games like zombie runs, where you listen to and interact with a story as you run.
4. Take up a sport
Or you could take up a sport. Team sports are great because they take the pressure off you as an individual to perform and make it all a bit more fun. A football team can give you goals (literally) and offers a social reward as well.
5. Make a manageable timetable
You’re not going to get that perfect six-pack in two weeks, so be realistic. Make manageable weekly targets, like running 2 miles or doing 50 sit ups, to start with and build up. The same goes for goals – don’t think you can lose a stone in a week, despite what the magazines claim. Not only would that be bad for your health, it’s also pretty unobtainable.
6. Give yourself a reason
Looking good and being healthy are good reasons to exercise in themselves, but they tend to get forgotten. If you have a major goal, like running a marathon or an upcoming wedding, then you’ve got a specific end target.
7. Use an app
There’s plenty of health tracking apps out there and they can be a great tool for visualising your progress. They can help you create targets and also add a level of interactivity.
8. Plan for the unexpected
Even with the best intentions and perfect planning, things can happen that can put you off track. Weather is one of the biggest ones – who wants to go for a run when it’s snowing outside. Make sure to have a back-up plan like going to the local pool instead.