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Regular exercise is good for the body and good for the mind. It relieves stress, reduces health risks and clears your mind. Even though we know all of that, it is easy to get caught up with a busy lifestyle and neglect your regular fitness regime. We have put together some easy tips to help you to commit to a program and stick to it.
Choose an Exercise Style to Suit You
There is no one size fits all in fitness. One of my best friends is a personal trainer in Caroline Springs and she says that she’s lost count of the number of people she’s seen give up before reaching their goals because they got bored of the repetitive regime that wasn’t right for them. You might need to trial a few different options to find something that works for you. Some people swear by lifting weights, and other people become yoga addicts. You could decide that dance is your jam. Either way, the most important thing is to get moving, and you are more likely to stick at it if you enjoy what you are doing instead of hating every second.
Find A Way to Stay Accountable
Feeling accountable to someone other than yourself can be just the motivation that you need to drag yourself out of bed for an early morning gym session or skip work drinks to head to a Zumba class. You might partner up with a workup buddy, or book sessions with a personal trainer. Alternatively, there are apps available that allow you to set goals and remind you when you are due to exercise.
Don’t Set Unrealistic Goals
Whether you want to shed some excess kilos, tone your arms or give your fitness a boost, it won’t happen overnight. Too many people want instant results and get discouraged when they don’t see a visible change in the first week or month.
One of the challenges is that we are inundated with television programs that show intensive weight loss programs with teams of personal trainers, dieticians, and no job or routine to keep up. Try to remember that you are in it for the long haul, not the quick wins. People who ease themselves into a realistic and sustainable program are more likely to be still plugging away at it and kicking goals 12 months down the track than those who try to lose 10 kilos in the two months before their school reunion. So, instead of aiming for five workouts a week, start by integrating one or two into your routine and work up gradually.
Track Your Progress
Although you can’t expect changes overnight, it is worth tracking your progress. Weight loss isn’t generally the best measure as it fails to account for the muscle gain that you experience when sticking to a consistent exercise program. Instead, take your chest, bicep, waist, hip and thigh measurements to compare any changes. You can purchase a body fat caliper if you are really keen, but it isn’t essential. A before and after photo is just as effective. You should also track your workouts so you can see yourself becoming faster and stronger.
Have a Back-Up Plan
If you decide that your chosen exercise is running through the park, but it rains all week, have a backup plan. Whether you pay for a few casual sessions so you can jog on the treadmill, or integrate a couple of home workout sessions, having a backup plan will help you keep your fitness program on track.
Make exercise one of your regular habits, and soon it will be second nature.