“I have work.” “I have class.” “I have a family.” “My family has class.” “My family has no class, but they have to work.” “My dog ate my car keys.”
Excuses can always be made to put things off until another day, particularly if those things prompt a fear of failure.
Launching a fitness regimen is no exception to this rule. And as February drones on, and that springtime light at the end of the winter tunnel seems just out of reach – excuses often rear their heads in force to prevent us from doing something to better ourselves.
Earlier sarcasm aside: life does get busy. We all have pockets of time located in-and-around our responsibilities as parents and spouses and employees that seem to evaporate before we even have time to consider them.
So here are five ways to fit a fitness regimen into your hectic life, and how to keep it there.
- Borrow, beg, or finagle the time. Wake up early – like army training early – and get to the fitness studio long before work or dropping the kids off at school. At first, you may feel you cannot sustain the new schedule, but the exercise will give you the fuel and the reserve to keep going. OR, instead of taking a trip to the deli or the local coffee shop during your lunch break, take a jaunt to the gym and burn off some calories.
- Remain consistent – “Repetition breeds familiarity, familiarity breeds confidence, confidence breeds success.” So said Stanley Kaplan, who founded the nation’s first test preparation industry. (It wasn’t a physical fitness test, admittedly, but the quote still applies!) Schedule your fitness regimen at the same time and on the same days every week. Make sure to note upcoming sessions on your calendar, in your day planner, on your smartphone and anywhere else a reminder could potentially coax you out the door and into the gym. The repetitive nature of having a standing engagement will build a muscle memory around your weekly exercise, until it is something you simply cannot do without.
- Make gradual changes: If you’ve never exercised a day in your life, taking a sudden leap into kettlebell swings while attempting to scale a salmon ladder is probably not the greatest idea. Start small. No one’s timing you, or watching you, or probably even knows that you’ve embarked on this exciting new crusade. Many first-timers mistakenly believe that if 10 pushups are good, 100 will surely put that beach body on the fast track, or if a one-hour session is standard, a three and a half-hour excursion must make supermen. It’s not true (and could be potentially hazardous). In fact, research is showing that cumulative effects of moderate movement throughout the day is incredibly beneficial.
- Set reasonable goals. Notice we didn’t say “easy.” Reasonable goals should rest just beyond your comfort zone. They should require effort, but not incur your wrath. Most people who give up on their exercise programs do so because they don’t meet their intended goals within a preconceived timeframe. But exercise takes work. Making a workout plan makes working out more tangible, more real. Discuss your fitness regimen with your personal trainer. He or she can help you map out initial goals and the ideal methods to pursue them. Once you have a plan in place, you will feel obligated to see it through.
- Keep “fun” in mind. You’re going to stick with something that you enjoy doing. It’s just that simple. So, if you equate an elliptical machine with a medieval torture device, maybe discuss alternative aerobic exercises with your physical fitness trainer. He or she can customize your fitness regimen to appeal to your strengths – but also your personal preferences. Also, don’t be afraid to try new things. You never know what’s going to take.
Fitness Together Ellicott City offers flexible schedules and fully-equipped private workout suites that give you a sense of control over your workout. Our trainers make it their mission to ensure you feel emotionally and physically comfortable with every aspect of your fitness regimen. Call us at 410-750-2228 to learn more.