Sometimes, as much as we want to keep going with good habits like diet and exercise, life gets in the way and we inevitably fall off track.
You must remember that fitness is truly about self care. Self care is important in order to be able to reach your highest levels of fitness potential. Fitness is all about getting your body to perform at its absolute best and in order for this to happen you must treat your body well.
Sleep, rest and massage are the most important self care rituals for those that exercise regularly. To be able to focus 100% on your training and stay on track, not only must your body be ready to go … but your mind must be focused and feeling good. Keeping your space clutter free and body clean and groomed will make your workouts easier to get to and more pleasurable to perform.
Self care should be ritualized. You should have self care routines that you perform daily (like sleeping, eating and exercise), weekly (like organizing your schedule and relaxing), and monthly (like massages.) Once these things are habits it’s not about “fitting them in.” It is just your lifestyle. No one thinks about fitting in breathing into their life. And that’s how you must prioritize self care if you want to transform your body and maintain it in top form. When these behaviors become habits, you no longer need to worry about staying on track. You will automatically live this way.
So with this in mind, below are a few tips for how to set yourself up for success with exercise and create a program that you will stick to.
- Start slowly. If you haven’t been exercising for a long time, then it’s best to go slowly when getting back into it. Don’t try to run 6 miles at your fastest pace on your first day back. Your chances of injuring yourself are much higher. Also, you don’t want to make yourself so sore that you can’t exercise again the next day. The most important thing at this stage is building the habit.
- Don’t be too tough on yourself in the beginning. Any amount of exercise is good. And when you’re just getting back into it, the most important thing is setting the habit. So for example, if you want to run every morning. The most important thing is to get out the door and run just a little bit. If you used to run 3 miles every day but can only manage 1 now.. that’s ok! The main thing is getting out there and running that one mile. Eventually, 1 mile will become 2, which will then become 3 and you’ll be back on track in no time.
- Plan ahead. Make a schedule for your workouts. If you have a plan, you are far more likely to stick to it without canceling. If you don’t have a plan and you have to make the decision whether to work out or not every morning, chances are you’re going to choose not to.
- Be realistic. If you’ve never worked out more than 2-3x a week in your life, planning to work out every day is unsustainable… and unrealistic. It only sets you up for failure. There’s a psychological component to exercise, and you need to use this in order to keep your motivation high. Think back and remember how often you typically worked out before the summer and then slowly build back up to that number.
- Find a friend in the same situation. You’re not the only one that has health and fitness goals that they are aiming to achieve this year. Find a friend in the neighborhood that also wants to get back into shape and will keep you accountable. Go on walks, running, or to the gym together. Having someone to share the experience with will make the whole process less painful and much more fun. Plus it’s an added motivational bonus. If your friend is working out, you won’t want to fall behind.