We are about to set foot in the month of February. It is the month which we break most of the New Year resolutions that we made in January. Let’s all admit that whatever weekly fitness goals that we had set for ourselves after recovering from the January 1 hangover start getting diluted by the time we hit the first week of February.
Today, I am going to share a few easy steps which will help you to stick to your fitness resolutions all year with ease.
Don’t make time, make a routine
The first and the most important step towards fitness is to tell yourself that you always have time. Stop waiting. If you tell yourself, “I will workout when I have time,” then that is not going to happen.
Hence, make fitness a part of your routine just like brushing your teeth or taking bath. You don’t have to find time everyday to brush your teeth, right? You do it anyways. So start with a few simple stretches, one minute plank, one minute low squat hold, etc… and then increase it as you become regular.
Find a fitness activity that you enjoy and stop treating exercise as a punishment
When it comes to fitness, there is nothing more resilient than the desire to do something that you enjoy. Like, I love running, hence I find it extremely easy to simply wake up in the morning and go for a run. I run when I am tired, I run to clear my mind, I run to get my ideas.
My father, for example, loves to walk. He walks even when he is at home, all the time around the house, from one room to the other (much to our irritation, I must admit). But he enjoys doing it and he finds it easier to go for a walk as a part of his exercise routine. So, figure out what you really like. Do you like fast-paced, heart-pumping workouts or do you like the slower workouts?
Also, the biggest mistake that people make is thinking exercise as something to ‘burn that extra gulab jamun or samosa that you have had’. Many think that because you have indulged, now it is time to punish yourself by working out more or starving it out.
This is by no means a journey towards holistic fitness. It is important to enjoy your exercise as much as you enjoy your food. I personally look forward to my morning runs or functional training sessions. A good workout makes or breaks my morning. Hence, choose what you enjoy doing as a fitness activity. If you like dancing, go hit that dance floor with ‘Baby Doll’!!
Convenience is the key
Don’t enroll at a gym which is 10 km from your home or place of work. Even the most dedicated fitness enthusiast broke his resolution thinking about the distance and traffic.
If you are looking to join a fitness centre, choose one that is either close to your home or place of work.
Also, when it comes to food, don’t opt for the fad ‘superfoods’. Make simple changes in the regular food that you consume. Let’s say if you occasionally consume ‘bhel puri’ as a snack, have it without ‘sev’ in it. If you like your coffee or tea to be sweet, replace sugar with jaggery.
Try and control the portion size of the food that you consume.
Another simple tip that you can follow is to keep your workout clothes on a chair or a sofa before going to bed so that you don’t have to hunt for socks or shoes in the morning. Again, it is all about convenience.
Find a support system
Find a friend to workout with. Working out with a friend or a family member who is into the same kind of activity gives you the necessary motivation to get up from the bed and get moving.
Investing in a coach or hiring a personal trainer is also a great way to do this. The coach will remind you of your fitness goals and help you be more accountable in your fitness journey.
Keep a log of your fitness activity and track your progress
Keeping a track of your progress will motivate you. Let’s say, the coach told you to do a 10 kg dumbbell thruster today. When you go for a higher weight two days later, it gives you the necessary motivation to come back to the gym and lift heavier.
A fitness tracker can also be a useful tool. You can keep track of your everyday fitness activity such as the pace of your run, your heart rate, etc and improve it slowly.
Finally, celebrate small achievements
As important it is to recognise progress, it is also equally important to give yourself the ‘well done’ you deserve. Every time you add those two more kilos to your kettlebell swing or run 5 km, 1 minute faster, simply go ahead and treat yourself with something nice.
Although, don’t indulge in that gulab jamun or jalebi-rabdi. Celebrate with a new sweat-wicking tee or a new pair of socks or an Apple watch.