Fitness is a lifelong commitment.
Being physically fit at one point in your life, even on an elite level in your twenties, does not mean you will stay that way without committing time and energy to doing so. In fact, it does not mean you will stay in decent shape as you get older. You are only in good shape until you stop doing whatever you were doing to get that way in the first place.
The good news is you do not need to return to the intense training of your youth to reap the benefits of a healthy mind and body. Incorporating aerobic activity and strength training with a healthy eating regime can get you back on track. And if you only stopped exercising recently, it may be easier to maintain your current fitness levels than you think.
So, what do you do when you have taken a break from training or physical activity all together? How do you keep going when you have tried to change your eating habits to only give in to temptation and turn your back on any progress you have made?
It’s you for you
Remember who it is you are doing all this for and make them accountable. Of course, that should be none other than YOU. The decision to start your journey to a healthier lifestyle, whether to lose weight or avoid chronic diseases, should be because you love and give importance to yourself.
Write down your most compelling reason for wanting change and remind yourself of why it is important to you. It is harder if your decision to start (again) being healthy is by the will of others and not for a reason that resonates with you.
Jumpstart your day
The body’s natural processes are meant to start in the morning, not when you choose to get up. We all know how hard can it be to leave a warm bed, but you just have to do it. Prepare everything before you go to bed the night before. Pick your workout wear, shoes, or pack your gym bag so it will not make you lazier to step out and sweat.
Throw away temptation
If there are chips readily available in your pantry, or leftover pizza waiting to be glorified again, chances are you will give in to temptation. Saying no to them may be hard, so better to give or throw them away and not buy them again.
Get yourself a gym buddy
This is also one way of creating accountability. Find someone who has the same goals (which is to be healthy) and be each other’s motivational push. Surround yourself with people who support and empower you, and whom you support and empower in turn.
Set a time frame when you can’t go to the kitchen, preferably after dinner. You can do this for a week or two and you will notice your “need” for something else after dinner gradually disappears.
Not with food or cheat days, but with pampering such as a massage or a body scrub. Consider this a pat on the back, and also as a prize as well. You can also buy a new pair of running shoes, or an extra set of gym wear when you reach a goal.
And remember how happy that made you feel, and strive to stick to your routines to feel that happiness again.
Keep a positive journal
It is human nature to see and only remember the negatives that happen in our lives. Try training your mind to see more positively by writing down all of the good things that happen on a daily basis. These can include positive experiences, comments, situations and people we are grateful for.
When you feel like you are about to hit a slump, go back and read through everything you have written in your journal and remember how happy those experiences made you feel. This will help re-shift your focus and provide mental clarity to keep you on track and achieving your goals.
These may all be simple steps, but if done consistently your body will reap the rewards both physically and mentally. Just remember not to be too hard on yourself because it is normal to stay away from the habits that are not fully embedded in us—like working out daily, or choosing to eat healthy all the time.
If you’re looking for a fitness experience that is focussed on building a supportive community to help you reach your health and fitness goals, talk to us today.