Peak of Fitness
Stay Fit, Keep Healthy
Tired of trying different diets and fads to keep healthy only to be led astray? Learn the best tips and tricks for staying fit and healthy from a reliable source. Registered Dietitian / Nutritionist, Cindy Kleckner, RDN, LD, FAND and our certified personal trainers will be bringing you different health and nutrition tips and exercises each month to help you reach your peak of fitness!
When the Resolution Motivation Fades: 5 tips for sticking with your workout routine and achieving your fitness goals
There is nothing quite like a new year to spark bold new fitness goals and resolutions. We head to the gym, ready to make it happen, armed with a pocket full of motivation. But that luster soon fades, and many of us are left struggling and adrift. We start to head to the gym less frequently and workout in a less focused manner until that initial resolution to get fit fades and is forgotten. It seems inevitable, but is it really? Is it possible to make these resolutions stick? The answer is a resounding “Yes!” It IS possible to maintain your workout motivation and resolutions. With a little effort, you CAN enact real change in your lifestyle and stay on the path to achieving your fitness goals.
Tip #1: Set SMART Goals
“I want to lose weight and get in shape.” Sounds like a typical fitness goal, right? However, this goal is missing the components that can help turn it into reality. Time to make your goals SMART! SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely. According to the American Council on Exercise, having SMART goals allows us to become more proactive in achieving them. They are well-defined and give us a roadmap to achievement. So, what exactly is a SMART goal? Let’s start with our typical fitness goal of, “I want to lose weight and get in shape,” and SMARTen it up. When we apply the SMART principles, this can turn into, “I want to lose 10% body fat by May.” As you can see, our new and improved goal is specific (body fat loss), measurable (10%), attainable (we set a realistic time frame), relevant and timely (it has an endpoint). We now have a well-defined, realistic fitness goal, setting us up to succeed and achieve!
Tip #2: Schedule the time into your day
These days, many of us live highly scheduled lives. Everything, from going to the dentist, to taking the kids to soccer practice, has a spot on our Google Calendar or daily planner. So why not treat your workout time as being equally important? As stated by Jennipher Walters in an article for Sparkpeople, “Would you miss a scheduled doctor's appointment? How about a date with a friend? Of course not! So don't make it an option to skip your workout. Schedule it in your planner and treat it as you would any other important appointment” (Web MD) Prioritize yourself and your fitness. You and your health are valuable!
Tip #3: Treat yourself!
No, I’m not talking about a piece of cake, but rather a non-food related reward that you earn via completing your workouts for a week or a month or perhaps for hitting your SMART goal. Just like kids love to get a gold star for completing a task, you deserve a reward as well. For example, perhaps you reward yourself with a massage for getting in all of your scheduled workouts for a month. Or maybe you go buy that cute workout top you have been eyeing at Lululemon. Even something small can help us keep our forward momentum towards those goals!
Tip #4 Make it fun with friends
Gym time doesn’t have to be a solo slog. Team up with a friend (or two) and turn your regular coffee dates into fitness time! "Working out with a crowd carries a plethora of intertwined benefits that include enhancing consistency, duration, motivation, conversation and inspiration,” says Dian Griesel, Ph.D., co-author of TurboCharged and president of public relations firm DGI. “Workouts with others improve consistency because they involve a commitment. ‘No shows’ and cancelations get noticed by others and positive peer pressure can help curtail the urge to skip a workout...or quit (Web MD).” Just as you wouldn’t stand up your friend for a night out, you are similarly less likely to bail on your workout if they are joining you. There truly is power in numbers!
Tip #5 Do what you enjoy!
Whether it’s Zumba, weight lifting or using the elliptical, our final tip for maintaining our workout motivation is to simply find something that you like. Don’t like running? Guess what? You don’t have to run. Take a spin class, or perhaps you prefer to take yourself through a challenging kettlebell workout. Getting bored with the same routine? Mix it up and try something new. Take that new class or hire a trainer to help shake things up a bit. Working out should be a celebration of what our bodies can do, not a punishment. Find the fun, and your motivation will follow!
Brought to you by Josie Graham, NASM CPT. To schedule an appointment with Josie, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 860-338-5034.