Updated: Aug 19, 2021
When you start and exercise program, you are motivated, determined and are on a high for the first few weeks. The glamour starts to wear off quickly and you realise there is no short cut and it just comes down to hard work. At some point you might miss a session, then a few, then 3 months later, all your good intentions to succeed this time around, have gone (again).
How did this happen?
You know you need to exercise and feel so much better for it, so why have you failed again?
Here are my fail-proof tips to stay consistent, especially if you are not an "exercise person"(yet).
It should be as fun AND as convenient as possible- ADHERENCE IS KING!! It is a fallacy that exercise should be as hard as possible- it is not a punishment and you should not hate it. You don't need to smash yourself and finish in a ball of sweat every session to get results.
Location/convenience- it must be close to you and easy to get to. Whether the training session/gym is close to your work or home, the more convenient it is to you, the less likely you are to skip it. If you have to drive 45-60 mins for each class, at some point it may become too much of a hassle.
Get a 1-1 personal trainer or join a group, that you pay for, that locks you in (for commitment) for at least 6-12 months. If you pay good money for it, you are more likely to continue, and get results faster.
Find something you LIKE. If you see everyone doing some trendy class/sport, and you try it and it is not for you, it doesn't mean that all exercise is not for you- find something you like, practise, learn the technique and exercises, and keep doing it! There is something for everyone- cycling, running, yoga, gymnastics, group HIIT classes, the gym, lifting weights, boxing, rock climbing and pilates, just to name a few.
Grab a training buddy/friend/mentor, someone who has similar goals, but who is already consistent with training (you know they won't quit when you feel like it). Commit to training with them at the same time.
It needs to be sustainable- you need to be able to do it, even if the conditions change (a lockdown), so you can carry on doing it at home or when you are away - like lifting weights/yoga and walking. You must be able to keep it in your life long term.
If you want to change your body shape, improve your posture, look better naked, feel stronger from the inside out, then lifting weights 2-4 x per week is essential. If you don't know where to start with weights (and you want to do it alone), either speak to a coach and get a program or focus on compound lifts. For example- squats, deadlifts, hip thrust, lunges, leg press, push ups, chin ups, lateral pulldowns, rows, chest press and shoulder press. Pick 4-6 exercises and do 3 sets (not including a warm up set), 3 days per week.
HERE IS A REMINDER OF SOME OF THE MANY BENEFITS OF REGULAR EXERCISE
Improves your memory and brain function ( in all age groups).
Protect against many chronic diseases- heart disease, liver disease, diabetes.
Aids in weight management and obesity.
Lowers blood pressure and improve heart health.
Improves your quality of sleep.
Reduces feelings of anxiety and depression- regular exercise daily is my number one mental health therapy.
Combats cancer-related fatigue.
Improves joint pain and stiffness.
Maintains muscle strength and balance.
Increases life span.
Increases self confidence and self belief.
Never rely on motivation to exercise, and don't over think it- just put your training shoes on, get outside and start moving, after 10 mins you will already start to feel better. Results will happen if you don't quit. Humans were born to move, not sit. Commit to a healthy life- exercise is 100% a part of it.