Staying motivated during your fitness journey is half the battle.
How often has this happened? You set the goal to be more active in the New Year, and by the end of January you’re reluctantly lacing up your trainers.
Jonna Dase, a fitness expert at Curves, has dished out tips on how to form a habit of working out and staying on track.
The women’s gym and fitness club offers classes in the north and north-east, including Elgin and Inverness.
Joanna said when it comes to exercise one aspect is getting motivated, but another is staying motivated – and it starts with forming good habits.
Enlist the help of a friend
Bringing along a friend with you to the gym is a great way to form a habit.
The two of you can be accountable for each other and feel responsible for turning up and completing a workout together.
Having each other’s support will create a consistent routine and build up motivation.
On the days when you don’t feel in the mood, you can look to your exercise buddy to give you a boost of morale.
Pack your gym bag or write down your workout plan
Having certain cues in place helps to trick your brain into thinking about exercise.
Joanna said this is something that needs to be maintained for around 20 days, so it can create a connection between yourself and exercise.
From having your gym bag packed and ready in the car the night before, putting on your workout clothes as soon as you wake up or writing down your workout plan so it’s the first thing you see when you wake up.
At the same time, you can take note of the triggers.
Triggers can urge you to skip your workout, such as drinking alcohol the night before.
After times, your cues will help you to form healthy habits.
Reward yourself for a job well done
Rewarding yourself for hard work can make a difference to your motivation and habit forming.
A reward can be any size, but something personal which you can work towards.
From scheduling a spa appointment once a certain number of steps are achieved at the end of the week, to going to the cinema if you complete a week of workouts.
Positive reinforcements can go a long way in turning the chore of exercise into a fun activity.
Always give yourself credit for every workout you complete and the strength you are gaining.
Avoid having an ‘all-or-nothing’ attitude
Part of why exercise habit breaks is because you are putting too much pressure on yourself.
Staying fit isn’t about being in the gym for hours on end, it’s about staying within your own ability.
A little exercise is better than nothing and it’s not worth enduring painful activities which aren’t on your level yet, as this can cause injury.
Having any amount of physical activity in your routine will have a positive impact on your mental and emotional health.
Focus less on results
Unfortunately, you can’t get into shape overnight. Having high expectations means you are less likely to form habits due to disappointment and quitting.
Try not to get discouraged by how long there is to go before you reach your fitness goals or by what you can’t accomplish.
Instead of focusing on results, try to focus your energy towards consistency on completing your exercise each day.
You will find that the physical rewards will come quicker once your attention isn’t on the results.