Are you tired of watching ‘fitness motivation’ videos?
Is the lack of a gym nearby, delaying your fitness journey?
Are you just plain lazy?
In an ideal world, everyone would be able to achieve their fitness goals and obesity would not be a problem. However, the sad fact is that our diet is mostly comprised of unhealthy foods and we don’t have an outlet to burn calories. The ‘I’ll start tomorrow,’ syndrome is typically found in the majority of humans and that’s why we don’t achieve our fitness goals. Each journey starts with the first step and I’ll be sharing seven pointers to kick start your fitness journey right now!
1. Figure out the purpose
Look, I understand that it’s hard to fetch your sneakers and start running immediately. However, you can get a pen and paper and jot down some points. First, jot down why you want to exercise and make sure this is a concrete reason. Obtaining six-packs or a bikini body are unrealistic aspirations and won’t support your fitness journey. Something like ‘running a marathon in 12 months,’ or ‘getting rid of knee pain,’ are realistic ambitions. At times, you are just plain tired of being called chubby or fat and this motivates you to become a better version of yourself.
Once you have identified the reason(s) for getting fit, the next step is to identify what is stopping you from achieving your dream. This might include long work hours or the inability to stick with regular workouts. At this point in time, just write 1-2 solutions for the identified problem. If you are plagued by long work hours or lengthy commute time then try to focus on achieving 10-15 min workouts on workdays. Sometimes, this can just be using the office stairs during lunchtime.
2. Start with something small
Bad habits are formed over a period of time and become a part of our daily routine. Throwing them out takes a lot of time and effort, therefore the first step should be achievable. The first health initiative can pertain to diet or exercise or both. Maybe you can start substituting your lunch with a salad for half the week. You can combine this with a 10 minute fast paced walk on a daily basis. The combined impact of these measures can result in daily calorie loss of 250. If you can maintain this for 15 days you are looking at 1-2 pounds weight loss.
3. Avoid the ‘all or nothing’ mindset
Forming new habits is hard and there are bound to be missteps. That doesn’t mean you give up at the first hurdle. Take each day as an opportunity and always consider how you can improve your efforts. Exercise spans a very small portion of our day and in reality we have to spend the remaining time wisely in order to succeed. In case there is a lapse, think of incremental ways to recover the lost ground e.g. increasing 2-minutes workout per day for a week. Perfection is a myth and is the primary reason behind procrastination. Admit your weakness and work to improve it.
4. Finding the right workout
Weight loss doesn’t mean spending six days every week in the gym. Tabata or HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) has numerous forms of weight-free workouts. The beauty of Tabata is that it can be assimilated in any exercise be it running, walking, cycling, swimming etc. Just pick the exercise you feel comfortable with and include the dynamics of Tabata within it. Let’s take the example of cycling and assume that you spend 15 minutes daily on it. The first 5 minutes can be
5. Gradually increasing the workout
A 10-minute workout is great for beginners, but if you are serious about fitness then the target should be 15 hours exercise/month. This roughly translates to a 30-minute daily workout. By the end of the first month, you should attempt to reach this goal and then maintain it. The ideal exercise time is in the morning, but in case you are not a morning person then the evening will also do. Workouts after snacks/dinner are a big no-no. The element of fasting combined with workout has a multiplier effect on burning calories. If the target is a morning workout, then an early dinner means a 10-hour fast, which is excellent.
6. Find a support system
Finding support for your journey increases the chances of success. This may include family or friends who want to get fit. Plan joint workouts or diet plans with your fitness partner and enable open communication. In case there is a relapse, you have someone to motivate you or you can become the motivation. Social media platforms including Facebook groups are dedicated to ‘’health and fitness,’ and by joining them you can create the right atmosphere for your new lifestyle. In some cases, you need professional help and finding a personal trainer or certified dietitian is essential. Connecting with the right people will help you to find the right support.
7. The reward paradigm
Mostly we celebrate achievements by going out for dinner but the health and fitness journey has unique requirements. This doesn’t mean that you exclude rewards, instead you have to be a bit creative. At the beginning of your fitness journey you started with the bare minimum, but now you can for the high-end sneakers or you can purchase the intermediate fitness guide you deserve. The least preferred option is a cheat meal, but in case you are committed than opt for something healthy, which won’t set you back.
Consistency is the key to effective fitness goals. The ‘crash and burn,’ technique is harmful, despite providing early achievements. A healthy lifestyle is essential for consolidating your gains, otherwise, you might be back to square one in a couple of years. Maintaining a health journal might aid the process and our life experiences might help others in the future. In any case, don’t let anything stop you from achieving your dreams. In the end, it’s up to you to ensure your success and without making an attempt you are left with a multitude of ‘what ifs’ in life.
Do you have any tips to avoid procrastination? Please tell us in the comments below how you avoid being ‘lazy’ or if you need help getting up?