Don’t Quit, Get Fit!
By: Stephanie Lopraino
Starting & Sticking to Your Fitness Routine
If you really want to stick to a fitness routine this year, it should be something you do as routinely as eating, sleeping, and brushing your teeth. It’s not as tough as you think. Yes, it will require time, dedication and willpower but I promise it will be totally worth it. Creating a fitness plan that’s specific not only to your body, but also to your schedule and life is the secret to your success.
First you need to consider your fitness goals. Be sure to write them down and be specific. In order to track your progress, it’s helpful to identify where you’re at now and realistically define your goals. Take photos or take measurements of your body so you’ll be able to see how far you’ve come.
Next, determine how much time you can devote to exercising. To start planning your fitness routine, make a detailed schedule of your week then look for where you can fit in your exercise. Again, it’s important to be realistic. Avoid scheduling workouts in the morning if you’re addicted to the snooze button or after dinner if you know that’s when you are busy with homework or family etc.
When creating your fitness routine you should give your muscles time to recover between workouts. Your muscles don’t exactly get built in the gym; they actually get broken down and then when you’re resting get stronger. A Monday- Wednesday- Friday workout is ideal especially if you’re just getting started.
Next, you’ll need to determine where you will work out. You may choose to work out from home to avoid a membership, want fewer distractions, or want to feel less intimidated. Consider the cost of equipment, the lack of professional help and the eventual lack of motivation. Many people prefer the community feeling and variety offered at gyms. Things to consider are the location and conveniences like professional trainers, nutritionists, group classes, daycare services, massages etc. Choose what you know will work best for you.
A great tip is to train with friends. Research shows that trained lifters are stronger in front of a group of people than when they lift in front of just one.
Music is another great source of motivation. Create a playlist of your favorite songs that will boost your energy. Studies have found that when bodybuilders workout while listening to music, they are able to complete more reps per set.
For added motivation and inspiration you can try using an app like: Fitlist, MyFitnessPal, FitBy or 30 Day Fitness Challenge.
It’s important to keep your routine balanced. Include full body exercises and continually switch it up. A good alternative is 5-10 minute burst workouts which are short but high-intensity workouts which boost brainpower and increase metabolism.
Lastly, pat yourself on the back and reward yourself. Treat yourself to a healthy smoothie or new workout gear. Make sure it’s something meaningful and enjoyable that will push you to stick to your goals.
Starting a fitness routine doesn’t have to be so scary. By planning sensibly and pacing yourself, you can establish healthy habits that last a lifetime. It’s normal to fall off your routine and you should expect to. Just don’t quit. Remember, the best workout is the one that you DO!