Keeping fit is difficult, particularly when you have a busy life.
Even when we do manage to find the motivation, it can still be hard to stick to a workout plan because life always seems to get in the way.
But when it comes to making real, lasting changes to your fitness – whether that’s about becoming stronger, faster or slimmer – consistency is key. It’s no good going to the gym every day for a week if you’re then going to sit on the sofa for a month.
But how do you go about it? Is it possible to build a realistic, practical fitness schedule that you can actually stick to? We asked Joshua Pearson, fitness expert at Exercise.co.uk, for his advice on how to become a regular in the gym.
‘Integrating exercise into our frantic, fast-paced lifestyles is not an easy feat, by any means,’ Joshua tells Metro.co.uk.
‘Even the fittest of the fit have their off days from time to time. It’s only natural, after all.
‘One of the most effective and healthiest things that you can do for yourself, however, is to make your exercise routine a regular and consistent part of your life.
‘That’s easier said than done, I know, but I do have some creative inspiration to help you convert exercise into a long-term part of your lifestyle’
Find an exercise you enjoy
First and foremost, it goes without saying that if you want to have a chance at making your exercise a part of your regular routine, you need to find a way to exercise that you can enjoy.
If you hate your workout and cannot bear the thought of it, then it’s going to phase out in no time.
Find a way to exercise that you find fun – yes, we said it; fun!
If you hate the gym, go for a run instead. Not a fan of weight training? Try boxing and body-weight workouts. Don’t like getting too sweaty? Go for long walks a few times a week. Whatever makes you feel good for exercising that you don’t dread.
Make it practical
A close second is making your exercise practical.
If you are trying to find the time to go to the gym seven days a week when you absolutely do not have the time, things are going to get messy. And probably stressy too.
Try to find ways that you can make exercise fit around your existing lifestyle.
Condense your workouts to short, intense blasts. Is there a gym on your way to work? Have free space in a room for exercise equipment? Live near a nice open space? Do what’s practical in the long term.
Classes are a staple to a huge number of people’s fitness routines.
Some people think it is an absolute blessing to go to a class. There’s not too much independence, and you’re not lost or lacking motivation. You go, you work, you leave, done.
On top of all of that, they are usually specific, short, and at set times too. That means you know exactly what you are getting yourself into in the long term and that there are no surprises.
There are more social sides to exercise than a lot of people think, and working out with a friend or family member can be an awesome way to build and keep the motivation in the long term.
It’s an amazingly effective way to bring you closer together with people as you support each other to overcome hardships, sharing the load and coming out the side stronger and fitter together.
Effectively, you’re in the same boat, no matter what you’re doing. That’s great for both getting started in the first place, and keeping it up over time too.
There’s more than just being each other’s gym spotters too. You can compete against each other’s performances, swap workout favourites, or even try and take up something out there like team sports.
Planning your workouts is definitely an underrated way to keep up your fitness.
Most people know what a workout plan is, or are at least happy to google one and give it a try. The problem with that? It’s someone else’s workout plan. Sit down and take a serious look at you, not at someone else’s plan.
Goal setting is pivotal to anyone’s training.
It’s what will get you to your milestones and help you keep pushing all the time.
There’s nothing worse than training four days a week for weeks on end and not realising what changes have taken place. Where’s the satisfaction in that?
Long and short-term goals are equally important, and in the long run, they will keep you going strong.
On the flip side, don’t beat yourself up and get fixated if you don’t reach them; any progress is still progress.
If your fitness is really going to be something that you keep up in the long term, it’s important to spice up your training.
Everyone gets bored occasionally, especially if you’re doing the same thing week in week out. Besides, your progress grinds to halt if you do that anyway.
Instead, take maybe one week a month to do something totally different. Try a new set style or training style, get outdoors, play a sport, anything that’s not the usual.
Variety is the spice of life, and fitness is for life, not for one goal.
Make it a habit
Make your exercise routine a part of your routine. Yes, that’s what these tips are for, but hear us out.
Making exercise a regular part of your mornings, for example, means that after a few weeks it’s just natural. It’s not new or daunting, or even much effort, it’s just a part of your day.
Exercising in the morning, especially, is a good call. There are too many excuses that pop up throughout the day not to do a workout after your busy day. In the morning though, you’re fresh, ready, and it’ll give you that feel-good feeling every day.
Be realistic and patient
You need to be patient when it comes to fitness.
Crash diets and new exercise fads aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. There are no quick fixes when it comes to being a healthier human being for the rest of your life.
If there’s one take away from all of this, take this one; patience and perseverance can be your most effective allies. You’re not on a path to a destination, you’re on a journey, and it will take time. One thing that is for sure; it is always worth it.
I am Team GB
Toyota has teamed up with Team GB to re-launch the hugely successful participation campaign ‘I am Team GB’.
Inspired by the achievements of Team GB athletes and the amazing efforts of local community heroes, Team GB has created ‘The Nation’s Biggest Sports Day’, which will take place on the 24thAugust.
Over the weekend, there will be hundreds of free and fun activities across the country, put on by an army of volunteers; the ‘I am Team GB Games Makers’.
To Join the Team and be part of The Nation’s Biggest Sports Day sign up at: www.IAmTeamGB.com
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