You might wonder how it’s possible to keep on track with your health and fitness challenges like #m3newme, when you work most of your day, might have to look after children, cook meals, socialize and… well live. So the idea of fitting in some MORE activity like a fitness routine or workouts or whichever you choose, seems impossible. When you listen to some of the fitness experts, celebrities or life gurus, it’s like to them there can be no excuses imaginable to skip a workout. But, think a little further, and well, they probably have a lot more time, money and support on their hands to fit it in.
Now we don’t suggest that we have a miracle solution up our sleeves but we do have a few tips and ideas to help inspire you to keep trying and… hopefully succeeding in sticking to your fitness goals.
Pencil it into your diary
If you have a dentist appointment, a language class or a children’s play date, you tend to write it down in your diary and then respect it. Well the same thing goes for a workout. If you decide that on Tuesday at 7 o’clock in the evening you have a gym class, respect it as if you were meeting with a friend or for a doctor’s appointment. That way you can work your life around it.
Habits come with … well habit:
You don’t think twice about some of the things you do in your life because they have become a habit. If you have gym class schedule with various times and you choose to go, only when it’s possible, you’ll often put other priorities ahead. Instead, try and install a (or more) specific day(s) which are dedicated to a workout. That way everyone around you knows that you are not available on that or those days at that specific time. No extra excuses to skip the class or the moment.
If you get up even half an hour earlier than usual, you tend to get things done a lot quicker. And when you wake up that little bit earlier, you are able to really enjoy YOUR time. No distractions. If you like running, then prepare your running outfit the night before and you can just squeeze out the door without waking anyone up. Waking-up just 30 minutes earlier, means a 30 minute extra run in your day. And there’s no one out and about to get in your way. You might not think it at first, but it will actually keep you energised and focused throughout the morning!
Workout and Work
Whether you’re a morning person or an evening gym bunny, we all know that feeling when you come back from work, get back home and decide you don’t want to go to the gym/workout anymore. Ideally, try and find a way that makes you work out BEFORE you get home Whether you sign-up to a gym near work, run home from work or stop off at the gym/swimming pool near home before getting back, it will still be easier to just get it done, rather than going home first.
Workout and Hangout.
This can be a two-edged sword. On the one hand, knowing your friend will be there for your workout will motivate you to go, even if you were really wanted to just stay at home. On the other hand, if your friend is also feeling a bit lazy, you might end up relying on her and giving up when he/she doesn’t show up. Choose a friend you can rely on to stay on track. Then think of their presence as a bonus. If he/she turns up, then great, if not, then you still got your workout in. Just don’t be tempted to go out for drinks or food after each session, or you’ll lose the initial benefit.
Workout towards something.
Whether you’re a beginner or a long-timer, you can always find a goal to reach when you want to work out. It can be a 5km race, a marathon, a Cross fit competition or any other organised challenge. Or it can simply be your own challenge, such as running 10k every week or reaching a certain target in the gym. The idea is, that when you have a fixed goal, you will tend to push yourself to keep “training” for it until you reach it. If you work out just for the sake of working out, you might soon forget why you started in the first place, and lose motivation along the way. So if you haven’t got a goal yet, try and find one now so you can start working towards it.
For a lot of people, weekends are when you can breathe a bit, let loose or treat yourself. And we’re definitely not trying to go against that. However, weekends can also be a great opportunity to find more time to fit a work out in. You generally have more time available to dedicate to yourself, so try and use the opportunity. It could be a case of setting your alarm a bit earlier than usual and heading out for an exercise session. Or planning a long day of hiking with some friends. The weekends are those extra bits that make all the difference.
If you’re trying to lose weight with exercise, it doesn’t mean you have to spend hours working out. Often it’s a case of choosing the right type of exercise for the right amount of time. So if you want to shorten your workouts, go for HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts that last 30 minutes or less, but have pushed you harder than an hour on the treadmill. If you have more time then that’s when LISS (Low Intensity Steady State) training for a longer period of time comes in on weekends or when you have more time for yourself. The same counts for weights. Choose the right time for your weight exercise, compared to your short burst exercises.
Share the Workout
If you feel like you need some extra support around you, sometimes it’s worth sharing what you’ve decided to start, or your results or goals online. Not only does it give you support and encouragement, it also gives you a bigger sense of accountability. If you’re working out and no-one knows or notices the difference, you might not feel as motivated to keep going.
We did just say that it could be demotivating to come home and then work out. But that’s not always the case, and not everyone works away from home. When you work from home, or stay at home most of your day looking after children for instance, it can be a good idea to dedicate a space for your workouts. You don’t need a whole gym. Just a mat, your body and a few accessories and you are ready to go. However, it can also be nice to get out of the house once in a while. In which case, try and incorporate some exercise away from the home so you don’t get stuck in a rut.
As we mentioned previously, our lives are often very busy and can change from one day to the next. So getting your workout in isn’t as easy as some people might suggest. We hope that with some of these tips, you might be able to edge just a little bit closer to your goals and manage to organise some level of constant activity into your life. Maybe try one at a time along with your #m3newme challenge.