By Bryce Hoffman
With the New Year fast approaching many Americans will make fitness and health part of their resolutions, this might even be on your mind as well. However, as is the pattern every year, a large portion of those dedicated to making this change will only be able to do so for a couple weeks or months before they resign to try again next year. But not you. You know it’s going to be hard but you’re going to dig deep and make a real change in your life. But how, you wonder, how do you avoid falling into the same pitfalls as those before you?
- Realize Every Body is Different – You may see results in your first week or two, or you may not see them until several months into your workout routine. Your friends may be able to eat whatever they want and keep the weight off without working out while you may not experience that same luxury. Here is where it becomes important to compare your growth today from where you were yesterday rather than to somebody else’s progress.
- Tell the World – People in general tend to hold themselves more accountable when they feel the need to prove themselves to people whose opinions they value. Tell your friends, your family, your significant other, anyone who will listen to what your goals are. If you wake up one morning and don’t feel like eating that healthy meal or going to the gym before work, you’ll think to the people who believe in you and you will then believe in yourself.
- Make it a Lifestyle Change, Not a Weight Change – One of the fundamental problems with diets and exercise fads is that as soon as people are happy with the number on the scale they fall back into their old fitness habits. And those old habits will bring back that old weight. If you want to make a healthy change for the long-term it must be a lifestyle change. Find exercises and routines that make sense for your body and its limitations. Discover healthy food alternatives that you enjoy and are sustainable. A little bit of seasoning or spray can go a long way in making your meals more palatable.
- Keep Logs of Your Progress – Bragging rights aside, keeping a log of your fitness journey allows you to keep yourself on an upward trend and avoid stagnation. You may see that while you’ve steadily been increasing your weight on your leg press maybe you haven’t increased the weight on your chest press in several weeks. Or perhaps you’ve been running 15 minutes at a 5-MPH pace on the treadmill for so long that you barely break a sweat anymore. To continue making progress you must continue to challenge yourself. This helps keep your workouts fresh while avoiding the boredom of “going through the motions”.
- Enjoy Your Exercise – You wouldn’t go to the gym and work out every day if you hated it right? Find the joy in your workouts. Maybe you like going to the gym with a partner who challenges you and notices your progress firsthand. Maybe you like exercising in a group setting while building a sense of community. Maybe you just want to plug in some headphones and listen to your favorite music in private. Figure out what works best for you and you’ll end up looking forward to going to the gym rather than when you get to leave.
All these tips come together to help you find the power to change your life for the better. After all, you’re going to be living in your body your whole life, so name me a better investment than one in your health.