During quarantine, many of our fitness goals may have been pushed to the side due to a lack of access to equipment, time, home office schedules, and changes in routine due to kids being home all day. Our “normals” were definitely turned on their heads, but as we’ve adapted and adjusted, it’s important to make the decision to consciously jump back into a daily pursuit of healthy activity levels for ourselves and our loved ones.
As a healthy living company, our desire at Plus Brand is to arm you with the quality products - as well as the timely information - necessary to make such a pursuit a reality. Let’s take a look at 5 different paths that you can take to achieving your health and fitness goals.
Chose A Sport You Enjoy
The key to achieving a healthy level of regular fitness and activity is finding a method that you enjoy. If you have to force yourself to do it because you don’t enjoy it, the odds are less favorable that you will stick with it long term. Let’s admit up front that long term results are primarily what we are all interested in. If we are going to work hard for results that won’t last or aren’t sustainable, what (really) is the point of the effort. This isn’t meant to say, “Well, if I’m not sure it will work, why to start!”, but rather to identify the key importance of developing a long-term solution.
For some, fitness IS a sport; they enjoy a good sweaty workout in the same way that they would a regular pick up basketball game, swimming daily laps, or an adult hockey league. In that case, it’s easy to develop a fitness routine that conforms to the typical picture we get when thinking about “working out”. However, for many people that just can’t get into a daily gym routine, there ARE other options. If the goal is sustainability, then a sport can be a great way to get the regular weekly exercise that you don’t feel like you have to “force” yourself to do. You can enjoy the sport you love as well as get the daily activity necessary to stay healthy and fit. Oftentimes, the sport itself can be an even better trainer as it develops muscle groups and movement in a more organic way than traditional exercise. Ultimately, find something you love that is active and stick to it!
Develop A Clear Plan
Once you have decided on the activity or activities you want to include in your daily routine of activity and fitness, it’s important to create a plan. That doesn’t mean that you have to plan every day and every activity right down to the minute, but it is important to create some sort of a system that will act to create accountability. You want to ensure you have a straightforward way to stick with it.
If it’s the traditional gym workout, consider buying a pass that is beyond month to month so that you are making a commitment. Then go even further by picking a partner to join you. The financial commitment and the commitment to your gym partner will form the basis of a system of accountability. Then decide on your individual goals so that you can create a fitness plan that will address them.
This is the beautiful aspect of a sport. If you can join a league you are then committed to a team and to a regular schedule that will help ensure accountability. If it’s not a structured sport, try to decide on particular days that you will engage in the sport each week so that you can build a routine. Again, a partner in this endeavor will automatically multiply your chances of success right out of the gate.
Document Your Journey
In the age of the selfie, don't hesitate to take pictures since the concrete evidence of your evolution. Oftentimes, pictures will actually give you a better understanding of your progress than a scale could ever do. You may lose 5 pounds over a couple of weeks, but add 6 pounds of muscle. The scale will then tell you that you have gained a pound!! It can be disheartening and a complete misrepresentation of the progress you are actually making. A photo will show you much more clearly that progress has, indeed, been made.
It's also so easy to forget where you started from. Seeing how far you've come will play a crucial role in your level of continued motivation. Not only will documenting your journey help you, including focusing you on the enjoyment of the process rather than simply the end result, but it may also very well be an amazing tool to help you motivate others that you love in the future. We all have influence - people who look up to us - and your fitness journey may be just the spark needed by someone else. It doesn’t get any better than achieving your own goals and then playing a role in helping others do the same!
When you’re engaged in the activities that you have taken the time to plan for your health and fitness, don't let potential distractions distract you! When you are in training mode, leave everything aside momentarily to focus on the task at hand. If you decide to do two things at the same time, such as reading a magazine while cycling, make sure that this combination does not affect the quality of your workout. Give these times 100% of your attention so you don't feel like you could have done more.
Sometimes this may not be 100% possible, in which case it’s always better to get the activity in still rather than cancel it because you can’t devote 100% of your attention. For example, if you have a young child at home and can’t get to the gym, get in a 15 minute home workout while watching a youtube video even if it means you have to run back and forth to keep your child occupied! Or you may want to go for a run and only have 30 minutes, yet you know you have to take a 5-minute phone call from someone at some point. Go for the run! Even if you need to stop for 5 minutes in the middle. It’s still better than skipping it altogether. The idea, however, is that whenever possible, you devote 100% of your attention to your activity. This is what we should strive for in EVERYTHING we do, not just fitness.
Mix Up The Locations
If you’re playing a sport that takes place at the same location every time, this is a non-issue. However, if you are engaged in an activity that can be mobile, mix up the location to keep it interesting. If you run, change your routes. Also, if you swim, change your lake, ocean, or pool locations. And finally, if you work out in a gym, mix it up with outdoor and at-home workouts to give yourself more flexibility to work the activity into your schedule.
These 5 keys are intended to help increase your likelihood of success. A direct result of your routine being sustainable and enjoyable. Ultimately, the more you can mix in various activities the better. The key is to build a lifestyle that becomes active by default.
If you’d like to discover some great workouts, check out our various social media posts, or download your own copy of BURN PLUS, our 30-day guide to a stronger and healthier you that is scalable to your current fitness level. Try it out and let us know what you think!
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