“Character is the ability to carry out a good resolution long after the excitement of the moment has passed.” — Cavett Robert
It’s been one month since many of us set a New Year’s Resolution. It’s a great time to analyze and assess your performance so far. Are you on track? If not, it’s time for an intervention. Ask yourself what you need to start doing? What do you need to stop doing? What do you need to keep doing?
It terms of exercise, for most people, it’s a chore. There’s no enjoyment associated with it whatsoever. So whatever you can do to make exercise more fun, the greater the chances you will stick with it.
Try some of these tips:
- Workout with a buddy. You may find that having a friend around really helps with exercise adherence and you may be able to encourage each other to try out new activities. Or hire a personal trainer. They will add variety, safety, fun and keep you accountable to ensure you experience great results. And that will motivate you to keep working out!
- Enroll in fun, active programs. For example, sign up with some friends for a Zumba, BallRoom, Latin or Swing class. Take a scuba-diving class together. Participate in a recreational sport program.
- Get out your IPOD and workout to your favorite play-list. Music always makes a workout more enjoyable.
- Purchase some new exercise DVDs: Do you follow exercise videos? Well if you can recite the cues from the instructor word for word, you may want to purchase a few more videos to add to your repertoire.
- Knowledge is Power. Make it a goal to learn about your body. Attend lectures, purchase exercise, nutrition or motivational books or consult with a personal trainer. The more you know, the easier it is to convince yourself to stick to your program.
- Do something new. Next workout, try a brand new exercise you’ve never done before. If you always do tricep pressdowns to work your triceps, next workout try a tricep dip. If you always jump onto the treadmill for your cardio training, try the stairmaster or rowing machine.
- Vary your pace. If you always do level 3 on the stairmaster for 30 minutes, next workout go for level 4 for only 20 minutes. If you always run for 40 minutes, next workout run for only 20 minutes and incorporate some high-intensity intervals. If you always do the same number of reps, go for a change of pace. For example, if you always do 15 reps of any exercise, next workout increase the resistance a bit and do only 10 reps. This will keep you mentally and physically stimulated!
- Change the sequence of your workouts. If you always do your cardio exercise first, next workout do a brief warm-up, then do your muscle conditioning exercises and then finish with your cardio. If you always do your leg exercises before your upper body exercises, reverse this next workout.
- Mix up your classes: If you’re a class-goer and you’ve found yourself attending the same type of class, mix it up! If you are a regular stepper, next class go for an indoor cycling, boxing, Yoga, Tai Chi, Pilates, funk or hip hop class.
- Mix up the indoors and outdoors. Do you find yourself always working out indoors? Once a week, go outside for a power walk, run, hike, inline skate or cycle – climb a set of stairs outside instead of the machine-version. If you’re always outside, go indoors for one workout a week. Start a resistance training program or indoor rockclimbing. The change of scenery may be something your body needs.
- Go for an adrenaline rush. Every few months, we encourage our clients to set a new, challenging goal. We’ve had clients train for fun runs, triathlons, half marathons, marathons, extreme hiking adventures, snowboarding or skiing, and cycling treks. These types of goals have really helped inspire our clients to stick to their fitness program. Try new activities like hiking, indoor rockclimbing, snowboarding/skiing, skate-skiing, snowshoeing, whitewater rafting, sea kayaking, or a running clinic.
Practicing a few of these tips will definitely add some flavor to your exercise program and increase the chances that you will stick with it long enough to experience incredible results!
Yours in health and fitness,
ps. If you have a workout tip that has helped you stick to your program, please leave a comment. You may inspire others!