Top 10 motivational tips from fitness pros
Staying fit is a challenge. Not impossible, but challenging nonetheless. We may admire those who have managed to get and keep themselves fit wondering, what is it they know that we don’t? What secrets have they discovered to make exercise a way of life that comes as easy to them as brushing their teeth before they go to bed each night?
Here are 10 fitness secrets any seasoned exercise pro will tell you needs to happen to make getting and staying fit not only possible but lifelong:
To make exercise a lifelong habit, it has to be consistent. Life will happen and there will be events along the way ready to derail your efforts. But if you make exercise a priority, nothing will sway you from going off course. It has to be done on most days of the week for a minimum of 30 minutes each time but preferably up to 60 minutes. If you’re not committed to making exercise happen consistently, then it just won’t work.
2. Use effective exercise techniques
If your exercise routine consists of walking 3 days a week for 30 minutes, that’s better than none at all. But, any personal trainer will tell you the best and most effective way to get fit is to use three techniques –
· Strength training – Between 2-3 times a week for about 20 minutes lift weights to help tone the entire body.
· Cardio/aerobic exercise – On at least 4 days a week, do some form of low- to moderate-intensity exercise that gets your heart rate elevated above normal for at least 30 minutes. This could be brisk walking, running, swimming, bicycling, or dancing.
· Stretching/flexibility – Preferably every day, take time to stretch for at least 15 minutes. This improves posture, balance, and helps prevent injuries.
3. Set realistic goals
Goal setting is an all-important tool in making and meeting fitness goals. But be sure they are SMART goals. S stands for specific, M stands for measurable, A stands for achievable, R stands for realistic, and T stands for timely. Instead of stating, “I’m going to walk this week,” rather say, “I’m going to walk three times for 30 minutes this week.” This can help motivate and keep you accountable on staying on track.
4. Enlist a friend to work out with
Sometimes all we need is a buddy who wants to establish a healthy lifestyle like you. Encourage each other, exercise together, and use it as an opportunity to strengthen your friendship and confidence in one another.
5. Make your fitness plans fit your lifestyle
Even the busiest of us who still want to maintain an active lifestyle, will find the time to work out. Forget fancy gear or belonging to a gym. Use what you already have – jump rope, simple floor exercises, or go online and view free exercise videos to follow.
6. Be inspired
Fitness is a state of mind. Read blogs or websites of others you admire and who inspire you to get and stay in shape. We all need some encouragement along the way and when we are inspired, we are more likely to stick with it.
7. Have patience
Prepare for setbacks. They happen even if you follow everything to a “T” there will be ups and downs. You’re sick for three days or you unexpectedly have to travel out of town. Just be patient, don’t give up. Just get back in the groove of consistent exercise and solid results will happen.
8. Love your fitness routine
To stick with a fitness plan long term, you’ve got to love what you do. Choose an activity you enjoy because if you hate it, you won’t stick with it. It’s best to go with an activity that fits your lifestyle and where you live. So if you live in a big city far from the mountains, rock climbing may not be a convenient choice.
9. Record your training and fitness progress
To see how far you have progressed, keep a training schedule, logbook or even a blog of your gym visits, running times, swimming, etc. to evaluate how far you’ve come. This purposely keeps you accountable and focused on accurately monitoring your progress. It also serves as a reminder that you becoming more fit and is inspirational to stick with your plan.
10. Work out when you have the most energy
If you’re a morning person but are trying to work out late in the evening when your body is winding down, your fitness routine will be hard-pressed to last. Discover what time of day you have the most energy – if it’s early morning, schedule your fitness activities early in the day. If you perk up as the day goes on, plan your activities in the afternoon or evening. The upside of working out when you are fully energized is that it will give you the best fitness results as you will be more likely to push yourself the most.