Okay, so you’ve got yourself on a healthy eating plan, you’ve made positive changes to your diet and you are eating healthy foods but the scale isn’t moving. So, what’s next? What is the next obvious choice? That answer is openly evident, you must get moving. In order to be successful, some form of activity has to be added as you incorporate both diet and exercise combined together. You can’t have one without the other. You can’t lose weight effectively by just dieting alone and you can’t lose weight effectively by just exercising alone. They go hand in hand.
Getting serious about weight loss and adapting a healthier lifestyle means you have to be willing to commit to some form of physical activity. Whatever mode you choose, you have to get moving. Walking, Zumba, DanceFit, aerobics, hitting the gym, badminton, tennis, ballroom dancing, bike rides, swimming, bowling, chair exercises, weight training, volleyball, skating, golf, tennis, racquet or ball sports. You have to do SOMETHING to get your body moving. Any form of movement is better than nothing and it has to be every day for at least 30 minutes. Your daily routine must include some form of physical activity and yes folks, this also includes sex.
However, one of the drawbacks with fitness, which can become problematic is that so many folks start out with the best intentions but lose focus and give up and tire quickly. Fitness becomes something that takes too much effort. For those of you just starting out or perhaps hitting a plateau or in need of some extra inspiration and motivation, here are some simple fitness tips to keep you motivated.
Simple Fitness Tip #1
Remember to keep variety in your fitness plan. Try different modes of exercise. If you are just going to the gym, spice it up with running, martial arts, canoeing, jump rope, and the trampoline. You have to have a CORE or chosen mode of fitness to start off with but always explore new avenues to keep the extra spice in your life. It’s also a great way to learn new skills. Obviously, first and foremost you must find the type of exercise that fits YOU. If you’re not a gym person, you have to find a fitness style that fits you and one that you will stick to and enjoy. Old routines have to vary so that the enjoyment stays but more so to allow the body to continually achieve effective results.
Simple Fitness Tip #2
Be patient. The best way to start a fitness routine is to go at it slowly and it must be that way. Going at a new skill or in the gym with all guns a blazing can be just as detrimental to your success as not being motivated at all. Take the time to learn the skill and the proper and safe techniques so that injuries are prevented, which is often a reason for folks getting disenchanted early. Exercise MUST be done in moderation.
Simple Fitness Tip #3
Exercise has to be part of your day. Make a time that is convenient for your lifestyle and try to do it at the same time every day. Fitness should be as normal to you as eating, breathing, brushing your teeth or getting dressed. It should become a habit.
Simple Fitness Tip #4
Set out realistic and attainable short and long-term goals and objectives and take them one day at a time. For example, your short-term goal could be walking every day but your long-term objective is to eventually start running. That’s smart planning. Don’t ruin this by starting out running. If you’ve never ran before, you cannot expect to suddenly turn into Ben Johnson and run like an Olympian, it’s dangerous and you will be prone to giving up prematurely. Once you have started to run, take it slowly. Run one block, then walk a block, then run two blocks and walk two blocks. When YOU are ready, you can make that transition from walking to running and your body will be conditioned and in a safer mode for success.
Simple Fitness Tip #5
You have to make your fitness FUN. If you don’t enjoy it, exercise will end up being too much like a chore and ultimately the novelty will wane and you will stop. You MUST find something you like. Working out with a buddy is always a great motivator and enhances the social aspect.
Simple Fitness Tip #6
One of the main benefits of exercise is that it gives your mind a relaxing atmosphere and allows the brain to take a break. Exercise is intended to provide stress relief and to not think for an hour or so. If you cannot perform your exercises without thinking about your routine, it’s too complicated. You shouldn’t have to think about it or need a road map to get through your exercise.
Simple Fitness Tip #7
To be blunt, if you aren’t willing to make a serious commitment, do not start until you are. You absolutely must make a commitment to a lifestyle change. In order to be successful, you have to maintain that success. If you are viewing exercise as just a momentary fix, then it’s only going to be done on a temporary basis. However, one of the KEY factors in the motivational process is to be vigilant that you do not deprive yourself of activities or routines that you normally love to do. Rocket science is not needed to understand that you will begin to resent exercise if it gets in the way of your past-times. Don’t stop doing things that you thoroughly enjoy doing. Fitness should not be a replacement for fond activities in your life but rather an additional enhancement.
Simple Fitness Tip #8
Keep an ongoing track record of your exercise program and write it down in a fitness journal or on your computer. Don’t just rely on your memory. One inexpensive way is to purchase a pedometer to see how far you have travelled and how many calories you have worked off. Keeping a daily chart is much like maintaining a diet plan. If you started out walking for 20 minutes and doing 30 sit-ups and in a few months you’re up to walking for 60 minutes and doing 200 sit-ups, you will want to remember it as tangible proof that you are improving, which is another great motivator. Make sure to congratulate and reward yourself for meeting your goals.
These are very simple and basic tips for staying motivated and on track with your fitness routine. Please never forget to look in the mirror for more tangible evidence to see the changes that are happening to your body. They may be subtle but they will become more obvious as time goes on through clearer skin, healthier complexion, softer hair, improved stamina, increased sex drive, cognitive awareness, restful sleeping, livelier eyes, looking younger, and an overall improvement in mental and physical health. Remember the ultimate motivator is YOU!
On a personal note, 15 months ago I was almost 300 pounds and physically unable to get through a 3 minute dance routine. Now as I am approaching the final phase of my melt-down transformation, it is almost surreal to know that I’m going to be Zumba licensed very soon. I cannot emphasize enough how Zumba has had an overwhelming impact upon my whole weight loss and self transformation. I am addicted to the music, the camaraderie, the dance moves and the entire total body workout that it provides. Nobody is surprised to learn that I’m working on my fitness trainer certification. What a delight to announce that I have returned to my former job as a fitness Instructor, which I held for almost 15 years before my weight started spiralling out of control. Ironically, when I was teaching before, I spent a great deal of my teaching as an overweight person. I was physically fit but never maintained nor attempted to eat a healthy diet. At this moment in my life, it will be the first time since I was a teenager, that I will be leading the classes as a slimmed down person. I am looking forward to sweating it out. See you all on the dance floor!