There are times when we come to the proverbial ‘crossroads’ in our journey. Making the commitment to revive a languishing fitness program by re-embarking on the road to physical fitness is one such opportunity. No matter what has happened before, whether your fitness journey was a huge success and you gradually let things slip, or you truly struggled to make gains in working toward meeting your fitness goals, it is never too late to renew your commitment to fitness and begin again by taking steps in the right direction. The day that matters is today! Today, you have the wonderful opportunity to make choices that can lead you forward into the most incredible and fulfilling journey of your life. Without further delay, here are essential tips to help get fitness journeys back on track.
Use Outside Accountability
Many a person with great fitness aspirations and the best of intentions has made the mistake of beginning their fitness journey alone. And while their enthusiasm is admirable and has perhaps even kept them motivated for a time, the simple fact is it’s challenging to sustain motivation over the long haul without some form of accountability in the form of at least one other person. Think of personal fitness as a long-term commitment. Not a five or even ten-year commitment, we are talking about a lifetime of vibrant fitness. Such a lofty commitment is very noble, but also very challenging. It will require support to keep you motivated on those cold winter mornings when you would much rather stay in bed, pull the blankets over your head, and go back to sleep. Options to use outside accountability can be tailored to your personality and may include hiring a personal trainer or life coach, having a workout partner, or simply having someone to whom you report results.
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Develop A Realistic Fitness Plan
We’ve all heard the statement “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Neither is fitness, but you can begin with proper goal-setting. This requires taking an honest inventory of your current fitness level, and establishing a starting point from which you can develop reasonably obtainable short and long-term fitness goals. Sound difficult? It may require a little trial and error at first, but as you begin your activity of choice such as weight lifting, walking, running, bicycling, or swimming, pay attention to what you can do without pushing yourself to the point of utter exhaustion. This is your starting point! From there, set goals to slowly increase your level of activity in terms of strength and endurance. Remember, it all begins with a plan, so take time to develop a realistic fitness plan before beginning.
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Schedule Times For Fitness
A key to gaining momentum in your commitment to fitness is to establish a specific time for exercising. Whether your routine involves going to the gym, walking or jogging at a local high school track, or using an exercise machine at home, it is vital to schedule times for fitness. Think about your daily routine. Most of the things in life that you accomplish through consistent activity are scheduled into the day. Whether this involves showing up to work at a specific time or setting aside time to eat dinner with the family, the simple truth is it only happens on a consistent basis when it is scheduled into the calendar. We tend to make time for what is most important to us. If fitness time isn’t scheduled into the calendar, there is a very high likelihood some other need will take its place. Don’t wait to find the time. Make time to achieve your fitness goals.
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Don’t Jump In Too Fast
In fitness, enthusiasm can only carry a person so far. It takes time for the body to adjust to a specific fitness routine, and measurable improvements are the result of sustained effort. For example, let’s say you have chosen running as your activity of choice. It is far better to start by successfully jogging one-quarter or one-half of a mile and then getting off of the track or treadmill for the day than it is to suffer and strain to do a full mile. Over time, your endurance will increase to the point where you can do a full mile without an incredible amount of struggle. The lesson to be learned here is don’t jump in too fast. Start with less and allow your body to adjust to your new exercise routine, then work to slowly and steadily increase your workload. Sometimes, less is more. This will help to fuel motivation, and your body will thank you for it as well.
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Don’t Forget About Nutrition
Most would agree if a tool could be accessed that is known for its immense health benefits, having been proven throughout history to provide increased energy levels and stronger immunity against illness, it would be well worth obtaining. When it comes to your health and wellness, proper nutrition provides just such a turbo-boost so your body can operate at optimal levels when engaging in physically demanding workouts day-in and day-out. Like two wings that allow an eagle to soar, proper nutrition and exercise provide a dynamic combination to take the body to new levels of physical fitness. And the good news is fueling your body through good nutrition isn’t overly complicated. A daily diet consisting of healthy protein sources such as eggs, cheese, nuts, and lean meats, combined with a healthy assortment of vegetables and fruits will have your body well-fueled and ready for the rigorous demands of daily workouts. Remember, when it comes to achieving optimal health and fitness, don’t forget about nutrition!