How to Fall in Love with Fitness
It’s easy to create fitness goals, but too often enthusiasm fades after the first couple weeks. So, how do you fall in love with fitness? Creating a personalized fitness plan with doable exercise routines, while incorporating easy healthy habits can help. The following are six ideas to help you enjoy a path to living a healthy lifestyle.
1. Find Your Fitness Goals
Setting fitness goals is one of the most popular methods that successful people use to stay on track. Goals are what we use to create our desired future, and while long-term goals should be fulfilling once you reach them, the path should also be enjoyable and exciting. Adding smaller, reachable goals can make this happen.
Solidify your goals by writing out a fitness plan. Incorporate exercise routines and healthy habits that will help you stay motivated and excited about the path you are on. It can be fun if you let your imagination guide you. Some goals might include:
· Drink more water
· Exercise five times a week
· Enter a marathon
· Lose 50 pounds
2. Find Your Motivation
While goals are destinations, motivations are the drive behind the goals. Adding self motivations to your goal list can help you remember why you created goals in the first place. The following are some common reasons that motivate people into fitness:
· Manage stress and Improved moods
· More energy
· Stronger body without aches and pains
· Better health with lower blood pressure and controlled blood sugar
· Build confidence
· Fit into your old jeans
· The ability to participate in sports activities with friends
3. Create Your Plan
Now write your plan for exercise, diet, and any healthy habits you would like to incorporate. Planning can be fun and motivating as you see that it is possible to fit exercise and other healthy habits into your daily schedule. The key is to make sure your plan fits in with your current schedule.
For example, plan 15 to 20 minutes a day of exercise before work, and if it helps, schedule it on a whiteboard or personal planner. Create a food plan for yourself that is easy to follow. Perhaps plan weekly commitments like no fast food this week, or commit to a fresh, green salad before each meal. Some people find success by posting their meal plans on the refrigerator.
Other habits to include as part of your plan might be to drink a glass of lemon water each morning or keep track of water intake to ensure you are getting at least six cups a day. Add these into a daily reminder on your phone or put sticky notes where you can see them. Small habits like these are easy to keep and quickly add up, as long as you remember to do them.
4. Start Easy
If you want to create a habit, implementing it may be easy, but sticking to it may not be. Therefore, start with practices that are easy to incorporate, like 10 or 15 minutes of exercise instead of 30 or 60 minutes. When it comes time to exercise, you know it will be over quickly if you keep your workout time short, while if you plan to exercise a full hour, you may find excuses why you are too busy to do it.
Eating healthy for fitness can also be made easy. Some ideas are to drink more water, cut out all soda, replace cookies with healthy cookies that you make yourself, or vow to not eat white flour products for a week. Incorporating small habits like these are ways to help your body get accustomed to salad over chips or fruit over candy. Eventually, your brain will make healthy foods a habit and you will prefer those over junk foods.
The key to any new habit is to begin small and have patience. Allow the small changes to take hold in your everyday life and you will ease into enjoying your new fitness path.
5. Make Fitness Fun
Most people feel great after a workout, but getting started can be difficult. To overcome this feeling, find fitness activities that you can look forward to. Make it a practice to change your routines with weekly updates, and add fun activities as part of your fitness plan.
When you plan your week of fitness, remember to keep your exercise sessions short. Go for a walk, do an active stretch routine, or use an elliptical. In each case, listen to your favorite music to make it enjoyable. If clothes are your thing, get some new fitness gear that you want to show off, and if you have a treadmill or home exercise gear, allow yourself to read or watch a comedy video. The key is to find a way to make it enjoyable for you.
Other ideas to make fitness fun are to add activities that bring you joy while getting fit. Horseback riding, rebounding on a trampoline, hiking in nature and a walk at the beach are all fun activities that can be enjoyed as your fitness plan or in addition to a regular, weekly exercise routine.
An ideal and interesting plan to keep fitness fun and interesting are to incorporate strength training twice a week, cardio once or twice and a fun activity once or twice a week. This type of training keeps all muscles and bones conditioned for balanced fitness.
6. Reward Yourself
Rewarding yourself can look different to everyone. To some, a reward might be a new outfit for a night on the town after two successful weeks, and to others, it might be a healthy, home-cooked hamburger at the end of a great week. Other ideas include new workout shoes, new sports equipment, or a new haircut. No matter what you choose, enjoy what you treat yourself to, and be sure to have rewards in your future. Positive reinforcement really does work.
Falling in love with fitness will work differently for each person. But the above tips are tried and true ideas that have been used by many to keep them on track to reach fitness goals and establish healthy habits. And the more you enjoy your habits and daily routines, the more you will enjoy getting and being fit and healthy.