Longevity should be the name of the game when it comes to our fitness regimes; but for many of us this approach is not undertaken and we face that vicious cycle of being fit and healthy and falling off the bandwagon.
So how do we ensure that we adhere to the fitness regime and not get stuck in that rut? As an experienced fitness mentor, I’ve come up with 5 fail-proof strategies that will equip you with the knowledge and mindset needed to sustain a healthy lifestyle.
1. Be flexible with your approach
Everyone has their unique approach to fitness based on many factors including personal experiences, goals and information received. Some are of the ‘go hard or go home’ school of thought and need an intense workout, while others need specific tools and equipment to get their workout. Then there are those who believe they have to make big sacrifices to get that hour’s exercise done.
Are you able to occasionally forgo all of the above and just move, stretch, breathe and count it as a workout? The benefits you will get from having a flexible approach will ease the stress of thinking you’re not getting the workout you want. There will be days when you just can’t maintain peak energy and focus. What counts is that you still move and connect with your body; and remember the keyword—longevity.
2. Take on new challenges
Tony Robbins, the renowned life coach, states that growth equals happiness. Being stuck in a training rut has a lot to do with how you feel about training and yourself, and is often the result of doing the same routine for too long. This is when you need a new goal. There are plenty of challenges to embark on that will change the way you train and encourage you to better yourself. A full marathon, obstacle course race, that first pull-up, a stronger core or even Everest base camp—set the challenge and work towards it!
3. Explore new way of fitness
Do you love bodyweight workouts like yoga and pilates because training with weights and gym equipment isn’t your thing? Look beyond your normal regime and try other bodyweight exercises like calisthenics, locomotive training or even parkour! And, if you’ve been doing equipment-based training for a while, explore workout routines focused on new movement patterns like climbing, sprinting, kicking and boxing. You don’t have to change your fitness routine completely, but doing something totally different can renew energy, focus and interest.
4. Have a purpose
When we begin our fitness journey, there’s always a very distinct goal to achieve—be fitter, stronger, slimmer, more energetic. A few weeks or months later and the excitement wanes off and it becomes a chore to do it. It’s very important to remind yourself of what your PURPOSE was in the first place and how exercising is making you feel and look better. Connect with every move you make and enjoy that workout high—fully oxygenated, blood pumping and rushing endorphins! Acknowledge yourself for making the effort and doing your body and mind a great favour.
5. Don’t do it alone!
We do what we do based on what we know. The world of fitness has plenty to offer including helpful coaches and workout buddies who may even become good friends. Organise exercise sessions with a friend or let your trainer introduce you to different routines. A little healthy competition never hurt either so hit the gym with workout buddies and bring it to the next level. The need to feel connected with others is one of the basic human needs and being able to fulfill that with inspirational others can ultimately take us much further in life. Whatever happens throughout your day, you will always look forward to a sweet escape with your sweat buddies or coach on the gym floor!
Living a larger life through being fitter and healthier also means having the ability to check in with yourself from time to time to make sure our routine is sustainable and empowering.
There you have it. Be open, be flexible, be connected and live life intentionally.