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| Luke Hopkins

A Beginners Guide to Sticking to Your Fitness Routine

Ever tried to start a fitness routine, only to give up or stop a week later? We've all been there. Starting something is such an important step, but there is an even harder step later on as you try to maintain your new found excitement for an exercise routine. For many of our wonderful customers, this might not be such an issue - you are motivated, passionate and ready to put the hard work into your fitness lifestyle. However, there are also plenty of people (myself included) who find it hard to keep going. So I wanted to put together a list of tips to help those of us who need some inspiration to get through the hard first few weeks!

Accountability

Finding someone to have your back is so important. Even if you don't actually exercise together, having someone that is reliable enough to message you and say "Hey! Did you go for your run today?" is so helpful. They keep you in line and give you a reason outside of yourself to do what you said you'd do. And if you can exercise together, that is even better. You'll most likely push each other further than you'd go by yourself, and (hopefully) make it more fun. There's a great tip from this blog that suggests you put $5 in a jar when you miss a work out, and when you get to a certain amount you have to buy a present for the other person with that money! Even better, join a team! Is there a sport you've always wanted to play? Or that you used to play but stopped? Find a local competition and make a team with some friends, or join another team and make some new ones! If you commit yourself to a team, you'll have to play, and you'll most likely also have to do some exercise during the week. It's a win-win situation.

Find Something You Love

What works for someone else will not necessarily work for you. Don't plan to go for a run at 6am every morning if you know you aren't a morning person. Schedule the time into your evening or your lunch break instead - it doesn't really matter, as long as it suits you. And more importantly, find something that you love to do! If you hate running, don't do it. Do pilates instead. Or yoga. Find something that you genuinely enjoy - there are so many gyms around now that it won't be hard to find one that has just what you want.

Schedule It In

Write in your diary, put it in your phone calendar - schedule it in like you would a meeting. Make it a serious commitment that you want to keep to during the week. It's also important to plan it out. Deciding the night before what you'll do the next day will much more likely result in you not doing it. Spend some time on Sunday night or on Monday morning scheduling your fitness into your week and commit to it. And don't just write "run" - being more specific will help you solidify in your mind the plan for the week. Set a goal (see the tip below!), a time limit or a place you want to run to.

Set Goals

Goals are the best! They motivate you and help you to know when you've achieved something. Set some short term goals and some long term goals. Short term can just be to knock off 10 seconds on your running circuit this week, or to do 5 extra pushups. Long term goals could be more related to weight loss, or simply to show that you've stuck to your fitness plan for an extended period of time. Good goals will be specific, able to be measured, achievable (but not too easy), realistic and have a time limit. And don't forget to give yourself a reward when you hit one of the goals! What are your goals? Let us know what you're aiming to achieve in the next few months! Send us a pic on Instagram or Facebook.

Forgive, But Don't Forget

Of course you'll miss a week when you have a cold, or if you're having a particularly stressful week at work and have to do some overtime. Or maybe you just chose to watch a movie instead of go to the gym. These things happen, and it's important to not be dragged down by them, but instead to learn from your mistakes and move forward! Brush yourself off and get back to it - it's all about your frame of mind. But most importantly...

Build It Into Your Lifestyle

Fitness doesn't have to be a chore - it doesn't have to be tacked onto your week so you don't feel guilty. Exercise has so many physical, emotional and psychological benefits. It lowers the risk or heart disease and other obesity related diseases, and helps to decrease stress and anxiety. It is a benefit to include it in your life. The big question shouldn't be "when can I fit it into my busy schedule?", it should be "what am I prioritising?". At the end of the day, you make time for the things you love. Make fitness one of them! Find something you love and just do it!