5 Steps to Fitness Success



5 Steps to a Successful Fitness Lifestyle

 

We've all been there! We've signed up for 6 weeks of Pilates at the studio that we pass on our way home from work. We're thinking, "That's something I'm going to do after work every day!" We actually sign up but we don't go back after the first session. Some of us have downloaded workout programs online. And many of us own at least one gym membership, plus a garage full of dusty exercise equipment at home. 

We all know that we should exercise regularly, but how in the world are some people able to stick to a firm workout regimen? Perhaps they aren't as busy as we are? Most likely not. Are they more motivated? Possibly, but  not likely. Are they just "wired" differently? Not at all! The simple answer is that they have a definite plan and the discipline to stick with it ? even when it's uncomfortable or inconvenient. 

Step 1: Determine a workout style that you love to do

The easiest way to fall off an exercise routine is by forcing yourself into a workout style you don't like. It's the same as pushing yourself into a diet you hate; at some point you will not only quit, but you'll never return to it. 

Believe it or not, we all love physical activity. We need it, too. Our bodies are designed to respond to regular exercise in ways that are both physically and mentally beneficial. We become stronger, more flexible, physically fit, overall healthier and self-confident. Getting started is only a matter of trying various styles of workouts and discovering what you like and that best fits your lifestyle. 

Here are a few questions to ask yourself to narrow down your workout style: Do you prefer spending time indoors or outdoors? 

. When you get "you" time, do you prefer to be around people or being solo? Do you have the most energy and available workout time in the morning, during lunch hour, or in the evening? 

. How much time do you have for regular workouts (e.g., 20-minutes, 30-minutes, 1-hour)? 

. Do you prefer high-intensity workouts or slow and controlled ones? 

Step 1 should get your wheels spinning about a few things to try.

Step 2: Understanding "Fitness" to create a well-rounded routine

Anaerobic (without oxygen) vs Aerobic (with oxygen): Which one should you do? Short answer: Both. 

Here's why. A well-rounded fitness routine includes both, so it's important to do workouts that comprise anaerobic exercises that strengthen your muscles (i.e., heavy weightlifting, sprints, Tabata, HIIT) as well as aerobic exercises that strengthen your heart and lunges (i.e., jogging, Pilates, Vinyassa Flow, bike riding, tennis). Doing both heart-pumping and slow-controlled workouts not only improves your stamina and cardiorespiratory strength, but also helps you achieve a leaner body frame by revving up your metabolism. 

Step 3: Select your exercise style(s)

If you live in the city you're likely to find a fitness studio on every corner. If you're in the burbs or live in a small town you may need to drive a few miles. However, gyms, studios, and CrossFit Boxes are opening continually, so numerous options are becoming readily available. 

Let's bounce back to Step 1 for a second and select your exercise style(s). Check the options that interest you. 

Indoor Options:

  • Reformer Pilates
  • Yoga
  • HotWorx
  • Orange Theory
  • F45
  • Lagree
  • Company's Corporate Gym
  • CrossFit
  • Dance
  • Barre

Solo:

  • On Demand Workouts 
  • Peloton 
  • Downloadable Online Fitness Guides
  • YouTube: Mat Pilates
  • YouTube: Yoga

Outdoors Options:

  • Local Boot Camp
  • Run Group
  • Outdoor Yoga
  • Tennis
  • Bike Riding
  • Adult Softball or Soccer

If you don't have access to local studios, boxes, or gyms then you can choose from hundreds of affordable online programs, apps, and downloads. 

Narrow your selections down to 1-2 that you'd like to start with. 

Step 4: Block-out your workout time

Map out your workout routine and schedule it in your calendar as if it were a mandatory business meeting. Please don't write something vague on your calendar like "after work: workout." It needs to be specific and blocked out. Consider making yourself a side note that reminds you why this is important to you. Reasons like: to be stronger, to live longer, to make time for myself, to feel more energized. The truth is you feel so much better after you exercise. And when you focus on what's positive and important to you, it's easier to forego distractions like an after work "Happy Hour" to keep you from your goal. 

Step 5: Be consistent. 

Stick to the 1-2 workouts that you've chosen for at least 3-months for maximum results. If after 3 months you decide you want to try something new ? go for it! Your interests and goals may change and that's a good thing! Our bodies are smart and start to catch on if we're doing the same thing for too long. In fact, you may stop seeing results. So, if you're feeling like you want to pass up Pilates for a little while and start training for your first 5K run, that's awesome! Do that! The reformer will always be there when you want to come back. 

I'll close with this, don't be afraid to try something new and always reward yourself with a squeezed juice post-workout. Yum! 

I'd love to know what your current favorite exercise style is. Drop it in the comment section below. 

Hilary Hall, CPT 
Certified Personal Trainer
www.hilaryhallfitness.com


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