Eager to be physically active but can’t seem to stick to a workout for long? Read on to find out five secrets that can help you persevere with your personal fitness journey.
There may be many contributing factors to why you find it difficult to stick to a workout, or even exercise at all. One of the reasons could be that you have lost interest in the same old routine. On the other hand, the cause could also be that in your eyes, you do not see your efforts bearing fruit. As a result, you are left demotivated with no desire to continue with your workouts.
Working out is part of a healthy lifestyle. Although it can be frustrating at first, following any workout regime takes dedication, commitment and time in order for you to see the changes in your body. It is also important to understand that the main importance of working out is to maintain a healthy weight, build and maintain bone density, build muscle strength, aid in your physiological well-being and strengthen your immune system. Overall, it improves the quality of your life. So, how do you stick with working out?
Mix it up
It’s easy to get bored with a workout routine if you’re doing the same thing four to five times a week. In such cases, you will need to find a workout that has meaning for you. In fact, it is essential that your fitness goal(s) be inspirational to you. Sandy Gordon, a professor of Exercise, Health and Sport Psychology at The University of Western Australia, states that recent research suggests that the reason the dropout figure for exercise is so high is because the activities prescribed to people often lack meaning and purpose. If you can relate to this, then what you can do is to keep trying different activities – especially ones that challenge you. As long as it raises your heart rate, it could be anything from salsa dancing, body combat or even paddle boarding.
Take it slow and steady
Although it is possible to reach your goals with proper training, a healthy diet and enough rest, it can be dejecting if your progress takes a little longer than everyone else’s. However, comparing yourself to others and trying to tackle a huge goal all at once will only lead to failure and disappointment. This is because placing too many expectations on yourself will only exhaust your limited time, willpower, and energy. Plus, you could risk depriving your body of the rest it needs to grow stronger. If you find yourself giving up on your fitness goals, don’t feel discouraged by the thought of how far you have yet to go. Instead, break the massive goal into smaller, easier steps, and keep moving forward while celebrating how far you have already gone. These steps will gradually get you closer to your overarching goal.
Track your progress
Track your progress by keeping a fitness journal or use a fitness app to record your progress – for example how many kilometres you run in an hour, the amount of steps you’ve taken in a day, or how much weight you lifted at the gym, and the calories you have burned. Record everything you do as part of your workout, be it exercise routines, the types of weights you used and even how many reps you did. Track your physique by taking photos and measuring your bodyweight, circumference, and body fat percentage periodically. By tracking your daily achievements and activities, you will be able to clearly see your successes and failures and be able to adjust your exercise programme and diet to achieve desired results.
Lack of planning is one of the biggest reasons why people fail to work out, even if it’s the most obvious thing to do. By planning your workouts ahead of time, you won’t feel the pressure of having to think of what kind of workouts to do, or which part of your body you’d like to focus on that day. Try keeping a calendar and schedule your workouts at least a week in advance. Think of it as setting aside time for yourself to de-stress and break into a sweat. In case of bad weather or unscheduled meetings, a contingency plan would help a great deal. According to Rod Dishman, an exercise scientist at the University of Georgia in the United States, you’re 40% more likely to work out if you have strategies to help you overcome the obstacles.
Do a competitive sport
Do you find that you get the most out of a workout when competing with someone? Does it feed your motivation to know that there’s a challenge ahead of you? Why not try a competitive sport. Find a sport or event that you enjoy and train to compete in it. By signing up for a five kilometre obstacle race or CrossFit competition run for example, it will give you something way more motivating to work towards than improving your looks. You will challenge yourself in such instances. Plus, you will have no other choice but to put in effort in the training time. If you don’t, you might not be able to complete the challenge.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that no matter what workout routine you wish to pursue, it has to make you feel happy and fulfilled. In this way, you would be able to stick to it for a much longer time and not give up on it midway. If you are still searching for something that fuels the fire in you to keep working out, keep looking. There’s always something for everyone.
Bored of the gym and want to try something new? Give these fun activities a try!
Indoor rock climbing
Enjoy an indoor climbing facility that offers over 400 boulder, top rope and lead routes from beginner level to pro.
Location: Camp5 Climbing Gym, 1Utama
Pole Dancing or Flyoga
Try out a unique method of yoga that is low impact. Flyoga – fly yoga, uses a fabric hammock to help provide you with a total body strengthening and stretching activity.
Location: Viva Vertical Stage at Asian Heritage Row, Kuala Lumpur; Baby Dance Steps Studio, Bangsar Baru; Dreams Dance Studio, Bandar Sri Damansara; Talent Hub, Desa Sri Hartamas; Dreams Dance Studio, Subang Jaya.
Workout in style, with this combination of dance, acrobatics and music.
Location: Academia Grupo Capoeira Cordão de Ouro Malaysia