We all strive to be our best selves. Looking after ourselves, be it physically or mentally, should be a top priority, yet many of us fall short and end up putting our health on the backburner. We live in an age where quick fad diets and point-based systems are proving popular – but these do not necessarily work and can have drastic, long-term effects on your health, waistline and mental wellbeing. It is best to find an enjoyable means of keeping fit so that your motivation does not dwindle. If you’re looking for ways to stay motivated, consider the following guide.
Find a Sport You Enjoy
Regular cardio and strength training is vital to your fitness. You need to, at least, undergo thirty-minutes of cardio each day. This can be done by running, cycling, playing a sport (such as football and rugby) or even through badminton and tennis. There is no set way for you to get your daily amount of cardio in; you just have to ensure that you do it properly and without you losing joy in it.
To find a sport you enjoy, be sure to try out many variants. Did you used to like team sports, or are you more of a solo sportsperson? If you prefer the former, then finding a local team to play with, such as netball or basketball, could be enough to keep you busy. For the latter, you could look towards horse riding, running or even hiking.
Losing interest can happen to the best of us, so have a schedule that varies. For instance, on Saturday, have a kickabout with friends, then on Monday, head to the gym for a quick blitz on the running machine before lifting weights. You could also walk on your lunch break with work colleagues or on your own while listening to music. If you start to get bored of, say, the treadmill, you can switch up your routine and use the cycling machine instead.
Enlist a Gym Buddy
Having a partner you can work out with can be a lifesaver when it comes to keeping you motivated. Be sure you buddy up with someone who is enthusiastic about keeping fit and who has a good track record: you don’t want them to be as flaky as you are, rather you need them to be a good influence, and you need them to hold you accountable.
While you may want to work out with your best friend, if they are not a good influence on you and can easily talk you into going out for breakfast rather than an early morning workout, you need to find someone else. Not only will having someone who you can work out with be beneficial to your health and wellbeing, but it can also be beneficial for theirs, too.
Find the Right Fuel
What you eat is incredibly important. When you’re working out, you not only need to fuel your body so that you don’t fatigue yourself, but you also need to eat properly and healthily, so that your hard work isn’t undone. You could hit the gym every day, but if you eat a takeout every other day, you won’t see results.
You need to find a diet that is right for you, and one that you enjoy and can keep doing. Shake That Weight offer customised diet plans so that you can enjoy nutritious and delicious meals and shakes; they are balanced so when coupled with exercise, you will lose weight healthily and, more importantly, keep the weight off.
Foods you should eat when losing weight or keeping the weight off include:
- Leafy greens
- Lean chicken breast
- Beans and legumes
You will want to eat often and not starve yourself. Ensure you are satisfied, however, do not eat until you are overwhelmingly full. Remember to treat yourself every now and then, otherwise you’re more prone to binging. Healthy eaters and gym-goers do not eat healthy 100% of the time.
Water is vital to the human body, and if you’re exercising, you need to ensure you’re drinking more than enough water so that you’re flushing out the toxins and keeping yourself hydrated. Make sure you drink around about 2 litres a day. Buy yourself a water bottle that is easy to keep tabs on, so that you know the amount you’re drinking.
Invest in a Personal Trainer
While this can be a costly endeavour, you should consider having a proper PT session every now and then. A personal trainer can help tailor an exercise plan to your needs and requirements, which will, in turn, help you move towards your own goal. You should enlist the help of a PT at the beginning of your exercise goals, whenever you want to readjust them, and also if you need to liven up your exercise routine.
Have a Goal – and Make it Manageable
Your goal can help spur you on, whether it be your end number, dress size or to simply feel better. Be sure to give yourself a reachable goal, otherwise, if you’re struggling to hit it, you’re more likely to give up and return to old habits.
Once you’ve reached your goal, you can adjust it. While you may have an end goal which is difficult to reach, make sure to have milestones for you to conquer, and once you have, celebrate them.
Don’t Listen to Others
It can be easy to compare ourselves to others, but it’s important that you try to drown out the white noise. You may have friends who are toned themselves, and who have a rigid exercise routine, but this does not mean it’s their way or the highway. Instead, you need to find something that works for you – and make sure your friends know this too.
Social media is another offender, as it can cause even the fittest of people to doubt their best efforts and cause motivation to be lost. Again, only compare yourself to, well, yourself. You shouldn’t look towards the abs on Instagram and wonder why you don’t look like them: in the end, the people on social media are posing a certain way, flexing and have good lighting.
Go to Bed Early
Working out in the morning before work can set you up for the day and have you feeling more refreshed. However, you need to ensure you get a good night’s sleep. Otherwise, you risk hitting ‘snooze’ on your alarm and missing your morning gym session. Get into a routine, whether you, for instance, are in bed by nine at night, read a book until nine-thirty, then get up at six in the morning, so you have plenty of time to workout before work.
Be Active Outside the Gym
Be spontaneous. If you don’t fancy hitting the gym or playing a sport on a Saturday morning, go out hiking with your friends instead. You could go kayaking, if it is possible, and even biking. If you want to have a break, organise a ski trip with your nearest and dearest, which are far more active than the holidays where you’re sun lounging for hours on end.
Other ways for you to remain active outside the gym include always taking the stairs (never the elevator or escalator), walking whenever you can, be it on your lunch break or to the corner store, or being sure to get up and walk about the office – too much sitting down is bad for you, and can cause permanent problems.