Getting fit is one of the most common goals for people, and it’s no surprise why. Leading a healthy and active lifestyle reduces chances of cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes and even certain forms of cancer. Despite these benefits, nearly 50 percent of those who start a new fitness program drop it within three to six months. Why does this happen? Many people view fitness as a means to an end and don’t take their own personality into account. While it might work in the short term, fitness is really a lifestyle change. In order not to be part of the 50 percent that drop after a few months, you’ll need to take an honest assessment of yourself. Asking these questions can help you find the best program for you.
What Are Your Goals?
Do you want to lose weight, gain muscle or run a marathon? Or maybe you just want to lead a healthier lifestyle. Depending on your answer, your fitness program will change. It’s imperative you set clearly defined goals, for example, to lose a certain amount of weight in two months. This way you’ll be able to find exactly the type of program you need. Once you reach that goal, you then need to reevaluate whether you then want to maintain or go even further.
What Do You Enjoy? What Do You Hate?
Nobody knows you better than yourself. If you hate going to the gym or running, then a program that focuses heavily on these two aspects is a recipe for failure. Maybe you feel pressured to do them because that’s what everyone else is doing. Or maybe it’s what various fitness blogs and magazines tout. The only problem is that if you hate it, you’re more likely to give up. Instead, try to find a program that you enjoy. It could be playing ultimate Frisbee or hiking. Whatever it is, find what you like. It’ll make it easier for you to push past the resistance.
Do You Have the Time?
We all have different schedules. Not everyone has a full hour to spare to work out or even 30 continuous minutes. Take a hard look at your schedule and see if you can fit in more time. If not, that’s okay! Instead, try to make a commitment that is doable. It could even be 10 minutes three times a day. Ten minutes might not be enough time to go to the gym, but it is enough to work out at home thanks to the rise of YouTube fitness channels. There are dozens to choose from that cover different types of fitness such as yoga, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), aerobics and more. The best part is you can access your favorite videos even if traveling on business or vacation by using a Virtual Private Network for accessing YouTube videos.
What’s Your Fitness Level?
A lot of people jump into fitness eagerly and in a couple months burn out. More often than not, it’s because they took on too much in the beginning. If you’ve never exercised before or it’s been a while, then it’s important to start slowly and work your way up. Start with some easier activities such as hiking, swimming or biking. If weight training, don’t be ashamed to start with lighter weights. After all, everyone has to start somewhere. Even with yoga, you need to know the basic forms before you can move on to harder ones.
Of course, if you’re more active, you’ll want to push yourself away from the baseline. Again, though, only do enough to provide your body with just enough resistance and challenge. Make sure you also don’t overtrain. It’s a good way to burn out and can lead to serious injuries.
Do You Have a Support Network?
Working out is easier when you have someone there to keep you company and accountable. There’s likely someone in your network who is looking to get fit. Reach out and see if anyone is interested in joining your fitness journey. If you don’t have anyone nearby, you can join fitness groups to stay motivated. There are also plenty of fitness sites where you can track your progress, make friends, compete on your goals against others and just hang out and chat. These are great environments if you want some more privacy. Regardless of what method you choose, having people to cheer you on helps keep you motivated.
Fitness and You
A good fitness program should naturally incorporate itself into your life. The only way to do that is to take a look at your personality traits and find ways to move your body that complements those traits. And, of course, besides exercise, healthy food is an important part of your fitness program. Again, make sure to follow a routine you can stick with.
What do you do to stay fit? Tell us in the comments below.
A bit about the author:
Caroline is blogger, who loves to work up a sweat and keeping fit. You can read more of her work and her thoughts on health and fitness at e-health informer