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It is not easy to stick to a regular physical activity regimen. Here are a few tips to counter your excuses and develop the willpower to stick workout plans.
Many of us start exercising with the noblest of intentions, but then the excuses start piling up and we quit. People stop exercising for many reasons – boredom, fatigue, self-consciousness, and time, to name a few. Arvind Ashok, coach and co-founder of The Quad in Chennai, says that some of the most common reasons why people don’t stick to workout plans boring training plans, unrealistic goals, and impatience, among others.
In this article, we have outlined some practical solutions to help you stick to your workout plans. Do not let your plans for a more physically active life be derailed again.
If you cannot spare even half an hour a day for physical activity, you are probably leading a high stress, low sleep lifestyle. “Don’t even think about going to the gym. Get more sleep, eat way better, and build more physical activities into your daily routine,” advises Arvind. Take the stairs instead of escalators, do more housework, and walk whenever you can. You could also try getting up 20 or 30 minutes earlier in the morning to squeeze in a short workout.
“If you feel too tired to work out, again the culprit is likely to be a high stress lifestyle. Fix your lifestyle first. Get enough sleep, eat nutritious food, and reduce the stressors in your life,” says Arvind.
Another reason could be that you are working out too hard. Reduce the intensity of your workouts and catch at least half an hour more sleep. Ironically, when you find time for regular physical activity, your energy level also usually improves as you get adjusted to the routine.
If you still feel fatigued after fixing everything else, perhaps you may have an underlying medical condition like hypothyroidism. Consult your doctor to rule out any medical issues.
“Have you been really compliant and regular with the program?” asks Arvind. If you have, and you still cannot see results, you probably need to find a different gym or try another routine that works for you. Lack of results even after consistent efforts could also be due to a medical condition.
Arvind advises that you fix the usual culprits (sleep, nutrition, and stress) first and then try working out for one month. If you still do not see results, it’s time for you to look for something else that works with you.
If you feel more energetic and fit, it is a better indicator than the weighing scale.
Also, don’t compare yourself to anyone else or get obsessed with the weighing scale. Just because your friend lost 5 kg, it isn’t necessary that you will too. If you feel more energetic and fit, it is a better indicator than the weighing scale.
“Find an activity that is fun. Play a game, or take up a sport,” suggests Arvind.
Exercising is not just about pumping iron at the gym or mindlessly running on the treadmill. Choose activities that you enjoy. Learn dancing, go bowling, or build a beautiful garden. Plan events with friends and family where everyone would have to be physically active – maybe a weekly run in the park, or throwing frisbees at the beach? Start a new tradition which is fun and physically active.
“Soreness after exercise is not a long-term condition,” reminds Arvind. It is only natural to feel a little sore when you start using muscles that have been inactive so far. “Start slow, don’t be over-enthusiastic. Take your time to warm up and cool down to reduce chances of injury.”
Finding a like-minded group or a fitness buddy to work out with can go a long way in motivating you. “Consider the huge surge in popularity in running. Runners are among the most amazing peer groups you’ll find, and that makes it easy to stay on the workout plans,” points out Arvind.
Here are some parting words of wisdom from Arvind to help you stick to your workout plans:
Remember that your fitness is completely your choice. No one else can do anything about it for you. Chose to make fitness your priority and plan to keep true to your workout plans. That simple, strong choice alone will melt away much of the resistance that you feel.
Pic credit: Pixabay
Nisha Salim is a self-employed writer and a social media junkie.
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