Fitness is important and a personal commitment to a home fitness regimen is a smart and healthy decision. Staying with that commitment is easier said than done. Most people use their equipment regularly for a few weeks, slow to occasional use, and then let it sit unused for months if not years. Buying home fitness equipment and planning on a home fitness regimen was a smart decision and this article will help you approach things the right way so you will stick with it. Not for weeks or months, but years!
Today we discuss two important strategies to stay motivated with your new exercise equipment and keep those long-term goals. That’s right. Two Simple Rules. These can have a lasting impact on your life.
Many people end up neglecting their exercise equipment, not because they weren’t determined, but because they were too driven.
Burnout and injury are two of the most common reasons people give up on their new equipment. You want to get fit fast, so you try to do too much too soon. Pulled or strained muscles are no joke. Even if you just wear yourself out it could be too much. Feeling the need to skip a day, or even worse a few weeks, will destroy your efforts. After a few weeks off you can lose the drive to get back to work.
If you repeat the cycle of over doing it, you’ll be prone to burnout and just be over it.
Slow and steady wins the race and is also the best recipe for success. If you try to get a 2-hour rigorous workout in every day, but that only lasts for a couple of weeks, then you haven’t accomplished much. Start slow. Start ridiculously slow. The first step in a healthy workout routine is establishing a habit. Start at the lowest weight, speed, or setting. Only workout for 5 minutes every other day. It will feel like you are doing nothing, but you are establishing a habit. First, if previously you were not using the equipment at all then 5 minutes every other day is more than you were doing, and, as little as that seems, it will positively impact your health. Second and more importantly, you are establishing a habit. Stick to the same days of the week and the same time of day for the workouts. In only a few weeks, your body will want the workout. You will start to crave it. Quickly, you will notice your body react to whatever you normally do before a workout.
For example, if you change your shoes before the workout each day, you’ll start to feel a burst of positive energy as you change your shoes to get ready for the workout. Your body wants the activity and responds by releasing some ‘feel good’ chemicals. Habits take time and that time can be different for everyone, but three or four weeks is normally all that’s needed to lock your body and mind into a habit. Ask yourself, are you in this for the long haul? If you are, then starting slow for four weeks is nothing compared to the lifetime of use you plan to give your equipment. Increase your workout time slowly over two or three months. Your goal should be increasing the workout time to 30 minutes by the end of three months but take it slow. Establish the habit, then bump up by five minutes every other week or so. Only after a good 60 days at 30 minutes should you consider intensifying the workout. If you start to strain yourself, then back off. You don’t want to break the habit. A little every day is better than nothing for a few weeks. Start slow, and slowly build up your workout.
It’s boring! Ten minutes? It seemed like hours. That’s another reason to start with just a five-minute workout. In five minutes, you’ll stop before you can even start to get bored. Many people go too long, get bored, and lose interest.
They quit because they are bored with it. So, it’s important that as you add time you set goals for yourself and add distractions. Goals and distractions are the keys to fighting boredom. Reading, listening to audiobooks, listening to music, and watching TV are the best ways to distract yourself while working out. Before you know it, your time is up. Again, resist the urge to add too much time to your workout too quickly.
I’m sure you’ve heard people telling you to set goals.
It’s not just working out. It’s everything. Goals that are unachievable don’t help. Set small incremental goals. Reward yourself for reaching the goal.
It’s not always about how long you workout, or how hard. Try other types of goals. For example, if you watch a TV show while working out, then set a goal to workout for a full episode. Work slowly toward it, but aim for a goal.
Other great distraction goals include listening to a chapter or several chapters in your audiobook. A fun one for music lovers is a set number of songs. This week I’m working out for 2 full songs and next week I’ll listen to 3. Don’t overdo it. Reach the goal and stay there for a few weeks and then set a new goal. Come up with some sort of personal “carrot”. Set a reward that motivates you without hindering the progress are making. “Once I’m listening to five songs a workout, I’ll reward myself with the new album by my favorite artist.” Thinking about how many minutes you have left to walk or peddle is a recipe for failure. Doing something you like while you exercise reinforces your desire to keep doing it. Time flies when you’re having fun!
Working out at home is a convenient way to stay on top of your fitness regimen, especially when the weather turns bad. But if you don’t stay motivated with your home exercise equipment, it’s just a waste of money.
To set yourself up for success, just remember these two simple tips :
Take It Easy and Don’t Get Bored.