Here are three simple fitness tips to implement NOW if you aren’t already:
- Have a plan. You say you spend an hour at the gym and still aren’t seeing results…but 15 of those minutes are spent finding a parking spot, 15 minutes spent checking your phone, and 10 minutes in line to purchase a smoothie. So really you accomplished 20 minutes of actual exercise. Instead of wasting your time and money, develop a four-six week plan for specifically what you’re going to do at the gym (or at home). If you don’t know how to create a plan on your own, hire a trainer to help you. I offer online training for people who live 30 miles or more from Tulsa’s Sky Fitness & Wellbeing, where I work. I’d love to help. Write this plan down somewhere and mark through the days as you accomplish the workouts. No more time-wasting. More room for margin.
- Create a habit. Set out your gym bag the night before, keep sneakers (and socks) in your car, plan to meet a workout partner, run stairs during your lunch breaks, cook meatless Mondays, walk the track at the end of the school day, take the kids on a bike ride every Saturday, eat a green smoothie for breakfast every morning, etc. Do it for at least 60 days and it should become a ritual. Once you’ve established the habit, now add variety within that consistency. Change up your workouts, the ingredients in your smoothie, do your neighborhood running route backward, etc. I’ve been reading The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. It’s eye-opening regarding why we do what we do. Habits are best maintained with triggers (gym bag, sneakers laced up, trainer waiting on you at the gym, you notice your kids developing your own bad habits, clothing that’s too snug, etc.) and rewards (the shake you’ll purchase once you finish your workout, coffee, the powerful feeling you get from lifting weights, the way your clothes fit better/looser, compliments from friends, a vacation you’re looking forward to, etc.).
- Focus on behavior change, not the outcome. Instead of concentrating on the end goal, pour your energy into the process. “I will work out 5 times this week.” Not “I will lose 2 pounds this week.” Chances are, if you eat well and workout until you’re uncomfortable 5x, you’ll lose those 2 pounds anyway. Marathon runners make progress with every passing mile, not by crossing the finish line.