Transforming any part of your world, whether it’s family, relationships, career, or your finances, all starts and ends with your health. While all of us already know there are many great physical reasons to exercise - from boosting your mood, improving energy, experiencing fewer health problems, and feeling your best from the inside out. When you treat your body like a temple, everything else in your world will flourish.
While we understand the physical benefits, creating a consistent routine of following through can be another struggle. Many of us struggle with getting into a healthy routine, despite wanting to change our habits.
Whatever your age or fitness level - even if you have never exercised before - there are tips you can implement to ensure you set yourself up in the long term.
Tip #1 - Find an exercise plan you enjoy
The first step to setting yourself up for success is to find an exercise plan you enjoy. If your current plan is not something you enjoy, the chances are you’re not going to stick to it. Your plan should be something you enjoy but also be customised according to your specific goals and lifestyle.
If you’ve never exercised regularly before, try out some different training styles to see what you enjoy most. The exercise style that makes you feel good, and you can stick to long term will help you set yourself up for success, even if it’s not the most intense training style.
For example, if you enjoy more cardio-based exercise, a great place to start could be combining weekly boxing classes with running or swimming. If you get bored with the gym and lifting weights, try mixing things up with cardio like boxing and incorporate pilates into the mix.
You’re not always going to be motivated by every single workout. As long as you keep incorporating what you enjoy, you’ll be able to stick to regular exercise in the long run.
Tip #2 - Make exercise a non-negotiable
Your health should always be your top priority in life. The saying “you can’t pour from an empty cup” also relates to your health. When you neglect your health and fitness, you are setting yourself up for potential health risks. Regular exercise and physical activity improves your muscle strength, cardiovascular health, and promotes overall health.
When you’re first building a healthy routine, mark exercise as a non-negotiable in your diary. Just like you would with other non-negotiables such as meditation and eating a healthy breakfast. We suggest sitting down on a Sunday and planning out your weekly routine. You’re more likely to make time for exercises when it’s written in your diary.
Tip #3 - Start with small changes
There is no one fits all approach to your health and fitness. You need to start with an exercise and nutrition plan that will work for your lifestyle.
If you’re a beginner, you might start with 2 workouts per week. On the other hand, a seasoned professional might aim to complete 4 sessions during the week. It’s important to first assess your current fitness level. Choosing a starting point you are able to stick with will help avoid burnout.
When we talk about nutrition, it’s also important not to cut out everything you enjoy. If you take a strict approach, you’re going to fail within the first few weeks. This is why flexible dieting is now a popular option. You should still be able to eat the things you enjoy in moderation and within your daily caloric intake.
While you’re not always going to stick to your plan 100 percent of the time, it’s important to take an 80/20 approach. Eat nutritious foods and train 80 percent of the time and have a 20 percent portion for enjoying a few indulgences.
Tip #4 - Stay accountable and set goals
Tracking your performance and staying accountable is important to keep yourself focused.
During our ultimate transformation challenges, the first aspect we work on is transforming the mindset and goal-setting first and foremost. When you set yourself a goal to achieve, you’re most likely to reach that goal.
Another way to keep accountable is to team up with an accountability partner. When you have someone to work out with, you’re less likely to cancel a workout because you don’t want to let them down.
Whichever approach you choose to stay accountable, set yourself up for success with measurable and achievable short and long-term goals.
Tip #5 - Be patient and don’t give up
Building healthy habits doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it. What many people don’t realise is that the small changes can add up to big habits over time. It takes a minimum of 28 days to implement and stick to a routine.
Life events are always going to arise when you least expect them. Sometimes this leads to us falling off the wagon for a short period of time, and that’s ok. What matters is how you pick yourself back up and get back on track.
Celebrating your achievements along the way can show you just how far you’ve come and how much more potential you have.