By Minhaz Remo
Fitness is, and should be, a holistic lifestyle, not just a short-term plan. Here’s how to get into the mindset for a consistently healthy approach to life
You wake up feeling like you’ve been hit by a truck. You ask yourself, do I need to go to the gym today? I’ll go tomorrow. This pattern repeats for six months, and then you realize you can’t fit into your favorite shirt anymore.
This is the most common thing I’ve heard as a fitness coach throughout my career. Dare I say it, I have done it myself too, although only for short bursts of time. Because this “tomorrow” can have a cascading effect which can turn into “never.”
Here is what you can do to combat this lack of commitment, and spring yourself back into reality.
Know what fitness is for you
Fitness is the ability to work. That’s it. Fitness for Lionel Messi is one thing, and a different thing for Shakib Al Hassan, because they play different sports, which have different types of activities. So, fitness for you could be the ability to keep up with your children, walk 4-6 flights of stairs, or have a better personal life with your spouse.
The point is when you realize that you don’t have to train like Messi or Shakib, you let go of the pressure of doing high level training, and train for what YOU need!
Here are 5 secrets that can help you get back on track
- Plan before – possibly a week in advance
Just like your advertising or financial department at the company, plan a head. Remember as Benjamin Franklin said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”Plan out your workout days in advance, at a time which is convenient and acceptable only to you. Forget morning or evening workouts, if it’s easier to workout at lunch time go for it!
Don’t listen to others, whatever floats your boat. So plan ahead!
- Do the bare minimum but regularly
When getting out of a rut, it can be overwhelming to go full swing into a workout. It doesn’t matter who you are. Starting a car from rest is quite tough, but once it overcomes the resistance and gains some momentum, it’s easier to move.
What was Newton’s 1st law again? Objects at rest tend to stay at rest, once moving, continuing to keep moving until no external source is acting upon it.
Whenever I train someone who never trained before, or someone who hasn’t trained in a while, I start with play workouts, like the ones we did in playgroup. I give them easy moves, and a manageable number of repetitions. Once they get a few wins, they themselves push them further.
So, aim for the bare minimum in the beginning, get in a few wins.
- Turn it into a routine
Consistency is the ultimate secret to anything in this life. Routine allows you to go autopilot into your workouts. When you plan ahead, block out specific times in your calendars as non-negotiables, like specific days and time, where you will be unreachable. That’s your workout routine, even if it’s 30 minutes only. But do it consistently!
Jim Ryun said, “Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”
- Build a streak
The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. Turn your fitness routine into a game, use a habit tracker app to build a long streak. When things are easy for you to be consistent, you can build a longer streak, and which can help you build your habits faster. You will get to see your wins too!
I myself use Loop Habit Tracker, it’s free, ad free, and open source, but you can use anything you want, even pen and paper!
- Work with a professional
Whether you like it or not, ultimately you will have to consult with a professional. Now whenever I have a busted water pipe at home, I don’t bust out my wrench and go at it, hoping to fix it. That’s not my field of expertise. In many cases, I could turn the situation from bad to worse in no time! So, what do I do? I call a plumber.
Now, most people use this mentality when it comes to working out and fitness. Unless you are professionally trained and educated in the science of sports and fitness, it’s an uphill battle. I am not saying it can’t be done, but it can do more harm than good.
Famous athletes, from Mike Tyson, to Messi, to Tiger Woods all have coaches. If you think you are better than these world class athletes, then have at it. Once you are done messing around, let’s get back to training.
A coach like myself helps my client not only sort things out, but plan their lifestyle and make things manageable for them. From designing their workout plan to diet, to lifestyle counsel is some of the few things a coach takes care of. A coach will be your guide and accountability partner, whenever you get lost, he can gently or aggressively push you back to reality.
Work with a coach!