Fitness Question of the Month
If your fitness goals seem out of reach, Stuart Turner, Health Hub partner and personal trainer at All Saints Hotel, Bury St Edmunds, has some motivational tips for creating health habits
Focus on the process not the goal
A lot of us start our fitness journey with a measurable goal and bags of enthusiasm and motivation, only to crash and burn after a few weeks or even days as we haven’t reached it yet and become tired and demotivated. Instead of focusing on the end goal, which could take months, try switching the attention to the process and look to enjoy each workout or exercise class. This way you only have to target your next session and, with consistency, the long term goal will take care of itself.
Track your progress and celebrate your successes
Keeping a food diary or an exercise journal can be tedious and isn’t for everyone but it has its benefits. A simpler approach would be to put a blank calendar on the fridge or on your phone and tick off every day you hit your goals. Making progress is the best incentive to continue and being able to look back on a month of ticks on your workout schedule is a great boost to your motivation.
Do something every day – never miss twice
Linked to the above points. The occasional missed workout or pizza is fine, life happens. But make a deal with yourself, whatever the goal, never miss two days in a row. Some days you may struggle for time. This is when you must do something. This is better than nothing right? And the only target on these days is to keep the momentum going, so get up, do a few press ups, go for a walk and move on to the next day.
Be who you want to be. Ask yourself “what would the healthy me do?”
For example you’ve set yourself the target of losing a few kilos or dropping a clothes size. There will always be challenges along the way and when it comes to these obstacles you need a strategy to overcome them. One trick is to have a little mantra along the lines of this, “what would the person I want to be do?” whether your goal is health, physique, or body composition-based, this could be enough to keep you on track.
Make it hard to fail
Creating a healthy habit can be the hardest but most important thing about getting in shape. But it can be all too easy to fall off the wagon. Part of the battle is to try and make the habit as easy as possible to achieve and as hard as possible to fail. For example if you commit to training first thing in the morning, the simple move of getting your kit out the night before or moving your alarm to the other side of the room can make all the difference. Also making an appointment with a friend or personal trainer can be enough of a social cue to stop you bailing on the workout.
Attach some positivity to the workout
This one is possibly the most important and most often overlooked aspect of maintaining the momentum on your journey. Enjoying working out doesn’t come easily to us all but to make long term progress in becoming a fit and healthy person you need to attach some positive emotion to the process of training. Before you go and train, focus on the good things about it not the bad. For example if you’re booked on a class, focus on the social aspect of that. During the workout be positive about what you are doing and how it will move you towards your goal. When you’ve completed a workout, congratulate yourself, and feel good about your achievement.
Find out more about The Health Hub, All Saints Hotel, Bury, visit allsaintshotel.com
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More by this authorLouise Cummings