Have you ever started an exercise program and for whatever reason were not able to stick with it? There are many reasons that you may not be able to stick with an exercise program. It might be too hard, and you are not able to maintain the amount of work that is required. Maybe your workouts take too much time, and you are not able to fit it into your schedule. Or maybe you are not seeing the results you want. Whatever the reason that you were not able to find sustainability within your exercise program, there is always a solution. The best way I have found to find sustainability in exercise is to figure out your goals, then pick your programming, and lastly find consistency in your exercise.
Figure Out Your Goals
If you are just starting your fitness journey, choose SMART goals. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-based. Whether your goals are for weight loss, strength, endurance, or overall well-being, make sure that you are choosing goals that follow the SMART principle. In my opinion, the most import part of your goal is that it is Achievable. If you are not setting realistic goals for yourself, you will never be satisfied, and will be more likely to give up in the long run. If you do make long-term goals, make sure you are setting short-term goals that help you reach those long-term goals. Think of your short-term goals as rest stops on your way to your final destination.
Pick a Program
After you determine your fitness goals, the next step is to find a program that fits those goals. The best way to do this is to find a certified fitness professional to help you. There are plenty of online options, but the safest option is to find a trusted trainer that you can meet with in person. A trainer that you can meet with in person will enable you to get a program that fits your needs the best.
Lastly, one of the most important aspects of picking programming is finding what you enjoy. If you do not enjoy what you are doing, you will not stick with it for the long haul. That could mean finding a group atmosphere or a personal trainer who can keep you accountable. Whatever it is, if you enjoy it, you are more likely to return.
Stick with the Program
The worst thing you can do for yourself is to be a “program hopper.” A program hopper is someone who starts a new program and runs it for a few weeks, then switches programs. There are variety of reasons you might want to hop around from program to program. However, you will not get anything out of the program if you do not finish it. Results do not come overnight. Fitness is not short-term. Your physical fitness and health are something that you will be working on for the rest of your life. So if you are not seeing the results you want, as fast as you want, chances are you need to be patient and trust the process. If you can trust your coach or trainer, be patient and run the system all the way through.
Finding a program that you enjoy is by far the easiest way to stick with the program. Just like with anything in life, if you do not enjoy what you are doing, you are less likely to return. There are a wide variety of routes you can go in the fitness industry, including large group classes, small group personal training, and personal training. Any of these routes can be effective if it works for you!
Finding sustainability in your exercise program is not very complicated. However, it will be challenging at first if you are venturing into something new. To find a program that works for you, first figure out your goals. Then pick a program that matches your goals the best. If you can match your preferences to a trainer, group, or program, you will be set up for success in the long run. For guidance on finding the right program for you, contact the NIFS track desk at any time to talk to a licensed professional today to help you get started!
This blog was written by Evan James, NIFS Exercise Physiologist EP-C, Health Fitness Instructor, and Personal Trainer. To learn more about the NIFS bloggers, click here.