Seems like a simple thing to do, right, or is it? We have all heard the jokes about New Year’s resolutions, and have witnessed the explosion of people in the local gym for the first two weeks of January. What happens to all those good intentions, or goals? Here are a couple suggestions that have helped me keep going when I didn’t want to, or didn’t know what to do next.
First of all, if you have been away from fitness for quite some time and have decided to make a change for the better, and get active again the best thing you can do is just do something! Start making exercise of any kind a part of your daily schedule and before you know it, your day won’t be complete until you’ve done something to burn some calories. Winter time and nasty weather seem to go hand in hand, so for many of us we go to our local gym to get in exercise. Walk on the treadmill with a goal each day, but make sure you set a goal for yourself for that day. Today I’m going for 30 minutes, or whatever time or distance you decide, and then stick with it and do it. Don’t let your mind trick you into quitting early because it’s hard work. Walk for a few minutes to warm up, and then jog for as long as you can, and go back to a walking. Just keep trying to jog a little longer, or a little faster each week. Before long you will be running the whole time you have set for your daily goal.
The same thing can be done for weight training or any exercise. Make short term goals that will help you reach your long term goals, and just focus on that small goal first. For each smaller goal you accomplish, you build confidence and strength that you can use to help motivate you to reach higher goals you never thought possible when you started! Try adding in things you’ve never tried before, maybe some mountain trail running, or mountain biking, yoga, Zumba, or anything to change up your routine once in a while and keep things fresh. Find a friend who wants to get in shape for this coming season too, and challenge each other.
Lastly, if you’re struggling with an injury and wondering if it’s even worth trying to exercise, all I can say is try. Doing something, even if it’s not what you used to be able to do, is still better than, nothing. Often times, general exercise can help improve all the muscles and soft tissues around a weak or injured part. It will help your mental state of mind knowing you’re doing what you can do. Start off slow with exercises with weights and if you have to use lighter weight, increase the number of repetitions you do per set. Slow down the motion and really squeeze and contract the muscle. Limit the amount of rest time between sets to limit how much the muscle can rest and recover before you work it again.
Hopefully by setting small daily and weekly goals, it will keep your workouts fresh and exciting. You will feel like you’re making progress and want to keep going. You can make incredible changes if you keep your goals in sight!