The countdown is on! We are a few short months away from summer weather, meaning the push to establish a sustainable fitness routine is stronger than ever.
It’s important to remember that your journey towards total health and wellness is not a linear process but will come with many peaks and valleys. While it’s great to celebrate your wins along the way, it’s equally important to recognize the setbacks. Rather than letting challenges deter you from staying on track, approach them with the mindset that growth comes in many forms and that there’s always a silver lining when things don’t go as planned.
We’re no strangers to the concept of establishing a fitness journey – be it our own journeys or helping our clients with theirs. We’ve seen the process and have put together several important tips that will help you begin, and stick to, your own fitness journey!
Before all else, define and visualize what the outcome of sticking to your goals and what that looks like once you reach them. Remember that fitness journeys don’t end when we meet a goal, but rather evolve over time. When charting a course forward, be sure to introduce small, incremental changes that aim to sustain your fitness routine. Too much change all at once will heighten the risk of falling off track much earlier and much more often. Overhauling your routine too quickly and drastically will also deter you from wanting to start again. In this case, slow and steady really does win the race. Once you’re well on your way toward achieving your goals, there is always a fear of plateauing. In this case, it’s important to change it up and introduce new forms of movement every so often. Finally, once you begin smashing milestones and setting personal records, get back to the basics and start the process all over.
It’s incredibly rewarding to keep track of your progress overtime and re-visit the goal-setting process after having successfully met the initial targets you set out for yourself!
Define and Visualize
The first step to any successful fitness journey is to define your goals and visualize what they look like. This doesn’t necessarily mean how you physically look (but could be), this is YOUR fitness journey, but also speaks to how you feel and the visualization of glowing from within. In this stage, we recommend starting a journal. This could be on your phone or in a notebook. Be sure to take note of how you’re feeling at that moment and where you want to go from there. You can even take it a step further and understand the full scope of your current body composition. At FITNESS PROJECT, our Styku 3D Body Assessment uses the latest technologies to help you get a sense of what your body is made of, and what types of fitness routines may work best for your body type!
Set loose timelines and targets that extend beyond the scale and measuring tape, but rather how you’ll feel when you go out for dinner with friends or take your dog for a hike! Visualize what this journey looks and feels like for you and record it so that you can (1) use it as a motivational tool when times are challenging, and (2) reflect on how far you’ve come over time.
Aim to Sustain
The number one reason why people fail to stick to their fitness journey is that they introduced too much change, too quickly. Doing this is quite literally a shock to your system. Going to the gym 7 days a week when you’re not used to exercising will strain your body and limit your ability to keep moving. Eliminating foods that your body is used to consuming will deprive it of (what it thinks is) its necessary fuel. Rather, you’re more likely to be successful if you introduce small, incremental changes over time. Start going to the gym 2-3 days a week and ask for a thorough tour of the facility to learn about the different equipment and services that will complement your routine. If you’re looking for support in this area, our expert staff invite you to join our group Fitness Clinics (never more than 4 people in each session) to walk you through the various pieces of equipment and how to use them safely! People often minimize the benefits of what a simple 30-minute walk outside can do for your health. Just because it’s not a 50 minute, high-endurance cardio workout doesn’t mean that you won’t come out of it feeling like you’ve had sufficient exercise. Similarly, it’s beneficial to start introducing nourishing, protein, and fiber-rich foods into your diet, swapping out the high-sugar, high-fat foods that it’s used to. This will signal to your body that there is change coming, but that it’s for the best!
Change it up
If you’ve fallen off a fitness routine because you were no longer seeing progress but were still putting in the same amount of effort – don’t worry, it’s normal. It can feel like you’re running on a hamster wheel, exhausting yourself but still getting nowhere. Often, people plateau in their fitness journey because their bodies have become accustomed to the routine that it’s currently in. If you reach this challenge, consider changing up the type of exercise you’re doing. Swap out a spin class for a FP50 workout. Our exclusive Kettlerow and Tour10 classes are two great options to build endurance in a motivational setting. Another good solution when you need that extra motivational edge is to find yourself an accountability partner whose goals align with that of yours. This doesn’t mean they need to be the same, but the point is to find someone who is equally as motivated to stick to their fitness journey as you are and lean on them. They are likely to support you just as much as you are happy to support them in their fitness journey! Who knows… you may find your workout buddy in one of our classes!
Back to Basics
So, you’re a few months into your fitness journey and you’ve met the goals you set out for yourself. What’s next? Start the process over once again! Pull out that notebook or notes app that you confided in at the beginning and remember the mindset you adopted at the starting line. Re-visit your thought process and find new ways to elevate your overall health and wellness. Utilize the strength and determination you’ve built over time and establish new goals for yourself. Remember that change happens gradually, and to approach new challenges in a sustainable way. Beginning your fitness journey is hard and sticking to it is equally as challenging.
It’s important to remember that the goals you set out for yourself are for you and no one else. Don’t let the opinions of others pressure or steer you off track. You are fully capable of finding a process that works best for you.
Define what your goals are and visualize what it looks like once they’re reached. When you embark on your fitness journey, aim to sustain changes by making small, realistic additions to the routine. If you find yourself at a stand-still, consider introducing new forms of movement.
Reaching a plateau is normal and it is your body telling you that you’ve reached the limit of exertion. Just because you crush your goals, it doesn’t mean that your fitness journey comes to an end. Start from the beginning and revisit the notes you took at the beginning of your journey. Reflect on how far you’ve come in all aspects of your journey – the mental, physical, and emotional!
Take this opportunity to set new goals for yourself and start the process once again. Now that you know you’re capable of sticking to your fitness journey, there are endless opportunities for growth and improvement towards sustained health and wellness!
Don’t forget, we’re here to help – visit and tour one of our FITNESS PROJECT clubs and talk to our team to find out how to best achieve your goals and purpose. Learn more about our group fitness classes or find out more about our personal fitness coaching. Whatever you need – we’re here for it!