The issue, according to many trainers, may be that your exercise regimen just isn't you. If your workouts aren't suited to your personality or goals, it's no wonder they don't stick. If you just can't seem to keep a fitness regimen going, we're here to help you create one you'll love for the long term. The good news? With a little shift in perspective, you can develop a plan that'll make you beyond excited to get moving.
Step One: Set Goals, But Get Them Right
“I’m firm believer that you can’t go anywhere until you know where you want to go,” says Holly Rilinger, a personal trainer and instructor at Flywheel. “Instead of talking hypothetically about results like toning up or losing fat, I advise my clients to visualize their goals in the form of a dream board, where they are putting in front of them pictures that embody what they want." (That could be a pair of jeans you're coveting, for instance, or the energy of someone who is running on the beach, she explains.) Research has shown that visualizing goals helps to increase motivation, effort, and commitment to reaching the desired outcome. Give yourself a realistic timeline, since expecting too much, too soon is a surefire way to lead to discouragement and burnout. For long-term success, set tangible goals in multiple short terms and celebrate small victories along the way.
It’s also important to know what you want to achieve from exercising. Are you trying to lose weight or improve performance? Want a bikini bod all year round or just want to feel less lethargic? “If you’re looking to change your body in specific ways, then you must have a fitness routine in place that tailors your goals,” Rilinger advises. “Simply being active won’t cut it.” However, if you’re looking to have more energy, relieve stress, or just be healthier, making yourself go to the gym may not be the most effective method. Instead, look for ways to incorporate more physical activity into your daily life. Try taking the stairs instead of the elevator, joining a local kickball league, or just going for a walk instead of eating lunch at your desk.
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