Do you struggle to stick to your fitness plans? Got a membership card for most of the gyms in town? Did you know that around 80% of people who join a gym quit within 5 months. Is that you?
Welcome to the club – we all know what we need to do, but we just can’t get ourselves to make the important changes we want to make to look and feel better.
We know that to lose weight and burn fat we need to exercise
We know that to build muscle and gain strength we need to do strength training
We know we should eat more vegetables and less sugar
But, despite all of this knowledge and global brands telling us to “Just Do It”, it really isn’t that easy is it? So, just how do we create a fitness habit that is going to work? Here are our top 5 suggestions:
1. START SLOW
The easiest and most common thing to do when you start a new form of fitness is to give it absolutely everything. We would love to see each and every one of you at every session, but this definitely isn’t the right way to start your fitness journey. You will inevitably ache after your first session and your body needs time to recover before you exercise again – I’m sure you’ve heard the term “rest day” – these are important.
2. DON’T SET UNREALISTIC GOALS
At Get Fit Today, we have sessions on four days every week (Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday)
If you are new to fitness, recovering from an injury or haven’t exercised in a few months, take it easy at first and set yourself a goal to attend one session a week. You can achieve this, you know you can and it’s important to stick to it for the first month. Then, when you know that this has already become a habit, increase it and set yourself a target to attend two sessions every week and stick to this for the next month.
Only increase your goals at the point you know you are already achieving the first one, so don’t go straight in to committing yourself to 3 sessions every week right from day 1 because if you miss one of these, you will feel like you have let yourself down and also made it an option to miss another session.
Once you have done this once or twice, it becomes a habit on it's own and before you know it, you’re not exercising at all and are back at square 1.
3. DON’T DO EVERYTHING AT ONCE
If you have just joined us at Get Fit Today, then you have already made some healthy changes to your life which you need to adjust to, in order for it to become a habit. Leave it at that, don’t go on a 100% healthy-eating plan as well as starting yoga at the same time - it just won’t work. Sure, have a think about what you eat and make some minor changes if you can so you can cut down on some of the junk food and replace it with healthy options but don’t worry about it and don’t make it a plan.
Concentrate on your new exercise regime and once you have that in hand and it has already become part of your normal daily life, that is the time to start to look at other areas such as food and nutrition.
4. ALLOW YOURSELF TIME
This is a big one – far too often, people expect too much of themselves to quickly. Those extra few lbs you’re carrying didn’t happen overnight, chances are they slowly appeared over the last 12 months or so and crept up without you realising.
The same goes for getting rid of it. You could start a crazy yo-yo diet (that doesn’t mean eating yo-yo’s by the way) and run 10 miles every day finishing with a HIIT workout and I’m sure you will burn those calories in no time, but in the process of doing so you will probably injure yourself and not be able to continue training or you will lose the weight and relax back into the same lifestyle you had before, and before you know it – guess what? Those few extra lbs are back, and they’ve brought some friends with them too!
If you are just starting with us and attending one session a week, we would suggest that you also do something else during the week such as a brisk walk, or a swim or cycle ride maybe - something you enjoy and something which will keep you active for around 150 minutes a week. Come down to the park on a session day and have a wander around, maybe take a few photo’s and post them on our page – that would be great! 😀
The point is, don’t expect to see amazing result within the first few days or weeks. As you slowly adjust your lifestyle around your new fitness and make small adjustments to your eating habits, you will start to notice the difference. After 3 months, you will be surprised how good you feel and how amazing you look!
5. THROW AWAY THOSE SCALES
I hate them! Scales are a fantastic way to measure weight – but that’s it! Have you every stopped to think about what that means though? Every time you step onto the scales, you are weighing your entire body - including your bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, blood, water and everything else in between. Unwanted fat is just a very small part of the number that appears on the scales so why are we so obsessed with it?
If you have gained a few wobbly parts over the years and no longer fit into your jeans quite as comfortably as you used to, what you need to do is to burn calories, lose fat and tone up. In the process of doing that, you may actually lose some weight, but you may also gain it as well.
The old adage about muscle weighing more than fat is not true as a 2lbs of fat weighs exactly the same as 2lbs of muscle (2lbs 😀) but muscle is much more dense than fat so the fat will take up much more room than the muscle will, hence why you look and feel bigger.
Looking at scales gives you a false impression of your health, so our TOP TIP is to get rid of them, and instead of using a number to decide if you are healthy and well, go by how you look and feel instead.
Imagine this - if you could look good and feel strong, energetic and healthy but still weigh exactly the same as you currently do, would that matter, or would you still need to lose ‘weight’? 😀
So, there you go - our top 5 tips on creating healthy habits and sticking to them:
1. Start slow
2. Don’t set unrealistic goals
3. Don’t do everything at once
4. Allow yourself time
5. Throw away your scales!
Remember, you've taken the toughest step already - joined a fitness group! The fitness we do in the park is not easy, as I'm sure you have discovered in the last few months. If you were out running on your own, or visiting the gym you would never put in the effort levels you do during a Get Fit Today fitness session - so give yourself a massive pat on the back from us!
A recent study of our members calorie burn during the session revealed that on average men are burning around 680 calories and women are burning around 525. It doesn't take long for that to build up resulting in lbs of unwanted fat dropping off your body and being replaced with toned muscle!
Keep it up and well done!