Monday, November 09, 2015
by Jaquelle Spencer, ACSM CPT, AFAA group exercise instructor, Zumba instructor and BJC WellAware Center exercise specialist
BJC | Exercising can be a struggle for many people. The willpower needed to work out comes and goes and can very much dictate our actions involving fitness.
If you’re not sure how to make exercise a regular part of your lifestyle, keep reading for tips on types of exercises, variety, nutrition, small goals and, most importantly, persistence.
Have a goal
If you don’t have a plan or goal, how will you know which exercises you should do?
Doing something is always better than doing nothing, but developing a plan can make better use of your time in the gym. Before you work out, decide what you want to focus on, and then plan your exercises.
If there’s an exercise you’re unsure of, look it up, find out what muscle groups it uses and learn how to properly perform it. In the long run, that can save you time and energy — and prevent injuries. You don’t want to waste your time performing an exercise targeting a muscle group that’s not on your agenda, nor do you want to perform an exercise incorrectly or with bad form. Your time is precious, and so is your body.
Consider thinking of exercising as an enemy. Once you know your opponent, you’ll be more confident and prepared approaching the task.
Don’t get stuck doing the same old routines. Varying your workouts is better for your motivation — and physiologically better for the changes you want to see in your body.
It’s difficult for some people to venture outside of their comfort zone, but staying in one place won’t get you anywhere. Branch out, and you’re likely to find exercises that intrigue you and shock your body, both of which lead to gains.
Check your eating habits
I won’t say “diet” because that’s scary, and I’m not here for that. Making lifestyle changes doesn’t just involve exercising; eating habits are critical. Making the right choices — in terms of food types, frequency and amounts — is crucial if you’re trying to carve your body into shape.
Eating the “right” foods is a behavior that either you want to change or you don’t. Once you find what you want as a person and what you want to accomplish, eating healthier will become less of a pain. I’m not going to lie — avoiding or limiting your favorite foods, such as sweets, can and will hurt. But seeing yourself as a changed person is even sweeter.
Never give up
If you quit, how will ever know what your potential is? The gains you could achieve? How you could potentially feel and look?
It’s so easy to stop — like, “poof,” you’re done. But fighting for yourself, and using your determination to better your body, gives you a better appreciation of what you can do mentally and physically. There will be obstacles on your fitness journey — there’s no way around that — but learning how to overcome those obstacles and stay on the right path with good spirits will be worth it in the end.
Who says exercising is easy?
“It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great.” That’s one of my favorite quotes by Jimmy Dugan (Tom Hanks) from the movie, “A League of Their Own.”
Having an “ideal” body takes time, work, patience and preparation. If you think it’s going to happen without adequate work, you’re dooming yourself for failure. Map it out. Know before you begin what you’ll be doing so you can mentally prepare yourself. Take small steps in your fitness journey. Have an idea of the foods, portion sizes and timing of eating that will help you get closer to your goals. And, most importantly, never give up.
Number of views (12530)/Comments (2)
11/17/2015 1:51 AM
thanks a lot for the motivation. I needed to read this.
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12/26/2015 3:15 PM
Great advise ma'am with these tips, you can never go wrong.