FITNESS

The Keys to Consistency

Five tips to help maintain a fitness-based lifestyle.

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By Maddy Barney

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It can be incredibly difficult to keep up a fitness-based lifestyle. You start with all the motivation in the world, only to have one day off and fall out of the habit before restarting again a month later. It’s an endless cycle that’s hard to break, but it can be done! Here are five tips you can use to stay consistent and reach your fitness goals.

Partner up and find a support system

A support system is one of the best and most common tactics to keep yourself on track. Essentially, this involves having someone hold you accountable to your daily workout. It could be your partner, your family, a friend, whoever! Tell them your goals and when you’re going to start. Tell them to check in on you for an update on how your fitness schedule is going. Having a workout buddy is even better as you can hold each other accountable. Encouragement and persuasion from a friend in this way is valuable on those days when you don’t really feel like hitting the gym.

Reminder notes

Positive physical reminders can be useful for motivation and all you need is some sticky notes. Put up small reminders or motivational notes around your home. Pop them on the bathroom mirror, up in your room, on the front door to see when you leave the house, anywhere!

Have fun with motivational quotes or sayings like “Did you do that workout yet?”, “You got this!”, or “Don’t give up!” Find the words that make you want to get your sweat on and stay consistent!

Reward system

Even with a fitness-based lifestyle, it’s important to not totally give up on the little things that bring you joy in life. A reward system is a good way to motivate yourself, but it shouldn’t be with food. From experience, restricting certain foods and thinking of them as a reward can lead to some unhealthy habits. Think of an activity you can reward yourself with. It could be a trip to your favourite restaurant, a massage, or even a dollar in a jar every time you do a workout. The options are endless, and don’t necessarily need to be unhealthy to be a treat. You earned it!

Keep a schedule

Keeping a schedule means having some structure to your fitness program. It’s easy to start by doing, say, cardio three times a week and lifting weights four times a week, but it’s also much easier to fall off this vague program. So get specific!

For example, you could train your legs on Monday, run lightly for 20 minutes followed by a chest workout on Tuesday, stretch and rest on Wednesday, do 15 minute intervals on the treadmill on Thursday followed by a back workout on Friday, 20 minutes of light running and an intensive core workout on Saturday, then rest on Sunday and repeat.

Maintaining a structured schedule like this will help you to mentally stay more accountable. Why don’t you try it this week? Plan out your exercises for each day and see how it compares to just winging it.

Educate yourself

Learning about the body and how it moves is one of the most crucial things you can do for a fitness-based lifestyle, yet is often the least common tactic people use because of the time it takes. However, educating yourself is the most effective method of staying consistent. When clients understand more about how their body functions, they generally are more motivated to continue their exercises. Take the time to do the research. Don’t think of it as homework, but as an investment in your health. Learn about how the muscles work, what foods are best for your body, and what will happen if you don’t exercise or eat well. Understanding why we exercise will hopefully encourage you to keep exercising!

Maddy has worked in the health and fitness industry for 5 years. She has a bachelors in Exercise Science and has recently received her Masters in Exercise Physiology. She has worked with a wide demographic of clients as a Personal Trainer and loves helping people reach their goals and continue to grow.  She is an outdoor enthusiast and dedicates her workouts to rock climbing, hiking and whatever new experiences may come her way.

Main Photo Credit: astarot/shutterstock.com; Second Photo Credit: Sergii Gnatiuk/shutterstock.com; Third Photo Credit: lunamarina/shutterstock.com