Any personal development program for your mind and knowledge also deserves some attention to your physical health as well. While I’ve not written much yet on personal training or living actively, I figure its due time to cover a few areas of fitness that I’ve learned and want to share some stories from. So, lets venture into this realm of personal development and see what there is to learn!
Making Fitness a Priority
Without getting into all the details of the million programs, changes, hopes and promises so many companies and people make about health and well being, I want to look first at fitness from a very general perspective. My take is the only way to truly stay healthy is to have and make fitness a priority in your life in some way. It doesn’t need to be difficult, its a mindset and so as with any change you want to first make a decision to include some fitness in your lifestyle. I don’t suggest setting goals for physical body results until you have the knowledge to know what is reasonable for your body and lifestyle to make an informed target. Many people jump into fitness only because they are after some result of weight loss, or strength achievement in a short time frame. I think it is far more important to answer the question of why do you want to be more fit with a longer term goal of including fitness into your lifestyle. Being active with fitness leads to better health, happier living and a longer life, regardless of what you can bench press. So, think of fitness in terms of making it a priority in your life for the long term and progress slowly. Making fitness a priority means it sits among a list with other priorities as well, it doesn’t need to replace them or overcoming everything else in your life. You will have to set the priority based on your current level of fitness and what you want to change relative to your other life priorities and goals. Don’t take on more than you can easily handle as you want to make it something that lasts.
Making Lasting Habits
Making some plan that lasts is best by making it a habit. Habits are creating by repeating something on a regular basis, learning to enjoy and appreciate it and making it something you start to do automatically, without always needing reminders or added incentive. This works perfectly for fitness because good fitness really needs to be a regular part of your lifestyle to make it automatic and long lasting. Focus on building new habits or improved habits, don’t worry at all about breaking or stopping bad habits, even if they prevent the fitness level you want. It’s much more effective to build new habits, be encouraged by them and let them push out other bad habits. The only way to really eliminate a bad habit you don’t want is to replace it with some new habit in its place anyway.
A great way to build a new fitness habit is to:
- Setup a plan or schedule to repeat your fitness activity on a regular basis
- Plan only what you are absolutely confident you can achieve
- Leave a lot of room for flexibility and interruptions to that plan
- Get some accountability for this activity
I think these are pretty self explanatory except the last one. By get some accountability, I mean, you need to connect a way to care about forming this habit that is personal to you. This could be by getting help from a friend or family member who can encourage you and help you keep any commitments. Another method is to ensure you make visible your progress and can track results for this habit and fitness to help motivate achievements and stay on track. Perhaps you need a reward or punishment system to keep you focused. Whatever it is, it should be connected to other important priorities you have so it has significance to help train you.
Easy To Do Fitness Activities
A fitness program is going to need you to be active, getting physical, playing sports, or working out in some fashion. The easier these activities are if you are not already doing them, the better success rate you will have and the easier it is to form habits with such activities. For example, it’s much easier to plan a short work out in your garage if you have equipment already a couple times a week then it is to drive 50km to workout at a gym you don’t know anyone at. You are much more likely to be successful when the activity is easy to do. This is very important for forming habits and you need to ensure any fitness training is easy to get into based on your lifestyle now. The smaller the change you can start with, the better. There are many ways to do this, I have listed only a sample of some that might work for your lifestyle:
- Get into a sport you have played previously that you know you enjoy
- Do more of any physical activities you already enjoy (like walking or biking if you already do these)
- Take simple tasks and make them more fitness oriented, like taking stairs instead of elevators.
- Pair up with a friend to meet for training
- Find a nearby gym that is on your daily route and works easily with your schedule
- Get some home gym equipment or dust off what you already have and make it easily accessible
- Make current activities more fitness oriented (such as working out while watching TV)
- Read and learn more about fitness to inspire and motivate yourself to be more active
- Take up bodyweight training so you can train with minimal to no equipment, anywhere.
So, there are many more ways to take on easy to do fitness activities and so I’d love you to add your ideas in a comment below and in my next article, I’m going to cover how bodyweight training is a excellent example of easy to do fitness and I’ll cover what some of the benefits are to this style of training.
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