Here’s a rule of thumb for you all. Write it down, learn it, memorise it – don’t forget it!
The more harsh and extreme your exercise and diet regime, the more likely you are to go back to the way you originally were within a few weeks of stopping it.
Pretty clear, isn’t it?
But sadly, I still meet countless people and read far too many articles that would like to persuade us otherwise – to make us feel like that ‘quick fix’ will answer all our prayers forever, and that good exercise and nutrition is just something you need to think about when you’re on countdown to your next holiday or party.
The really sad thing is when I see people who have fallen for the hype, and then feel demotivated and down on themselves when the ‘dream plan’ didn’t quite go to plan.
To have long-term effects, training really needs to be something you work into lifestyle – all year round. It needs to be part of your daily or weekly routine, not a six-week project per year. But the good news is that once you work it into your life, you’ll find it more manageable and less of a chore – I promise!
So, if you really want to see the positive effects of training and good nutrition, there are a few things you’ll need to consider to come up with a plan that’s sustainable:
· Find something you enjoy: The gym isn’t for everyone, so don’t sign up for a gym membership if you’re not going to use it! Think about what you do enjoy – anything from walking, to swimming, to dance, and work how you can get it into your weekly or daily routine
· Mix up your training to keep it fun: There’s no point just doing the same exercise day-in-day out – it’ll only work until boredom sets in. Maybe plan to spend a couple of hours per week in the gym, an hour boxing, some HIIT, a few classes here and there, some yoga… Before you know it, you’ll be more active than ever before and it won’t be boring!
· Do it regularly: The more you train, the better you’ll feel. This motivates you to keep it up and will help you see results more quickly. So think ‘little and often’ and build up from there.
· Change your outlook on fitness: It’s not just about getting slimmer and dropping a dress size or two (although that does feel great!). By improving our fitness, we improve our whole health – our physical and our mental health. Exercise and good nutrition isn’t just something to get into to work off our Christmas dinners or holiday weight – it’s something everyone should be thinking about all year round to help them feel great. Think of your new fitness and nutrition plan as a long-term lifestyle change and you’re more likely to keep it up.
· Be consistent: Plan when you’re going to work out, write it in your diary, and stick to it – make it part of your weekly routine and you’ll be able to keep it up. The same goes for your nutrition. Crash diets and six-week workout plans won’t have the long-term results you want.
There really is nothing better than the feeling of being fit and strong (as well as being the one out of all your friends who can do the heavy lifting!) because in turn, you’ll learn to love your body (more on this in another post!). Seriously though, it gives you confidence – which can be seen on the outside too – and a healthy glow, and that’s not just after treadmill sprints!
So make waking up and kicking ass in a workout a regular part of your life, and even if you didn’t feel amazing during your exercise, you certainly will after!