“It’s a lifestyle.” You may hear a lot of gym goers and health enthusiasts say this all the time. And it’s true. It IS a lifestyle. It becomes something that is just a part of the way we do things on a day to day basis. It’s not a hassle to us, it makes us feel good, it makes us feel alive, and it’s not a burden to keep up with. But, if health and fitness is not a part of how you do things, how do you get it to become a part of your life?
The goal is to make health and fitness a habit in your life. By consciously making healthy choices for yourself on a day to day basis will become a part of your lifestyle.
4 Tips in creating a habit out of fitness and keeping your body in motion.
1. Make your rest days ACTIVE. Recovery and rest days from training and the gym are important for muscle development, strength development, it helps to avoid overtraining, and helps in injury prevention. But rest days don’t necessarily mean to sit around on our butts watching netflix for the entire day to only get up to check the fridge or hit the loo.
Rest days are about taking a break from your gym routine and training. But you can still move your body to keep your muscles in motion. This means, moving through very light activity like leisure walks or bike rides, going on hikes, swimming, yoga, playing sports and games with your friends and family, gardening, cleaning, doing something that you enjoy outside of the gym and keeping yourself active.
2. Avoid consecutive rest days. When planning our rest days, it can be very tempting to just give ourselves two days in a row - this tends to be Saturday and Sunday. This is fine if you are consistently getting into the gym and nailing your workouts. But for someone just starting off whose goal is to turn fitness into a habit, it's better to avoid consecutive rest days. One day is fine, the second day the motivation starts to dwindle, and the third day is a debate whether you should allow yourself one more day of rest “because it’s just ONE day.”
In my opinion, it’s better to split the rest days up when you want to keep yourself in control and moving towards your goals.
3. Train EFFICIENTLY in the time you have. Life is busy! No matter who you are, somedays/weeks/months may feel like you have no control and no time for your full workouts. But start thinking of the workouts as movements rather than a chore, and when life gets crazy and hectic - it’s okay to just go through the movements. If getting 20 or 30 minute sessions on some days stresses you out with everything else around you, focus on making a conscious effort to just get movements in throughout the day or or move through a quick routine of 4-6 exercises for 10-15minutes in your day.
4. Get an accountability partner. Accountability is something that will externally motivate you to get your workout and movements in! Having a friend/family member who has the same goals as you on your team, or hiring a fitness trainer/coach to help guide you in the right direction, even the accountability of joining a group fitness class can help you stay on track.
The idea is having somebody help you live up to your promise to yourself. This person will help you stay honest and can help push you each day to do what you said you would. Even on those tough days that you just don’t feel like it. Sometimes when we have that little push from someone, it can help us get moving - and there are never regrets on those days after a completed activity.