In our last article we discussed why so many ‘New Year’ resolutions fail, and formed a step by step guide to help jump the hurdles between us and our goals. But now let us consider what challenges lie ahead of us once change is well underway…..how do you maintain change in the longer term, especially where exercise and diets are concerned? As we said before exercise is for life…not just after Christmas!
As the old adage says….variety is the spice of life….and no more is this true in the area of diet and exercise. Adherance or ‘stickability’ to any new programme in the long term becomes harder with time. This is often where that dreaded word…’boredom’ sets in, and before you know it you’ve fallen off the fitness or diet wagon again? We promise ourselves ‘tomorrow we’ll start again’….does this sound familiar?
In last months article we learned how to prepare for blips in will power and circumstance, but dealing with the BOREDOM factor maybe where you may need a little extra help!
Exercising With Others
Depending on your personal preference, exercising or dieting with others can greatly improve your exercise adherence. This can be either by taking part in group exercise classes or by having a training partner or personal trainer if finances allow.
Setting regular days and/or times for exercise at which others are depending on you, is an excellent way of helping you stick to your training programme. If you have arranged to exercise with a training partner, you are more likely to keep that appointment rather than miss it and let someone else down. Knowing that you will let someone else down, in addition to yourself is usually very good motivation to turn up to that session you could otherwise so easily ‘forget’.
The same is true if you take part in a group exercise class. If you miss a class you normally have to explain the reason for your absence to others or at least to the receptionist at the Centre you are using.
Exercising with others is something to seriously consider if you feel that you may not adhere to your exercise program if you workout alone, many personal trainers will train two or three people at one time, which of course helps to bring the cost down too!
The other benefits are you get to talk to like minded people who are probably also looking for ways to stick to their routines. We are all human and it is reassuring to know that it’s not just you having hard time to find your get up and go sometimes.
Talking of get up and go! One super important point about exercise….it is an ENERGISER! So after a long hard day….rather than not turn up to class or session, resolve to go but drop the intensity a little, you’ll probably find that 10 minutes into your workout you begin to feel refreshed and able to complete your normal routine after all.
“Don’t fall into the trap of doing NOTHING for fear of ‘NOT DOING IT ALL”.
If your exercising for general health i.e to keep weight-loss and nasty diseases at bay current guidelines recommend x mins of exercise such as walking x times each week. However if you want more than that….i.e. a training effect of your cardiovascular (heart and lungs) system then training at a higher intensity is needed. But it’s better to turn up and do half your run or complete it in a slower time than just leaving it and doing nothing but munching on the sofa! It’s all about habit too….making exercise such a habit it’s part of your life…just like health eating.
A supportive social network can also increase your chances of sticking to your ‘change of behaviour’ or programme. You must have the backing of your family and friends if you are going to remain faithful to your exercise or diet program.
Your family must be aware that there may be occasions when you will be home late or up early in order to exercise. Your spouse, in particular, must be both understanding and accepting of this. Your friends must also be supportive…..perhaps even able to join you?
It is up to you to make sure that your family and friends understand how important your goal is to you. That way, you can avoid as many potential conflicts or distractions as possible to help you stay on track.
Group Exercise Therapy….join a Group Fitness Class !
‘easy’ option, they are now results orientated and led by instructors who are trained to get you to a level of fitness you couldn’t have reached on your own.
A recent new innovation in both classes and personal training is the T-Bow (Training and Therapy Bow)
Looking like a curvy step, it can be used both ways – as a regular step and then on it’s back as a rocking board. This versatility allows both cardiovascular and core stability training with one light weight piece of equipment. Set to make it’s debut this year with classes appearing at fitness conventions across the country, it’s already on trial in Clubs around the country – and being extremely well received. It’s been designed to fit the shape of your body so it can also be used for that all important stretch, pilates or yoga session too….it certainly ticks the fun and functional boxes of our fitness checklist.
The T-Bow is also an ideal tool for personal trainers whom all over the Country have applauded it’s diversity. Why not ask your local gym or trainer about it?
The Virtual world of Fitness
However if face to face interaction is not your thing….harnessing the power of a group or buddy can now be done in a Virtual world too! Internet fans around the globe will rejoice! Some makes of gym kit e.g. rowers, treadmills and bikes can now be linked via the internet to other users, making it possible to race or train with a partner across the globe. This year there are a whole team of cyclists training on-line for the
You can agree to meet friends on-line and have a training session or take pot luck and jump in and see who is around! If this is you, Instyle Fitness (www.instylefitness.co.uk), a company which distributes such equipment and software (e.g the Simultrainer kit), reassure us it’s easy to set up and install the software if you have a broadband connection. Race or practice times can also be saved (and monitored if you want to give your Personal Trainer access) allowing you to track your progress.
These new hi-tech and innovative products could be just what you need to get out of a fitness rut! So go on time to get out to work, get fit and have fun!
- Utilise social support – find a friend, class or on-line buddy
- Be creative – if your getting bored try something new
- Share your goals with those close to you, and those who are likely to ask you how you are doing.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for support if you need it
- Try and stick to regular days/times and routines but involve a variety of people e.g. friends and family!
Our next article will looking at exactly does make for a healthy diet and fitness programme…..