Brits looking for a lifestyle change as part of their New Year’s resolutions are being offered advice on how to kick start and stick to their fitness journey.
Fitness experts from Goal Getters by MuscleFood.com have provided their top 12 tips for maintaining healthy habits and reaching fitness goals.
Embarking on a fitness journey might be thrilling at first but after the initial excitement wears off people often end up abandoning their goals.
A lifestyle change requires a lot of self-discipline and consistency in order to keep going even when life gets in the way.
Turning exercising and healthy eating into enjoyable habits will set you up for success and help you stay on track.
Ashleigh Tosh from Goal Getters by MuscleFood.com said: “Despite our best intentions, many of us struggle with following through a diet or exercise routine.
“The most common mistakes that people make when embarking on their fitness journeys are setting unrealistic goals and not being consistent – slow and steady really wins the race when it comes to adapting healthy habits.
“Relying on motivation alone will not get you very far because it can be very fleeting, instead you should establish a regular fitness routine that works well with your lifestyle and isn’t too hard to follow.”
Here are top 12 tips that will help you to stick to your fitness journey from the Goal Getters by MuscleFood.com team:
- Set realistic goals
You’ll set yourself up for disappointment and failure by having unrealistic expectations. It’s important to accept that change doesn’t happen overnight and starting with small and achievable targets will inspire you to keep going and reach your ultimate fitness goals.
- Find workouts that you enjoy
To make exercise as enjoyable as possible, experiment with different workouts and identify your fitness preferences. If going to the gym is not your thing then there are plenty other physical activities to try out. For example, if you like dancing then you may take up Zumba classes or if you love spending time outdoors then you may enjoy hiking or jogging.
- Be adaptable
Although sticking to a plan is important, you should also allow for some flexibility on your fitness path. Life can sometimes interfere with your routine, but that doesn’t have to stop you on your tracks. If something comes up or you’re not feeling your best, reducing your typical hour-long workout to a brief 15-minute burst session is better than doing nothing.
- Track your results
Measuring your performance and seeing the progress will keep you motivated and ensure you’re on the right track. Don’t focus too much on the number on the scale as it doesn’t always reflect real progress. Instead, you could take body measurements and progress photos, keep a fitness journal or track calories to evaluate progress.
- Change it up
The reason why many people give up on their fitness goals is that they get into a rut. It’s good to mix up your workouts from time to time in order to bring diversity into your routine.
- Fuel your workouts with a healthy diet
You must fuel your body with the energy and nutrients it requires when you start exercising frequently. A diet that has a good balance of protein and complex carbohydrates will help you power through workout sessions while also speeding up the muscle recovery process.
- Seek help from personal trainers
Having a personal trainer to guide you and keep you on track will provide some extra motivation and encouragement, as well as expertise and knowledge that will help you achieve your goals and avoid injuries. They hold you accountable and ensure that your technique is correct.
- Get enough sleep
It’s important to get a sufficient amount of sleep every night in order to have the energy to exercise and to let muscles recover in between workout sessions. Lack of sleep can reduce your physical performance and increase the chances of getting injured.
- Celebrate wins
Celebrate your wins, no matter how big or small they are. Acknowledging and rewarding your achievements can give you that extra nudge to push through when you feel like giving up. Hitting a milestone calls for a celebration and a pat on the back.
- Join a supportive community
It’s good to surround yourself with like-minded people who will encourage you and help you stick to your journey. Finding a workout buddy or a supportive fitness community will provide you with inspiration to keep going forward.
- Don’t let cheat days waste your progress
It’s fine to have cheat days but it’s important to avoid going too overboard with them. A cheat day can quickly turn into a cheat week, which can then lead to returning to your old eating habits. Having a balanced diet that allows you to still treat yourself on a regular basis will keep you from getting carried away by your cravings and losing progress.
- Allow yourself to rest
It’s important to include rest days in your routine. Too much training may actually set you back on your journey, as it can lead to fatigue and injuries, and it will reduce muscle recovery and physical performance.