The value of habit: 5 tips to keep your fitness moving forward
Whenever people ask me about how long it took me to get fit and feel good, I say "28 years."
And it's true!
It took a long time - years and years, to establish solid habits, a routine and an expectation for how I want to feel. But don't worry, you don't need 25 years to build your OWN healthy lifestyle.
Over these 28 years there have been 5 distinct habits I've cultivated that give me the confidence to take a day off, and not worry that I'll fall off the wagon.
5 tips to keep your fitness moving forward
1. You have your best workout, when you want to go the LEAST.
We all have days when the couch is calling. When we've had a long day at work, didn't sleep very much the night before, or when we start making excuses because we are flat out lazy. Truthfully, all habits are built by actions. The moment you simply put your running shoes on, your mind is already changing. If you take the steps that you'd normally go through when getting ready for the gym or that spin class, your HABIT will start to develop. And watch, you'll be SO happy you pushed through the lazy.
2. Find a buddy
Working out on your own is fine, but it's WAY more fun if you can rope in a best friend or significant other to keep you accountable. If you feel lazy, knowing a friend is waiting for you will give you that boost to get off your butt and get out there. Plus, spending quality time with friends is one of the best ways to improve overall happiness.
3. What' the rush?
Let's be real, focusing on the "Lose 10 Pounds in a Month!" concept is ridiculous. It's important to build fitness habits that are sustainable and not rushed. Embrace the moments of weakness, learn from them and document them. This is about building a healthy LIFESTYLE, not about finding a quick trick to shed the excess belly fat. While I'm a supporter of diving in head first, I'm also a supporter of establishing solid patterns. That is the best method for fitness success.
4. Month on, month off
This past year, I've tried a few different ways to get in control of my nutritional habits, and one method taught me far more than the others.
My fiancé and I decided to take one month to give up something that wasn't necessarily good for us, and see how we feel/see if we could actually do it! Our first month was alcohol, difficult, but not impossible. Our second month was sugar, eye-opening, yet effective. Our third month was simple carbohydrates - now I know how much muffins mean to me! So what was the result? The empowering feeling of knowing that we are 100% in control of what we put in our mouths. EPIC.
5. Switch it up
This is the one time I would say to break habit rather than develop it. Working out and exercising is effective until that day that your body gets too familiar with your workout routine. If you always warm up with the bike, jump on the elliptical, play a game of basketball, do something completely different to confuse your body. If you lift the same weights, even in rotation, give your body something NEW to get sore from. If spin class is your go-to, switch it for a jog or a yoga class. Then - watch your body transform.