Do you find yourself struggling to stay motivated and stick with your fitness goals?
Are you daunted about trying because exercise just isn’t your thing?
In this post, I offer some guidance for how to actually stick with your fitness routines.
To get started, two questions for you:
If so, I have an important distinction for you to consider:
Fitness is just like beer; it’s an acquired taste.
Now I realize some of you have ALWAYS loved fitness’ing. I have too, it’s what I have always done.
But what gives me MORE pleasure is getting people from…
“fitness and gyms are not for me”
to looking forward to working out, having it become part of their life and MISSING it if they can’t make it
If You are one of the lucky people who love to work out and push your body. That’s great.
But perhaps you don’t find yourself naturally drawn to the joys of exertion?
Maybe you didn’t love PE in school so much?
Or you went to the gym before, hated it and went 3 times in 1 years’ worth of membership?
Perhaps, you just never thought it was for you and you have never tried
Well if you’re like me, I have GREAT news. You can learn to actually enjoy — or sufficiently tolerate — your weekly dose of fitness. I promise!
I know this is true.
Because you like beer.
Or 80% dark chocolate.
You see, these are all acquired tastes. No child immediately loves these items.
In fact, you may have NEVER come to enjoy some of these flavors.
For instance, I still don’t like beer and can’t quite ‘get’ whisky
So While beer/whisky and I never did become friends, I have come to acquire many tastes. Coffee is one of my very favourites and I can’t say ‘no’ to a Lindt over Xmas.
And here we arrive at the takeaway for you…
Even if you truly don’t like to work out now, you would be amazed at how you can grow to love something with repeated exposure.
Sure, maybe you and I will never have trouble sleeping because we’re SO excited about the gym the next day. I’m not saying that ha ha
But when you focus on the process…
When you commit to consistently showing up for your workouts…
You may find yourself starting to crave some activity. At the very least, you won’t quite feel like yourself if you DON’T make time each week to get your sweat on.
The key is doing it long enough to really develop a habit.
And when you’re learning to drink coffee, you may need lots of sugar and cream (not for me, americano all day long). Similarly when you’re starting a fitness journey, the MOST important thing is finding modalities you actually like.
The LAST thing you want to do is grind through fitness that’s not fun for you.
If you don’t enjoy running you don’t have to run.
You don’t have to kill yourself doing burpees.
Or lift mega weights and grunt in the mirror.
The annoying part: you will have to try different stuff to find out what you like. And that means stepping into the discomfort of not being great while you try it out.
For instance, we have clients that LOVE the individualized training of our in-person small group personal training. They get a personally tailored program, lots of interaction with a coach, and a small group of like-minded people to banter with as they train.
Now here’s the trick:
You have to give these (or any fitness modality) enough tries to see if it’s actually a fit for you. Because until you get the hang of it, it’s going to feel a bit awkward at first.
One bad experience does not mean it’s not for you. It was just one bad thing. You probably have had a bad coffee now and again like those ones you get in petrol stations and taste terrible.
Furthermore, most of the benefits of exercise — more energy, improved mood, increased strength, more strength, better sleep — take several weeks to become noticeable.
While I can’t guarantee that any given fitness choice will be the right fit for your preferences, I CAN promise you two things:
Don’t give up on getting fit