You do not need fancy equipment, gym memberships or supplements to keep you fit. These merely aid you in the pursuit of it but are not solely responsible for it, only you are responsible for getting fit.
Here are some tips that can help you in the pursuit of staying fit, using the word “staying” fit and not “getting” fit, because it’s not so much a destination but a journey that one needs to embrace!
- Make a plan and do everything in your power to follow it
It is easy to write something in your to-do list or make a note of the fact that you need to workout sometime during the day, it’s even easier to forget about it or prioritise something else over it (we’ve all been there!). Writing your workout schedule down is a great initiative, turning up for the work out schedule is a different thing altogether.
So, how do you ensure that you will turn up for every workout scheduled?
Make deals with yourself!
You have to discipline and train your mind in the process, we are no different from dogs. We need a stimulus creating an urge for another stimulus. For example, if you turn up for your workout, you get an additional hour of TV time, if you don’t, you have to abstain from TV completely.
Discipline does not come easy and our mind is as stubborn as it is gullible. We just need to know how to train our minds. You achieve that and show up for that workout, half the battle is won!
If you are tired of relying on your fickle motivation to get things done, If you are tired of starting because you fail to see things through, The Habit Coach podcast is for you! Click here to subscribe.
2. Slow progress is still progress
Nothing quick ever gave us long lasting results (in the workout world, that is). As contradictory as the word “slow” sounds for a fitness journey where all of us want results as fast as possible, starting slow is the best thing you can do.
There are ample of reasons why, one main reason being ‘injury’.
When we say it’s a process, it’s a journey, it is also because you are constantly learning and unlearning more about you and your body and its capabilities while you’re in it. Your body processes things/ concepts slower than your mind does. In your mind you can totally sprint the fastest or can do that very advanced exercise routine which is gaining popularity, however, your body will not cooperate if you aren’t ready and that is where you might get injured.
Starting slow will help you understand which routine works for you and which doesn’t, thereby promoting consistency. In the end, getting to your goal by consistent efforts is worth striving for; Aiming to get to your goal as fast as possible- not so much.
There are no quick fixes or none that work at least and there is always a price that one pays when trying these fixes out, oftentimes the price being the person’s health and well-being. Understanding your body, while you are on this journey is very important. There are days where you might be motivated and days where you would feel like quitting; Remember not to punish yourself on those days.
3. Start with something you like
It’s something as basic as this, people tend to repeat actions, habits they like or habits that bring some form of enjoyment. It’s easier to quit things which you do not enjoy doing, forget things, people tend to quit on people they don’t vibe with!
Like it has been mentioned before, your mind can be gullible, you need to know how to train your mind and your body will automatically follow. Start with something basic like a stroll, build on it and then step out of your comfort zone!
Think of it as a new business venture which won’t reap immediate benefits, the stroll might not be the most effective form of exercise and might not be beneficial on a calorie expenditure front; However, that stroll and a couple of other strolls will get you into a habit cycle of being a little more active than you would be without them. It’s the small profits that will make a huge difference in the future. You don’t have to live in that comfort zone forever, just like a business, which is doing well because a particular trend is in the market, might not do well if they don’t adapt to the changing times.
It’s small wins, small profits (habits) building day by day into larger more meaningful profits (habits) that will get you on the consistency train, not overexertion or a chase to the finish!
4. Keep a track of your calories.
Working from home has forced us to spend a lot more time on the couch or the designated office chair at home; Regardless the time spent sitting/lying down is not doing us any good, especially since we are not as active as we used to be;
Not talking about your fitness levels, talking about the NEAT, that’s Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis, the kind of movement that you did throughout the day without deliberately exercising. Some examples of NEAT are, walking to the bus stop, running to catch a train, walking from home to the grocery store, etc.
You would be surprised to know that on an average, you spend more calories doing all these miscellaneous things compared to the deliberate calories burnt while exercising for an hour or two per day!
However, you are not burning the same amount of calories through NEAT anymore, since you are no longer walking to the bus stop, catching a train, etc. you get the gist, right? Because of the switch in lifestyle, you need to go out of your way to keep a check on the kind of food (calorie dense/calorie light), quantity of food and the macros that you are intaking per day.
According to your goal, your food intake will differ;
Calorie Surplus for weight gain, Calorie Maintenance to maintain weight and Calorie deficit to lose weight.
5. Follow healthy sleeping patterns
After having spent an entire day juggling between the meetings, stressful situations, food habits and running errands, it is important to unplug and recharge your own energy. A healthy sleeping pattern is of prime importance, though not a lot of us get enough sleep hours every night. A good night’s sleep helps you recover well and balances your hormones. It also has a positive effect on your mood. Practice on setting up a dedicated time to go to sleep and cover up on at least 8 to 10 hours of sleep every night to let your body rejuvenate and recharge from the daily trauma. Here are a few tips to help you create that pattern :-
- A Self care schedule or a night time routine, preps you and habits you to go to bed right after.
- Get in bed at least 30 minutes to an hour prior to your actual sleeping time. It’s all about creating a routine and letting your body know it’s time to pack up for the day. Read a book while you’re at it.
- Keep your phone away before getting into bed. The blue light from our phone screens has an adverse effect on the production of melatonin, the hormone that promotes feelings of sleepiness.
Try these, hopefully they work out for you too!
6. Try substituting high calorie sugary foods with low calorie fruits, during cravings.
It’s easier said than done :p But you gots to do what you gots to do!
Given a choice during a craving, one will always choose a cookie/muffin/brownie over a bowl of fruits, and most days that wouldn’t be a problem – look at it this way, ‘All foods are friends, some you do and should spend more time with and some, not so much.’
If you have the calories in your bank and want to grab that sugary ball of goodness, go ahead- before you do though, ask yourself…
- Do I have the calories for it?
Yes, move to the next question.
No, you need to keep it away.
- Would I rather save calories for something later today?
Yes, keep it away.
No, move to the next question.
- Is it as nutritious as something I can rather substitute it with?
Yes,it fits my macros, go ahead and eat it.
No, keep it away.
7. Create a pattern break
Always find yourself in an IG scroll hole for hours at a stretch?
In front of the fridge even when you aren’t hungry?
Almost about to skip your workout because the couch feels super comfy?
Create a pattern break!
How you may ask?
Well, you need to flee from the particular situation just for about a minute or so, to identify your priorities and you would make better choices. Again, easier said than done but do try it.
IG scroll hole.
Get up, leave your phone behind and go for a stroll in and around the house or room, if you have someone around, start a random conversation, basically anything to divert your mind and create a break from your current situation. Sounds funny, though it works!
Leaving your phone- is that minute you need to prioritise again.
Striking a conversation- creates a pattern break.
Boredom Hunger pangs.
In front of the fridge, looking for something to eat, not because you’re hungry but because you’re bored?
Fill a glass of water instead or a bottle, get out of the kitchen.
Take water along with you so you’re not leaving the kitchen empty handed and you would most likely avoid coming back now that you did leave with something.
Moving away from the fridge, filling a glass/bottle of water- a minute to prioritise again, if you’re really hungry.
Getting out of the kitchen with something- creates a pattern break.
Super comfy on the couch during workout hours.
Walk to your cupboard, make a deal with yourself. If after you change into your workout clothes, you still feel tired and lethargic, you have the full liberty to skip the workout. If however, you feel that was just a short bout of laziness at your end- you drag yourself for the workout!
Sometimes, it is just getting out of your comfort zone to see small changes, which aren’t hard to do at all. We just need to go from point 1 to point 2 and before we know it we would be at a 100.
Though, to move from Point 1 to Point 2, you will need all the courage and strength there is and only you can make that change!
8. Subscribe to a workout plan
This is human nature- we immediately start taking things a little more seriously when there’s some sort of investment (money) involved. You can take time for granted and even money for that matter, though on most days the latter is deemed more valuable for most.
The moment you spend your money for something, you are automatically a little accountable.
Subscribing for a workout plan/class, can be that one thing that could keep you on track. If working out is something you need in your schedule but you just can’t prioritise it, investing in a monthly/weekly fitness class/ program can be beneficial.
9. Start cooking your own meals.
We can safely say that there has been a crazy rise in the use of food delivery apps in the past couple of years.
A lot of us, always being short on time, resort to them. Nothing wrong in eating out sometimes or calling for some good old take out from your favourite restaurant, then what are the limitations?
You have no idea the calories you’re consuming!
80% of us, always underestimate the calories while eating out, leaving us with limited choices-
- Cook your own meals;
- Call from food services with stated calories for every meal.
Sounds crazy to some and pretty unsustainable, while spending loads of money on food every year, spending the money for the right food is a win-win situation for everyone, mostly you!
There’s a crazy amount of butter and oil that goes into food called from restaurants and stalls outside. What’s even crazier is people consume such foods everyday, three meals per day at a minimum!
10. Create your own little workout space
ust like we create office spaces, so that we work better, focus better. Why not create workout spaces?
It’s as simple as, assigning a small corner of your room and placing all your workout gear and equipment in that corner, using that corner for workouts and workouts only!
It can add that little motivation to do better the moment you step into the corner you’ve created, especially now when gyms are not accessible or a little unsafe to visit.
Hope these tips helped you at least in a tiny wee bit if not more!
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