As a Fitness Professional with over 25 years under my belt, I’ve seen many people start an exercise program only to quit in 3 or 4 weeks down the road.
Everyone starts with fantastic intentions but something happens along the way that makes them fall off the fitness wagon. After years of observation, I’ve decided it comes down to 5 Essential Exercise Elements that people don’t take into account when starting an exercise program.
If you are a beginner just starting out on your fitness journey or returning to fitness after a hiatus and you want to be successful at maintaining a consistent routine, follow my 5 Essential Exercise Elements.
Disclaimer: Before beginning an exercise program be sure to let your Health Provider know. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
Here are My 5 Essential Exercise Elements:
1. Schedule Exercise into the Reminders in your Smart Phone.
Mistake #1 – What I see happen to new exercisers….they do not schedule exercise time into their daily schedule.
You must treat your exercise time as you would any other appointment in your day. Would you ever just not show up to your dental appointment? Or your work review meeting? No way!
To ensure exercise adherence, actually sit down with & SCHEDULE IT IN your phone’s REMINDERS. If it’s not scheduled, it’s not real. Meaning, if life gets busy (which it will guaranteed), the first thing you will drop is exercise. If it’s not a notification popping up, it’s also super easy to get pushed to the end of your ‘to do’ list which pretty much guarantees it not happening.
Remember that it doesn’t have to be hours and hours of exercise. A 15 minute walk does wonders for your health. Consistent exercisers schedule exercise in as the first thing they do in the morning. That way it’s done & off your plate for the rest of the day. AND it fills you with great energy!
2. Start with Baby Steps.
Mistake #2 – I see people at my gym going too hard, too soon. After about 3-4 weeks of that, I don’t see the person anymore. They went big and then they went home.
To stick with an exercise program you must start small. Plan for 3 days a week of 30 mins of exercise. Stick with that until it becomes a habit (which takes approximately 1 month). Once you have maintained that, then add another day. Once 4 days a week is a habit, add another day. See where I’m going with this? If you start out too hard, too much you will end up either too tired to go or injured and then you miss a day and then you feel bad about that so then you’re hard on yourself and then you don’t go again, and on & on it goes. Set yourself up for success by starting small.
3. Get Expert Help.
Mistake #3 – Another mistake I see is people do not hire a trainer to give them a program to follow. Maybe they think it’s too expensive or just for celebrities but I have to tell you, successful exercisers have a trainer.
Do you know what to do when you’re in a gym? Most people do not. A trainer will give you a program to follow, based on your goals so that you do not waste your time while at the gym. It’s an investment in yourself. A good trainer will cost you the same price as a good dinner out. Going to the gym without a plan to follow is the same as trying to follow a recipe from the picture alone – impossible & frustrating.
4. Set SMART Goals.
Mistake #4 – Why are you working out in the first place? Is it because you’re training for a 5 km race? Is it because you want to take up snowboarding this winter? Is it because you want to lose 10 lbs? Setting fitness goals will help you “see the light at the end of the tunnel”. Goals will provide guidelines so you can actually see your progress & achievements. SMART is an acronym for specific, measurable, attainable, reward & time frame. I want to lose 10 lbs in 10 weeks is very specific, you can measure it, it’s attainable for most people and there’s a time frame around it. Don’t forget to reward yourself when you hit your goal (not with food, you are not a dog). Your trainer can help you figure out your goals and write them down.
5. Get an Accountability Buddy.
Mistake #5 – Not being accountable to anyone. If you want to be super committed to your exercise plan, workout with a friend. Not only is it more enjoyable & fun, but you have someone else to be accountable to. We all know how easy it is to skip our workouts BUT if you are supposed to meet your friend there too, you are more likely to not skip it.
Consistency is key to see & feel real changes in our health & physiques when it comes to exercise. If you follow my 5 Essential Exercise Elements consistently, you will feel & see the positive results in no time.
Fawn Gill is the Group Fitness Manager of Steve Nash Fitness Clubs for the North Shore. She is a certified personal trainer, fitness instructor, pilates instructor, Barre instructor & Accountability Coach. Fawn has over 25 years experience teaching others the benefits of living healthy and has helped thousands of people lose weight & get fit. Check her out at www.fawngillfitness.com