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How to stay motivated to keep fit all year round

Make keeping fit part of your lifestyle

Rachel Hosie
Saturday 24 February 2018 10:23 GMT
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Chessie King
Chessie King (Fiit)

At the start of every new year, the majority of people resolve to be healthier. To get fit. To lose weight.

This usually involves exercising more which is all well and good in January, but more often than not, our motivation gradually fizzles out.

But this needn’t be the case. If you put your mind to it, you can stay focussed and make keeping fit part of a healthy lifestyle rather than just a phase at the beginning of the year.

“The key to a successful fitness lifestyle is discipline,” Israel Rivera, Head of Group Exercise at Virgin Active told The Independent.

“While your fitness routine should be tailored to your own goals and your body’s needs, the key is to stay with what works and what will keep you dedicated and disciplined. Keep it simple. Stay dedicated. Stay disciplined. The key to year round fitness is to develop an exercise routine you enjoy and be consistent.”

If you’re not enjoying slogging it out on a treadmill, don’t force yourself. Keep trying new forms of exercise until you find one you actively enjoy. That way it’ll become a part of your life and not something you resent doing.

“Don’t follow trends - do your own research,” Fiit personal trainer Chessie King told The Independent. “Your body is your own experiment. Some of the things you see your favourite instagrammer doing might not work with you.”

Rivera believes the biggest mistake people make is stopping exercising or breaking routine.

“When it’s cold and dark it can be easy to make excuses and skip a workout,” he admits. “I find the simplest strategy is to plan and commit to your workouts. Taking too much time off from your workouts can ruin months of hard work!”

But of course, that’s not to say you’re not allowed to skip the occasional workout if you’re just not feeling it or something else comes up - don’t beat yourself up if you don’t make it to the gym one day, just try to make sure you go to the majority of the ones you schedule in your diary.

You need to be realistic too - trying to go to the gym seven days a week isn’t sustainable for most people. Aiming for three or four, perhaps one of which is something easier on the body like yoga, is. Giving your body time to recover is important.

Here are some other useful tricks for staying motivated to keep fit all year round:

Get a workout buddy

“Having a partner, whoever it is, makes it a lot more enjoyable and you’re less likely to miss a session because you won’t want to let them down,” King says.

And Rivera says it’s probably best this actually isn’t one of your closest friends, but just someone of a similar fitness level.

Set specific goals

Signing up for little challenges throughout the year will help keep you focussed. “It doesn’t have to be as big as a marathon but little goals give you that extra motivation when you need it because you have something to work towards,” King explains.

Fuel your fitness with good food

The more you exercise, the more you’ll want to eat well - and vice versa. “I always have avocados, spinach, smoked salmon and Greek yogurt in my fridge so when I’m hungry I eat well,” King says.

Have a PT session from time to time

Personal training sessions aren’t cheap, but they can do wonders for your fitness journey. Even just one every few months will give you a motivation boost, teach you ways to mix up your workout and ensure your technique is correct.

“I’d rather spare myself the extra coffees or lunches out and bank the savings for my sessions,” Rivera says. “My health and future are worth the investment.”

Focus on how exercising makes you feel, rather than look

If you’re only working out for aesthetics, it can be disheartening when changes to your body don’t come as quickly as you might like. But if you’re doing it sensibly, it should take time. That’s the only way it’ll be sustainable.

“Do what makes you feel good and looking good can come with that,” King advises. “Don’t work out to punish yourself, do it to challenge your body and thank it after for what it’s done for you.”

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