Ways to make fall fitness fun – Get Motivated and Inspired
Working with a compatible training partner and/or a good fitness trainer is an excellent way to enhance the intensity and enjoyment of your workouts.
If ever there was a time to regroup, recharge and commit to your personal fitness, it’s now. With the change of seasons, shorter daylight hours and the kids headed back to school, there are less distractions and more opportunity to fit exercise and healthier lifestyle habits into your schedule. In the coming weeks I’ll be outlining a new and effective training plan that will get you in your best shape ever, just in time for the winter holidays. This week I want to touch on strategies that can help you to enjoy your fitness routine more, which will increase the likelihood of adherence and success.
There’s nothing worse than slogging away through something you don’t enjoy, simply because you know it’s good for you, or because someone told you that you should. In my 20-year training career I’ve seen that the best way to turn someone off exercise is to keep driving them to perform activities that they don’t like. I’m a strong proponent of finding ways to adapt the activities, or of finding new activities altogether, that will be more enjoyable while still yielding results.In my training career I’ve seen a lot of strategies used. I’ve also seen a lot of smiling clients, even when they’re dripping with sweat.
One of the key principles of a successful, lifetime approach to fitness is to start with an honest evaluation of what kind of person you are, and what you enjoy. If you tailor your fitness plan to suit your personal preferences, you’re going to get off to a good start.Here are some tips to help you enjoy yourself more while getting in great shape.
PICK WHAT YOU LIKE
There’s always more than one way to achieve a desired result. When it comes to keeping your muscles strong (which everyone should do) there are a few possible approaches. Some people like lifting free-weights, and don’t mind loading or unloading barbells. Others like selectorized machines because they are convenient and easy to use. For some, weightlifting seems like work, but get them using resistance bands and medicine balls and they really start to have fun.
Recently, I’m seeing more people who totally enjoy the personal challenge of training with nothing more than their own body-weight, doing exercises like pushups, chin-ups and lunges. There are numerous functional benefits to this kind of training as well. Try a few different methods and choose the one that appeals to you most.
As someone who likes training in a gym setting and running the local mountain trails, I like to have music to accompany my workouts.
This is part of the reason that I appreciate the emergence of iPods and other personal MP3 players. Now everyone can train with their own selection of music, wherever they exercise.
I tend to pick a music mix that is upbeat and energetic, but not too intense. I can tell you from personal experience that my workouts are twice as good when I’ve got a great playlist to listen to on my iPod. It clips onto my shorts and keeps me focused and motivated when I train, which helps me to enjoy my workouts a lot more.
Some people like to exercise alone, turning into themselves and paying attention to how their body feels and how it performs. However, for most of the people I come across, there is a general feeling that exercise can be a bit monotonous. They often struggle to keep motivated to start the sessions, or to maintain the intensity for the duration of their workout.
If you’re one of these people, you can increase the success and enjoyment of your fitness training by finding a compatible personal trainer, a good friend to exercise with, or both. Other great options are group fitness classes and running clubs, where there is a sense of companionship and community. Having someone to encourage and push you goes a long way, even if just to get you to your workout on days where you might not have gone on your own.
SUCCESS IS A GREAT MOTIVATOR
One of the best ways of getting fired up about exercise is to see positive results. In my business I come across a lot of people who have been doing the same workout for years. Usually it’s been a long time since they actually enjoyed it or saw any benefit. When a good trainer helps these people to develop a program that gives them the stimulus they need, they’ll start seeing positive changes and begin to enjoy exercising again. The same applies to nutritional efforts as part of a fitness program. It’s a lot easier to maintain healthy habits in your eating plan when you’re jumping up and down in a pair of jeans you haven’t been able to get into for years.
Rob Williams is a kinesiologist and posture specialist in downtown Vancouver.