5 Ways to Up Your Fitness Game

Needing a little motivation lately? It can be really tough to find the energy and desire to workout when it has been gray skies and cold. The weather is shifting, the sun is coming out and we’re feeling ready. Weather and energy levels seem to play into motivation very easily.

I remember the hardest time to be motivated for fitness was when my oldest son was around 1. The sleepless nights due to teething were rough. Being exhausted, working out was the last thing on my mind. I noticed I always reach for more sugary foods too when I am tired. I suppose I reach for it in hopes of little energy spike. I’m sure you’ve been there too when you’re tired. We’re human.

I would guess the number one reason most opt out of exercise each day is from being tired. If you don’t have a set plan, it’s so easy to give in. Regardless of if I was struggling to fit fitness into my life or just wanting to do more, I discovered a process that made it happen. I’m here to share what worked for me. Here are 5 things you can do to up your fitness game.

Schedule

The first step is to schedule it. Sounds easy, right? It’s not always possible, but it works. Look over your weekly schedule. Is there a spot you can squeeze in 30 minutes? After dinner or waking up early? Put it on your schedule and treat it like an appointment. It doesn’t have to be every day. If you’re not fitting any fitness in, aim for 2 or 3 days to start. From those I surveyed, everyone wishes they could workout 2 more times a week than they do.  When you schedule it, be specific. It works best if you write down what you want to do, at a minimum put something like “lift weights 20 min for arms” or “run 3 miles.”

Support

Is consistency an issue? Having the motivation to show up day after day can be improved with the help of a friend or a group. A support system makes a world of a difference. If you do Crossfit, you know you miss your crew when you can’t make it. For runners, local running groups can encourage, motivate and hold you accountable. If you’re looking for local running groups search for

a.      “Your town” running club(most have one by this name structure)

b.      Stroller Warriors Running club (for those military affiliated)

c.      MRTT- Mothers Run This Town or SRTT- She Runs This Town

d.      Team RWB

You will find a sense of community and encouragement at the Athletity Community Facebook group too. It’s a group being built to foster motivation, support, and encouragement as you challenge yourself to be better than you were yesterday.

One Healthy Choice

Are you an all-or-nothing person? It’s okay if you are, but that method doesn’t work for everyone. To be more active and make healthier eating choices, allow it to be a gradual lifestyle shift. You will see lasting results that way. Challenge yourself to make one healthier choice each day. This can be parking farther away, taking the stairs, avoiding the cookies at the office, or choosing a healthy vegetable side. These small actions will compile to add into long-standing habits of being active. For those who are active 3 or more times a week, you can still challenge yourself with eating habits, sleeping habits, and many other ways.  I know I am personally always trying to be better than the day before.

Challenge Yourself

Our body wants to be lazy, it’s designed to be. Remember homeostasis? Our body wants to do the least amount of work possible to operate at a consistent level. Let’s shake things up a bit and make your body leave its comfortable homeostasis zone. I created an online fitness challenge to help you with this. You will be given daily challenges to quantify your strength, endurance, mobility, and balance which will help you with setting goals. Join the Reveal Your Fitness Potential challenge for 5 days. If you need a short time commitment or want to go really in-depth, you will have both options.

Update September 2017: The Reveal Your Fitness Potential Challenge will be returning sometime before the end of the year. For those looking to get moving, check out the free 1 week trial of The Start Line program. The free trial is only available until September 12th, so be sure to jump in and check it out while you can. Here are all the program details.

Set A Big Goal

Once you know where you are starting you can decide where you want to go. Do you want to run a 5k? Half marathon? Compete in a Crossfit competition? Master a yoga pose? Think of something that is just out of your reach that you know you will have to work toward.

A few years ago, I chose to run a 10k. When I set this goal, I was barely running for 20 minutes. Those around me thought I was crazy. But, it goes back to the support system. I was influenced and supported by a running group. A group of women with crazy audacious running goals. Once the people closest to me who were shocked understood I meant business, this was going to happen, they were behind me. We will discuss these big goals more in the challenge.

Be sure to join us at The Start Line. You can be anywhere in your journey of an active lifestyle.  It’s all online. You can totally do this.

Join us in the Athletity Community Facebook group.

Dr. Shari

Orthopedic Physical Therapist + Exercise Scientist