10 Ways to Improve Your Odds of Achieving Your Fitness Goals

For years, people of all ages have fought a battle with getting fit. Many times, it’s themselves they’re fighting. They deal with issues such as a lack of willpower, consistency, and knowledge

There are many reasons why people choose to get fit. The first is health. You may be hoping to prevent or reverse a specific issues, like diabetes, for example. Your health is directly impacted by your level of fitness.

Another reason people choose to work on their fitness is to have more energy. It’s tiring feeling out of shape. You trudge through each day, tired from the minute you wake up. Your body isn’t acclimated to the level of energy output you need, so you always feel lethargic and exhausted.

You might want to get fit so you look better! There’s no shame in using your appearance to motivate you into getting fit. You might do it for yourself, for your relationship or for confidence in the dating world.

Any and all of these reasons are good for creating and pursing a fitness plan. The key is to find something that you’ll enjoy and that will work  for you in the long term. You want a program that’s easy to implement – one that you’ll be consistent with.

You don’t want to choose one where you’ll dread it so much that you begin avoiding it, and eventually abandoning it. That’s what happens to most people because they choose a fad fitness and diet program that doesn’t appeal to them genuinely.

Fitness in general isn’t about being overweight, per se. You can weigh in at a normal amount, yet still be unfit. So you have to look at more than just what the scale reads. You want to look at how your fitness (or lack thereof) impacts your quality of life.

You have to think in terms of both long and short-term goals. In the short term, you may be able to achieve mini milestones, and begin to feel better in your body. It will be different than what you’re used to, so initially, you might have to get used to the new schedule and use of your muscles.

Over time, you’ll be able to track the significant progress you make and look back on how far you’ve come. This is where you gain a lot of inspiration to keep going – to set and achieve new, higher goals with your fitness.

So whether you just want to look and feel better, or you’re in it at a competitive level, with a drive unlike any other, working on your fitness goals to improve your efforts will help you enjoy success.

Chapter 1: Become Committed and Consistent

The first thing you need to do to maximize your chance of success with any fitness program is to learn how to be committed to your goal and be consistent with the action steps you’re going to implement to achieve that goal.

You can’t simply decide to be on a program one day and hope it all works out.Not having the proper mindset is a guaranteed way to fail repeatedly. You need to look at what has happened in the past to sabotage your efforts.

If you weren’t committed to your weight loss goal, then you probably gained more weight overtime or became less fit in general. What was it that stood between you and your fitness goals?

Consistency is very important when it comes to achieving any goal, but especially with your fitness. If you make a plan to adhere to a fitness regimen, and then only periodically work towards that goal, you won’t see the results you had hoped to achieve.

The first thing you want to do is stop procrastinating. There are many people who hope to someday achieve fitness, but they keep putting it off until later. Every time you do this, your fitness gets more out of reach.

Procrastination can occur for many reasons. You’ll always have something to blame it on. You might say you’re too tired, or have too much work to do. Those are all just excuses that are preventing you from achieving your goals.

Stop looking for the perfect timing to succeed with this fitness goal. Many people put off their fitness until what they consider to be the perfect date. That may be the following Monday, New Year’s Day, or their birthday, for example.

You really don’t need some special day to get started. You don’t even need a specific hour, such as first thing in the morning. You can start right this second and work toward the goals that you want to achieve.

Stop looking for the perfect timing to occur, because what will happen is you’ll have a minor slip up and claim you need to reset the clock and wait until later.Another thing you want to do is stop giving up on your goals.

You might give up when you become frustrated or don’t see results. Then, you lose your commitment and consistency and hope to regain it at a later date.The problem with this is, you develop a pattern of quitting.

You don’t want that to be your standard of effort. You want to give it your all, each and every time. Make a decision that if anything happens, you’re not going to restart, but simply pick up where you left off.

You don’t want to have to re-convince yourself and start over from scratch each and every time.Stop being indecisive about what you need to do to achieve your fitness goal.

Some people use this as an excuse to continually delay their efforts. It’s like seeing a shiny new object whenever they see a new fitness fad come along.They commit to one program, only to be introduced to another, and another, and another.

Each and every time something new comes along, they convince themselves that this is the better path. If you do this, you will never see the results that you had hoped for.If you keep running into problems, and feel like you are unable to follow through on a program, analyze why this continues to happen to you.

Is it that you aren’t carefully selecting the right fitness program that will work for you? Have you not found the right tools to help you follow through on it?Is it some sort of lifestyle change that you can make, which is interfering with your goals?

This might be something like not getting enough sleep so that you feel capable of carrying out your plans. You may need to get to bed earlier or work on the other sleep hygiene issues in order to have the energy you need to get fit.

Is there someone in your life who is sabotaging your efforts? Sometimes, you’ll be very committed to achieving a goal, but others in your life will intentionally tempt you to go off plan.

If this is happening to you, regardless of who it is, you need to put boundaries in place that prevent them from getting between you and your goal. This might mean reclaiming your time or standing up for yourself and emphasizing what you need and want from the other person.

Make sure before you work on any other goal, that you get your mindset right first. You need to commit to these efforts for as long as it takes, if not forever. And you need to know that you have it in you to be consistent in working toward them and doing whatever it takes to achieve them.

Chapter 2: Don’t Let Finances Get in the Way of Your Fitness

When you want to achieve a specific goal, sometimes you’re desperate enough to do anything it takes to get there. Often, people don’t think things through, and they end up spending beyond their means, as if throwing money at the problem will help solve it.

You don’t want to be one of those people who go all out and get into debt. These people will invest in a top level gym membership, expensive personal training, nutrition coaching, new fitness gear and more in their effort to realize their dreams.

The reality is, you don’t need any specific budget to get fit. Everyone on every level of income can do this if you just know how. In fact, you don’t have to spend a single penny if you don’t have it.

If you do have a budget, then you may want to invest in some strategic elements that will help you achieve your goals faster.You can do this on a budget. The first thing you want to do is figure out what your budget for fitness is.

Not everyone’s budget will be the same. Some people may only have $10 a month to invest, while others have thousands.Don’t try to compare your plan with anyone else’s. If you know that you specifically want some sort of tool or other element that will help you achieve your goals, and you don’t yet have the money for it, then figure out where you can cut costs in your life so that you can divert those funds towards your fitness goals.

The first thing you may want to consider is creating an at home gym. This can be done with or without investing in equipment, but the great thing is, it saves you money from you not having to pay a recurring gym membership.

You can buy equipment that is budget friendly, including purchasing used equipment that people are getting rid of. You can also use things around the house that you already have.

For example, a female who is just starting out in fitness and doesn’t have much strength, can use large cans of food as small weights.You can also buy inexpensive equipment such as stretch bands that help you strength train for a few dollars instead of investing in more expensive heavy weights.

You can use your bodyweight to train in a home gym and not have any equipment at all.Another way that you can get fit without letting finances get in the way of your goals is to use public spaces.

There are some parks that include fitness equipment in them, for instance where you can do pull ups. You can also use trails to run and get your cardio in.Even if it’s raining, that’s no excuse not to get your fitness in for the day.

There are many people who go to an indoor place such as a mall and walk until they have achieved a certain number of steps for the day. There’s really no excuse as to why you can’t get fit due to finances.

One thing that many people like to do is utilize digital media. They will use their smart phone, tablet, laptop, computer, or television to tune into advice and training that is offered for free on the Internet.

Of course, you want to be careful about who you choose to learn from.But assuming you find a bona fide expert, there’s no reason why you can’t get all sorts of fitness advice for free.

That includes things like dietary and nutrition advice, proper form, and entire fitness routines that are created for a wide variety of individuals.For example, you can find a specific fitness regimen for seniors, for women, for those who want to build muscle, for teenagers, and more.

You can even find fitness routines for women who are pregnant. Of course, you want to check with your doctor before following any advice and make sure that it’s right for you.You may want to invest in the use of a personal trainer to achieve your fitness goals.

This may or may not fit your budget, but there are ways to save money if you only have a certain amount you can spend on this. For example, many personal trainers publicly offered their services in terms of an hourly rate.

But you may be able to inquire about getting a half hour workout instead. Some trainers will give a discount if you work out with them multiple times per week. So instead of paying $100 per hour for one hour a week, you might be able to get two hours a week of training in, at a lower rate of $85 per hour.

Another thing you can do with personal trainers is ask if they will train you and a friend for a lower rate for each of you. So instead of having to pay $100 by yourself, you may be able to get a friend to go in on it with you and each pay $50.

Even if the trainer charged a bit more, you will often get a discount. So the trainer may charge $150 for two people, but it’s still a savings for you when you split it.Another thing you may consider is analyzing which trainer has a lower level of certificates.

If you walk into the gym and are paired with a top-tier trainer who has multiple certifications, their hourly rate will probably be more. However, there may be a newer trainer who is certified in what you need help with, who simply doesn’t have as many certifications and therefore doesn’t charge as much.

Keep in mind that you may only need personal training for a short period of time. If it’s not in your budget to keep it going, you can work with a personal trainer to educate your about the machines and workout routines and then do it on your own from there.

You may also want to consider group fitness. This is where you’ll be in a larger class filled with many individuals. You won’t get as much one on one attention from the personal trainer, but it is still his or her job to make sure that you are working out with proper form and working towards your goals.

There are some things that you don’t want to skimp on when it comes to financing your fitness goals. For example, if you plan to do a lot of running, you want the best athletic shoes you can afford.

The last thing you want to do is begin suffering from joint problems because you were wearing cheap shoes with no support.There’s really no need to invest in expensive athletic clothing.

Some people feel like when they start a fitness program, they have to go and get the top brand-name athletic gear. But you can work out in any pair of shorts and t-shirt you have lying around.

There’s no need to go into debt on this sort of thing if it’s out of your reach.Somethings you want to consider as a good investment. For example, if you are working on your fitness, you want to stay hydrated.

Not doing so can have a negative impact on your body. So a water bottle will be vital to your endurance and success. You can certainly buy a disposable water bottle, but it might be more financially sound in the long run to invest in a reusable one.

Sometimes there will be a specific item you need for the type of training you want to do. For example, if you are lifting weights and continually struggling with hands that are torn up from the process, then you may want to invest in a pair of gloves specifically for lifting weights.

Somethings will work toward a convenience factor for you. For example, if you are tired of working out and having sweat pour down your face, then you may want to invest in a headband that keeps the perspiration out of your eyes.

Once you decide what kind of fitness routine you plan on pursuing, make a list of all of the wants and needs you have for that particular routine or strategy. Then, prioritize them based on what you absolutely must have and what would be nice to own.

For the items that are must haves, spend a little time to shop smart so that you’re not blowing a budget on unnecessary brands or products. Depending on the purpose of the product, you may be able to get away with something much less expensive.

Chapter 3: Learn Proper Form to Prevent Injury and Delayed Fitness

When you don’t know the proper form for the exercises that you’re doing, you can end up getting injured. When that happens, you have to try to either avoid using the injured area or put your fitness goals on hold until you heal.

There are specific forms for every type of exercise that you do. But first, what you always want to start with regardless of the exercise you’re choosing is to make sure you warm up.

That’s because warm-ups get your body ready for the exercise that you’re about to do. Warm-ups speed up your heart rate and get your blood pumping. They increase the amount of oxygen in your blood.

They also loosen up your muscles as well as your joints. Your body will be nice and limber before you begin your exercise routine. Since your muscles are warmed-up and ready, you’re less likely to get injured.

One type of exercise that’s popular in fitness routines is cardio. But the proper form for cardio is found in balance. You have to know how often to perform cardio, how hard you should work out and how long you should work out.

And all cardio exercises must have a cool-down period once you’re done. A cool-down does more than just help prevent muscle aches.It brings your heart rate and oxygen needs down at a slower rate so you don’t end up dealing with any sudden dizziness like you can get if you just stop abruptly.

This is standard regardless of the kind of cardio you’re doing and includes running, swimming, cycling outdoors on a moving bicycle or one that’s stationary. It also includes working out on a treadmill, using a stair stepper or a rower.

The best time frame for cardio is to not work out longer than 20 minutes at one time if you’re pushing your body hard and you’re not someone who exercises regularly. Never raise the difficulty of your cardio workout before you know what the proper form is.

The form is going to vary depending on what exercise you choose to do under the umbrella of cardio because a cycling form will be very different than a swimming form.

For cycling, you would stretch your torso while keeping your stomach pulled in the direction of your back and angle this part of your body forward.

Part of the proper form is to make sure that your hands are relaxed. Don’t grip the handlebars tightly. There are different swimming styles but for freestyle, you want to make sure that you don’t extend your neck or raise your head when you need to take a breath.

Doing so makes your hips and legs get out of alignment. Your body should be one long straight line with the head and torso straight. When swimming, you want your body slightly on the side rather than having your stomach facing the water full on.

Don’t stretch out farther than you can easily reach with your arms and don’t push the water. There’s a proper form for running. When you run, direct your gaze in front of you. Don’t pay attention to your feet.

Keep your head straight. You want to keep your shoulders pulled back. Don’t let your arms flail away from your body. They should be close to your body with your arms bent at a 90 degree angle.

To picture proper form for your arms, your closed fist should swing from a hand span below your chin and back to your sides. Don’t run with your back completely straight. Instead, the right form is as you run, you want to angle your body a little forward.

The proper form for lifting weights will depend on the type of lifting that you’re doing such as arm versus leg, free weights versus machine weights. You should always make sure that your muscles are limber before lifting weights.

You can stretch your arm muscles if you’re doing upper body lifting by performing arm circles, stretches or a couple of minutes of cardio. When you’re lifting weights for upper body strength building, you need to make sure that you don’t lift using other muscles.

For example, when lifting for arm muscle development, it can be easy to strain your neck because some people pull against these muscles. You want to make sure you keep your back straight, especially if you’re doing dead lifts.

If you arch your back, you can pull a muscle in the lower portion. You also want to make sure that you’re not overreaching for the weight. Doing this can cause you to injure your shoulder muscle.

A big mistake that some people make when they don’t know what the proper weight lifting form is so they use their whole body in an attempt to lift, roll or sway the weight. You’ll usually notice this if you catch yourself rocking back and forth.

Part of proper form is not trying to do too much lifting at once. This usually happens when someone increases the amount that they lift by too much. The biggest mistake here that can lead to injury is doubling the amount of weight that you’re trying to lift.

This is when someone who’s lifting 25 pounds decides that they can handle going to 50 pounds at a time. While you might be mentally prepared to handle that, your body isn’t. Your muscles can’t handle a big increase that happens all at once.

Instead, you have to gradually introduce your muscles to more weight. This is no more than 2.5 to 5 pounds at a time if you’re using hand weights. But if you’re lifting weights using dumbbells that allow adjustments, you’d still want to increase slowly. 

Go small before you go big. It’s safer to increase what you can handle than to add more than your muscles can take. Strength training also requires proper form. When you’re strength training make sure that it’s muscles you use and not momentum.

It can be easy to get just a bit out of balance and injure arm, or back muscles. You have to make sure that you’re standing correctly. Keep your shoulders straight and your body relaxed.

The only area of your body that should be tight are your core muscles. If you use resistance bands in your exercise routine, you need proper form because it’s easy to get injured using one when you don’t have the proper form.

The way that you use them will depend on the exercise that you’re doing. If you’re working on your arms, you want to stand in place pinning the band in place beneath your feet.

Holding a handle in each hand, slowly raise your arms upward while building tension in your biceps. Hold onto that tension as you slowly lower your arms. Any quick jerking moments with a resistance band can cause it to recoil and snap you.

Many people think of yoga as a calm, gentle exercise but yoga can give you quite the workout if you use it correctly. It can help you to lose weight, tone your muscles and build overall body strength.

The number one cause of injuries when doing yoga is improper movements and holding the position incorrectly. Some of the poses in yoga are known as rests and yet some people hold these poses with their body tensed up and their weight not properly distributed.

When that happens, you can sprain a shoulder, put too strain on your arms and back.

During any yoga pose, you have to be careful not to throw your core out of balance. This happens when stick one half of your body out of alignment.

The reason it’s called a warm-up is because doing so warms the muscles and warm muscles are less likely to sustain an injury. Even if your exercise isn’t particularly tough or long, don’t fall into the trap of thinking you can skip the warm up.

When you warm up your body first, you gain flexibility. This makes it easier for your muscles to be able to go through a range of motion as you exercise. Your warm up boosts the amount of blood flow to your muscles.

This helps you get a better workout. There are several different kinds of warm-ups you can do. You can jog in place for 5-10 minutes. Or, you can do 20-30 pushups. Jumping rope also works.

If you jump rope for 2 minutes, this can warm up both your lower and upper body.Jumping jacks can do the same thing. Or, you can do squats. Between 10-15 reps will warm up the muscles.

You can also do lunges and gain the same type of warm up. By taking even just a few minutes to warm-up, you can make sure you don’t have to take an unexpected break on your fitness journey.

Chapter 4: Use a Combination of Both Diet and Exercise to Reach Your Fitness Goals

Most people know that eating a healthy diet is important. They also know that exercise is important. But the problem is that more people than not believe they can do one or the other and reach their fitness goals.

It’s true that you need exercise to build your muscles and stamina but if you don’t eat right at the same time, you’re just not going to see the changes that you’re seeking.There’s a scientific reason that you have to use a combination of both to get where your body the way that you want it to be.

Without the right kind of nutrients and vitamins like are found in healthy eating, your body won’t have the amount of energy it needs. Your muscles will experience a deficiency because they need those nutrients, too.

Muscles also need protein to function, to be able to repair micro-tears and to strengthen. Using one habit such as healthy eating without the other won’t give you any improvement.

So if you make sure you eat plenty of protein because you’re trying to help your muscles, you’re wasting your effort. Your muscles must have the exercise. Combining healthy eating and exercise is like yin and yang.

They just belong together. Try eating your meals in whatever amounts that you want to consume and skip exercising. You’ll quickly notice that your clothes are feeling a lot tighter.

Your waistline will grow, and your energy will lag. You may have even heard the saying, “You can’t out-exercise an unhealthy diet” and it’s true. You have to exercise in addition to watching what you eat.

It’s important that you consume carbs. This is energy for your body. When you eat carbs, your body turns them into fuel that gives your body the energy that it must have. You need carbs every day and even more so on workout days.

You also need to make sure that you have healthy fats in your daily meals and you should never try to go on a low protein diet when you’re trying to get fit because that’s a building block for the muscles.

If you have extra weight, you want to structure your eating so that you’re not consuming more calories than your body needs. When you exercise, you need to make sure that you take into account the number of calories that you burn.

Get the right amount of carbs for your lifestyle. Eating too few carbs is just as bad as eating too many of them. When you find the right balance of healthy eating and exercise, you will see the difference.

There have been numerous studies that show exercise or dieting alone is simply not enough. When you combine the two, research has shown that people who combine both strategies lose the most weight.

But you’ll also tone up your body as you’re doing so. Not only will this help you to build muscle, but it can make a difference in problem areas of your body such as tightening up stomach pooch.

In addition to that, when you exercise in addition to eating healthy, you’re shaping as you lose. This means if you have a lot of excess weight to lose, you’re less likely to deal with a lot of loose skin like you would if you just consumed a healthy diet but didn’t work out.

Even exercising faithfully such as working five days a week isn’t enough to reach your fitness goals if you don’t eat healthy. By using both diet and exercise, you can significantly lower your odds of developing heart related health issues.

You can also lower your glucose readings and your A1c if you happen to be diabetic.

Together, these good habits can also lower your cholesterol and your blood pressure but one or the other alone, is usually not enough to make a notable difference in these areas of your health.

Choosing just one of these – diet or exercise – doesn’t work because it does more than create an imbalance. It can negatively affect your metabolism. Your metabolism needs both a healthy diet and exercise.

That healthy diet should consist of only the calories that you’re actually going to need. But most people eat far more than their body could ever use. So they then treat exercise like a cure for over-eating.

They hit the gym and try to exercise off all those extra calories that they consumed by exercising harder and longer. But then when they’re finished with their workout, they feel like they’re starving.

Thinking that they surely must have burned off all the calories they ate, they go and eat again. So it becomes a circle of eating whatever they want and then thinking that exercise is going to save them from gaining weight or health problems.

It doesn’t, because the majority of people guess the number of calories that they burn during working out at a far higher number than what they actually did use up. So they gain weight or at the least don’t lose and then convince themselves that they just can’t get their body into the shape they want it to be.

The key is to stop treating exercise like it can save you from your overeating. Instead, treat exercise as a tool that works hand in hand with a healthy, calorie appropriate diet. It can’t be use to cancel out bad habits.

If you’re someone who’s had a pretty sedentary life, you can start slow with both nutrition and exercise to create a balance right from the beginning. Do something simple such as cutting out processed foods or switching from a high fat dairy to low fat.

Simple changes can cut calories, give you healthier choices and give you the motivation that you need.Maybe you’re at the point where you weight enough that exercising is painful for you.

You find it difficult to do routines. Then just start walking if you can’t physically do anything else. Walk a block. Then around the neighborhood, then farther and farther until you’re increasing the distance.

Even small changes, done consistently, do make a difference and can help you reach goals in the long run. Remember that you don’t have to race the clock. You can move forward at your own pace and you will make changes.

There are some things that you can do to help make sure you balance both diet and exercise. You can write down what you eat. Every bite that you put in your mouth. By logging your food, it makes you be honest with yourself and lets you see at a glance how much protein, fats and carbs you’ve eaten.

An easy diet change that you make to see fitness results is to stop eating out since you get a lot of high carb, high calorie meals when dining out. Cook at home and save your food in advance. This does two things.

First, it helps to have something on hand to eat when you’re hungry. People blow off a healthy dieting program when they’re hungry. Plus, when you have nutritional snacks already washed, peeled and stored in the refrigerator, you’re less likely to graze on unhealthy choices.

Secondly, you’re not going to get the same high carb, high calorie load at home when you choose your meal ingredients yourself and make your food at home. If you know that you have struggles with emotional eating, get help.

Make the necessary behavioral changes so that when you exercise, you don’t blow the good you gain there by binge eating to soothe emotion. Don’t let yourself have all or nothing thoughts.

Stop aiming for perfection. Strive to eat right and exercise 80% of the time and don’t try to meet unrealistic goals. Watch how you view healthy eating and exercise. Make sure you understand what it truly is.

Some people view diet and exercise as a measure to get fit and that’s it. They think once they reach their target heart rate or weight or they’ve accomplished an event, they’re finished for good.

But that mindset can prevent you from keeping fit long term. You’ll be more likely to gain back the weight, get out of shape and quit exercising. Diet and exercise do go hand in hand, but they should be viewed as a lifestyle change, as something you’re going to commit to for the rest of your life rather than something you can do and then be done with.

Chapter 5: Lean on Others to Help You Cross the Fitness Finish Line

No one ever said that getting fit was easy. That’s because it’s not. In fact, most people will tell you that fitness takes an incredible amount of willpower. You have to constantly drum up the inner will to keep on pushing forward.

You have to overcome obstacles like sugar cravings, food temptations that stem from yourself and from other people. You have to keep on trying even when you’re not noticing any difference in the shape of your body or any reduction in pounds on the scale.

This inner struggle can get worse the farther into your fitness journey that you go. That’s because at the beginning, you’re full of positivity and you have a strong desire to make changes.

But doing the same thing, eating healthy, working out, trying to avoid the stuff that derails you can reach the point where it just feels wearying. That’s the point where you start to waver a little bit.

This is when it gets easier to have a cheat day that turns into cheat weeks or months and the next thing you know, you’ve gone backward. That’s why you really do need the help of other people.

When you have others in your corner, you can lean on them, especially when you’re feeling the struggle. And by leaning on others, it can help you to reach your fitness goals.

There’s a lot of people in your life and some that you can find that would be great helps to get you across the finish line. You can turn to your buddies for help losing weight. These are people who usually have similar goals.

They want to get fit, too. Seeing their accomplishments and their determination can help motivate you to keep on going when you feel like quitting. These buddies can show up, ready to exercise when you’re thinking about several excuses as to why you can’t.

The reason that having a fitness buddy can be a big help is that while you might blow off sticking with a fitness goal if it’s just you, most people are less likely to disappoint someone else.

It’s also a good idea to lean on friends who can help you achieve the fitness goals you want. Friends make exercising a lot more fun than if you were by yourself. Part of that is because you can have conversations, someone to commiserate with and someone who won’t be afraid to call your bluff on excuses.

Friends are also not afraid to challenge you to do better. You’ll be able to go beyond your self-imposed limitations and do more than you thought you could do. When you have a friend to help you with your fitness goals, that person can also help to keep you accountable with everything.

They won’t just be there to push you with your exercise routine. They’ll be there to challenge your healthy eating and to remind you of the why behind the fitness. When you have a friend on board, it’s easier to not only develop new fitness habits but to make them a part of your life.

One of the reasons for this is because a friend can have insight into your fitness troubles that you might not see. While you might think nothing of allowing stress to give you a day off from working out, your friend would be there to point out that the stress you’re experiencing is exactly why you need to exercise.

Family members can be those you lean to help you with your fitness goals. You can get them involved and they can be great cheerleaders for you. For example, when you’ve made great progress but you’re not feeling the eating healthy or workout love, your family can help you to stop looking at what you haven’t accomplished.

They won’t let you dwell on what’s not going right. They’ll help you to look away from the times when things aren’t going well for you and remind you of how far you’re already come.

They’ll root for you and because of the familial bond, you’ll keep going because their pride and love will motivate you to pick yourself up and continue on. You can also suggest family outings that are physical which can help you exercise at the same time.

This can be activities such as hiking, swimming, cycling and more. Another way to lean on others to help you with fitness is by getting involved with a group. This group can be made up of people who encourage others in healthy eating and fitness.

But it can also be a group of people who are all on the same journey. There are many reasons to look for a group to support you.When you have a group, it’s easier to make fitness fun and that entails everything from finding new healthy recipes to working out together or keeping each other accountable.

Plus, a group can also offer some competition such as striving to reach certain goals first. This group can be a local or national organized group that meets regularly and goes over the ups and downs of fitness and recognizes when members reach certain achievements.

But it doesn’t have to be a group with hundreds of members. This group can be one that you create yourself. For example, you can get a group of coworkers together and start a fitness challenge.

Everyone opts in weekly with a small donation and the one who loses the most pounds at the end of an agreed upon time will get that pool of money. This group can help you share camaraderie as well as help you when you slip up.

There’s a good reason why leaning on others helps you achieve your goals. You’ll be surrounded by people who believe in you and if they’re on the same journey, these people also believe in getting fit.

So they’re going to be more likely to encourage you than to sabotage you. They’ll be there to offer encouragement, emotional support or check in on your progress. The best way to support each other is to know each other’s milestones.

When you reach one, celebrate and share the excitement. Make sure that the celebration is done in a non-food way. Go for a hike or get some new workout gear, but don’t build your milestones around food because it might be too easy to slip into a habit of using food as a reward.

Reinforce good behavior with each other but don’t judge when someone or yourself slips up. Practice letting go and getting back on track rather than staying stuck on what went wrong.

Don’t lecture anyone about their fitness and don’t accept lectures either. You need support, not “I told you so” or finger wagging. There are some great partners that are perfect as a fitness helper to lean on but there are some that you should steer clear of.

When you’re looking for a fitness partner, there are some non-negotiable things you want to look for. The first is you want to find someone who’s reliable. It doesn’t do any good to have a fitness partner who’s not consistent.

Make sure that your fitness partner is someone who motivates you and that you can motivate in return. You also want to make sure this person has the same or similar goals.

You want to find someone that you can speak freely with. Fitness partners need to be able to have honest conversations about what’s working and what’s not. Your fitness partner should be someone who’s on board with healthy eating.

This way, you won’t be dealing with someone who works out, but then eats in a way that negates all the hard work you’re doing because this might be a weak area for you. You don’t want to have anything that might make you go backward.

Just like there are great fitness partners, there are also ones who are not and you should avoid them. Stay away from those who are negative. They complain about eating healthy and reminisce fondly about bad eating habits.

They might gripe about working out and complain about the exercise routine, about the gym, about the people there and more. This can weigh on you and cause you to absorb their outlook.

A fitness partner you want to stay away from is one that has plenty of time for excuses. They can also tell you why they can’t do something, why you can’t do something, and they don’t see the reasons why something can be accomplished.

You want a partner who’s not afraid to try – even if it’s something they’re not familiar with. You want to avoid having a fitness partner who doesn’t set goals. If they don’t know where they’re going, they might have a tendency to be more aimless in their fitness journey.

Steer clear of a fitness partner who tries to sabotage your fitness goals. They may be doing this innocently but the results will still be the same. This might be something like offering you sweet treats that are your weakness or suggesting you blow off working out with them to go do something else.

Chapter 6: Shake Things Up to Prevent Boredom and Stagnation with Your Fitness

Some of the drawbacks of fitness goals are boredom and stagnation. When either of these (or both) hits, it can be enough to make you want to give up on your efforts.When mundane workouts are part of your life, you’ll find excuse after excuse to skip them.

But if you do that, it’ll undermine all the hard work you’ve done, or the fitness goals you hope to reach in the future. Don’t give up, not when it’s easy to shake things up so that you don’t have to deal with these issues.

Getting fit doesn’t have to be boring at all. You can start by getting out of a workout rut. Many people exercise at the same time, at the same place, with the same intensity around the same people.

There’s nothing new to stimulate your senses and if it weren’t for the thought of getting hurt, you’d probably nod off on one of the exercise machines. You’ve got to switch things up.

If you normally work out during the day, switch to working out in the evenings. If you usually workout first thing in the morning give the afternoon a go instead. Or, if you usually exercise five days a week and take the weekends off, switch so that you’re exercising on the weekends instead of during the week.

Go where the people are. Studies have shown that social interaction can shake up any exercise routine. If you sign up for a class or join other people who are exercising, it breathes new life into your workout.

Plus, you might make new workout friends and learn a new way to exercise than what you’ve been doing. There are tons of different types of exercise classes you can take and learn something new.

For example, you can sign up for a Zumba class. You can take up yoga. You can join a swim aerobics group. You can start doing Pilates or Crossfit or take kickboxing lessons. You don’t have to keep doing the same exercise routine every week and in fact, it’s better for your muscles if you don’t.

Compete with yourself. You already know your personal best by now. You’ve seen how fast you can run. You know how many reps you can do. Instead of stopping there, push yourself.

Challenge yourself to run farther than you ever have before. Add some extra reps to your workout and do more than you usually do. Set a timer to see if you can beat your normal workout time.

Challenge someone else. This can be a workout buddy, someone at the gym or someone that you meet using an exercise app. Send out a challenge and enter into a competition with someone else to see who can accomplish a milestone, goal or workout record first.

Look up new workout routines, videos or download a new program. You can find hundreds of fitness material that can help you shake up how you normally workout. Choose one that you think would be difficult for you to do and make that be your new goal.

If you’ve been working out on your own, find a personal trainer and ask him or her to give you a new workout plan. When you have a personal trainer, it can help add fire to your workout – especially if you find a trainer who’s skilled in motivating people.

Hit the outdoors. Boredom with a fitness routine can easily set in when you’re seeing the same four walls every single week. Plus, it’s easy to feel the pull of wanting to be outside and enjoying the fresh air.

There’s no reason why you can’t. While it’s true that you probably don’t want to take any bulky exercise machines outside, you can do that with resistance bands. You can practice yoga outside or, you can take up cycling.

Find a place where others are exercising outside. This might be a skate park. Or, if weather doesn’t permit you to exercise outside where you live, find an indoor exercise idea that’s both challenging and fun.

This might be something like an indoor climbing wall or an obstacle course. Find an event that lets you combine your fitness goals with something that’s fun or is a worthy cause.

You can join a race event. This might be something that’s in your local area or close to where you live. You’ll be able to join hundreds of other people racing for the same goal whether it’s for personal satisfaction or something to help others.

To find something like that, you just search online for races happening in whatever town or city that you live in. Or, if you prefer to find a fitness competition, you can do that, too. This would help to change the mindset of your current workouts and give you a greater motivation because you’d be preparing for something.

Give a time change a try to beat boredom. If you usually have a workout that takes you an hour to get through because you exercise just a couple of times a week, break that time down so that you’re exercising just ten or fifteen minutes a day.

Don’t forget to dance. The music that you listen to when you workout matters. You might not realize that you’ve been listening to the same music on your playlist formonths. Sometimes just changing this up can make a difference and break the boredom.

Stagnation isn’t the same as boredom, though some people use it as if it were. When you’re stagnating with your fitness goals it means that you’re not moving. You’re not making any progress and you’re not seeing any results.

Your body is where it was yesterday, the day before that, the week before that and so on. You might be working out faithfully. You never miss hitting the gym and you give your workout everything you’ve got.

Your plan may be to lose weight, tone your body, build muscle and gain strength. But the scale isn’t budging. Your body shape is the same as it has been for awhile. Your muscles haven’t grown, and you can’t do any more physically at the gym than you did weeks ago.

Maybe you’ve reached the point where you’re so frustrated and disappointed that you don’t even know why you keep trying. The key to breaking through stagnation is to start moving.

And the way to do that is by changing what you’ve been doing. If you have a workout routine, it’s not that there’s something wrong with it. It’s just not enough. Your body needs more.

Stagnation is often referred to as a plateau and this is caused because your body has adjusted to the changes that you’ve made. The workout that you’ve been doing faithfully did work in the beginning.

But now it’s time you shake that up because stagnation is your body’s way of saying that it can handle more than what you’ve been giving it. You forgot or didn’t know that to avoid stagnation, those first set of goals you set for your physical achievements can’t be set in stone.

They have to evolve as your body does. You can break the stagnation by looking at what you’re currently doing and switching it up. Whatever reps you’re doing, you have to do more, or you have to change the exercise itself.

If you’ve been doing a dozen reps, then you need to change how you break down those reps. You want to do this because your body needs variety. If you do the same reps, you get the same results – which is no gains.

So boost the reps. Or, switch them up by adding more weight. If you don’t do certain reps with weights, add them. Switch the intensity in your exercises. If you have low intensity on some, boost them to moderate.

If you have high intensity in others, drop that down. It’s the change that surprises your body out of stagnation. Change your workout goal. If you’ve been working on strength training, hit aerobic exercise more intensely instead.

Then once you notice your body’s responding, return to strength training but with a different set of exercises. Change your rest days or times. You can also switch from the pace at which you do your routine.

Move from slow and laid back to faster. Or from faster to slower. Toss out your schedule and create a new one. If you normally lift weights on Fridays, move that to another day. If you schedule running or cycling on weekends, put those exercises during the week instead.

Change the way that you fuel your body. Use a different nutritional plan. Sometimes when there haven’t been any gains, it’s because the way you’re eating needs to change so don’t forget to make sure you’re getting your nutritional needs met.

Chapter 7: Set Reasonable Short and Long-Term Measurable Goals You Can Track

Setting goals gives you something to strive for as well as helps you to measure the success you’ve reached along your fitness journey. These goals offer a sort of check-in. You can look at your goals to make sure that you’re still doing what you need to.

This way, if you veer off course, looking at them can show you how to be back on track.

When you set goals, it lets you see progress even if you don’t necessarily notice it yet. For example, if your goal is to lose weight as you get fit, you may lose inches before you’ll ever see a drop on the scale.

Having goals can also help you to stay motivated. They can also break down a long goal into more manageable steps. You can set goals in any area regarding fitness. You might want to set cardiovascular goals.

The main reason for having a goal like this is to that you gain better heart health. By striving for this goal, you can lower your blood pressure as well as stave off heart disease.

One popular cardiovascular goal is to push the distance that you go. If you normally do a certain number of reps during a cardio workout, you’d push the distance by adding more reps.

Or, if you were running, you’d set your goal to increase the miles that you cover. You might start out running a mile, but gradually, you would have a goal that would put you up to 2 miles, then on to 3 and so forth.

Eventually, by setting these short term goals, you’d reach your long term goal of being able to run longer distances. When it comes to distances, you can also use time-based goals.

If you run 2 miles in about twenty minutes, aim to shave some time off your record. You can set goals to get your heart rate to have a faster recovery time. When you’ve been exercising, your heart rate speeds up like it’s supposed to.

But being able to judge what kind of shape your heart is in is found in how quickly that rate lowers and what your normal resting heart rate is. Your cardiovascular goals can be to lower the risk factors that can damage your heart.

This would be something such as switching yourdiet from an unhealthy one to a healthy one. It would be to stop bad habits that impact your heart health and that can also get in the way of your fitness.

This would be something like smoking or being obese. If you have high cholesterol, then one of your cardiovascular fitness goals would be to bring that number down. Another fitness goal that you’re going to want to set for your fitness is in the area of mobility.

Mobility goals can help you make sure that the exercise you’re doing and continually improving allow your body to correctly handle the task. This helps to make sure that you avoid getting injured as well as get your body to the physical point where it can handle the duration of your workouts, building stronger muscles and increasing your speed.

What mobility enables your body to do is it gives you more range of motion. It also helps to strengthen the muscles that give you balance. While it does boost your flexibility, the main thing that mobility does it gives your body the power to push yourself. 

Without mobility, your body’s muscles can easily be damaged. Doing something as simple as reaching for an item can pull your shoulder muscle or you can quickly jam it up when exercising.

You can throw out your back just picking up a bag of groceries. Your mobility goals should be both short and long term in order for you to be able to build muscle. Some of the more common mobility exercises that you can set as part of your goal include squats and lunges.

Also on that list are neck circles, arm swings, wrist circles and hamstring stretches. Mobility goals are about keeping yourself from getting hurt, improving your workout duration and speed and being able to handle any workout that you undertake.

Another goal you’ll want to set for yourself includes improving your body’s range of motion. You can set this goal for various areas of your body, or you can target a specific area that you want to improve.

Range of motion, also known as ROM, figures how easily your ligaments and muscles around a certain joint can perform. Poor range of motion can affect how easily you move, how quickly you can walk, your speed and even the stability of your stride.

There are specific exercises that are great for helping to improve your range of motion. One of these is squatting. To improve your range, you would squat lower than you normally do and each time you exercise, you would go just a little lower.

Another is to do isometric exercises. An isometric exercise makes your muscles contract in an area depending on the exercise that you’re doing. While the muscle is contracting, though, you won’t be moving the joint near the muscle.

Any exercise that requires you to hold a position can help improve your range of motion. This can be something such as various yoga poses, holding your body aloft during a push-up, or performing a plank such as a forearm or high one.

You can also lift a 10 pound weight over your head and hold it. With any type of isometric exercise that you do, your goal should be to extend the time that you’re able perform it.

Weight loss is another goal you might want to set. If that’s the case, then you’ll first set your overall goal. After that, you’ll create your short term goal which are steps that you’ll take to reach the long term goal.

If you have fifty pounds to lose, that would be your long term goal. But your weekly goal might be to lose a pound or two while your monthly goal might be to lose about five pounds.

Or you might take it slower than that. You might also set a weight loss goal of losing 10% of your body weight. You can also set goals that are centered around your health statistics that fitness can change.

One of these is high blood pressure. Studies have shown that people who aren’t fit have a tendency to have higher blood pressure readings. This is a problem because high blood pressure impacts the health of your heart.

It can lead to heart attacks. There are several fitness goals you can set to improve your blood pressure. You have to set goals for consistency. Hit or miss won’t give you the long term changes to your blood pressure that you need.

Even if all you can manage is to walk three or four times a week, it can make a difference. Another fitness goal would be to lower the amount of salt that you eat since salt raises your blood pressure.

You also set a goal to let go of bad habits that are known to raise blood pressure. This might be giving up cigarette smoking or drinking alcohol. Alcohol immediately raises blood pressure but consistent drinking can lead to long term blood pressure issues.

Another health statistic you can alter with fitness is your cholesterol level. You’ll want to create goals that lower your cholesterol which can contribute to heart disease. This means you would change the way that you eat if you eat foods that are high in saturated fat.

If you’re a junk food junkie, you might want to set goals to limit the amount of junk food that you allow yourself to eat. You don’t have to strive for perfection. Even if you only eat healthy 80% of the time, that’s better than not paying attention to what you’re eating.

Set short and long term goals for your diabetes numbers. Some short term goals would be something like making sure you’re physically active or exercise for at least 10 minutes a day. Fifteen is better but 10 beats being sedentary.

Make it a goal to drink more water. Diabetes can cause dehydration plus, drinking plenty of water can lower high glucose readings. A short term goal could be to make sure you don’t mindlessly eat. Keep a food journal to track your carbs.

Some long term fitness goals when you have diabetes might be to lower your BMI. It might also be to lose fat and tighten up your body by gaining muscle through strength straining.

Another long term goal might be to lower your A1c. When creating your goals, you don’t want to be generic. Don’t write down that you want to lose weight. Determine exactly how much you want to lose and when you want to lose it by.

Then break down the steps that you’re going to take to get there. Do this with each of your goals. For example, don’t just have a goal of eating healthier. Write down exactly what it’s going to take to accomplish this.

Chapter 8: Use Wearable Fitness Technology to Hold Your Feet to the Fire

It’s easy when you’re trying to get fit to guess how well you’re progressing and not be correct. Guessing your fitness doesn’t work because people often give themselves the benefit of the doubt.

That’s why, when you guess what a serving size is and then actually measure it out, there’s a big difference. When you don’t have something that’s tracking your journey, it’s also easy not to hold yourself accountable.

That’s why you need to use something like wearable fitness technology. It’s the most accurate way to keep up with your fitness as well as your health. Wearable fitness technology can monitor your health by tracking your blood pressure.

It can also keep data on your heart rate. It’ll also measure your oxygen and let you know what’s going on with your sleep habit. One of these can keep up with the number of steps you walk as well as the number of calories you use when exercising.

On top of that, many types of wearable fitness gadgets come with programs included. These programs are designed to work as if you had a personal trainer helping you.Some of these devices can have numerous programs so you never get bored with your exercise routine.

Some of these programs might concentrate on weight loss while others might concentrate on losing fat or improving muscle strength. Plus, most of them are adjustable, meaning that if you’re currently a couch potato, it’ll take that into consideration.

But if you’re someone who’s more advanced with your fitness level, then there will be programs for you as well. When it comes to fitness, the most important step to take before you do anything is to make sure that you set goals that are within your reach.

This is also something that using wearable fitness technology can help you with.

A tracker usually has a setting that allows you to add your goals. Then the tracker keeps up with the goals and lets you see how far you’ve progressed toward reaching each milestone.

Seeing these smaller accomplishments help you to keep going when you don’t feel like you’re making any progress. Something that you might not realize about using this kind of technology is that a tracker can help you turn fitness into a habit.

You’ll have a constant reminder to meet your step goals, to get up and move when the alarm beeps to let you know you’ve been still for too long. A tracker doesn’t just focus on a small portion of your fitness lifestyle either.

These devices can help with your exercise, with healthy eating, with sleep and other issues to help you be as healthy as you can possibly be. Some of the trackers can also give you little motivators.

These can be things like digital badges or other things that can acknowledge what you’ve accomplished. So it motivates you to continue to push to be as healthy as possible.

A fitness tracker does more than just motivate you, though. It can also show you what you’re doing that’s taking you away from your fitness goals. This knowledge can help you to change habits that are holding you back.

There are plenty of great fitness trackers to choose from. One of these is the LETSCOM Fitness Tracker. This tracker keeps up with your fitness data all day long. It will give you an honest readout of the number of calories you’ve burned.

It’ll also inform you of how many minutes you’ve been active versus the number that you think you hit. It can count your steps as well as the distance that you’ve covered. But it also tracks the length of your sleep and can show you the kind of quality your sleep is.

This information can help you make changes to be sure that you’re getting the right kind of sleep since that’s an important part of your fitness. You want to make fitness something that the entire family can get involved in, especially since to many health issues that crop up later in life can begin in childhood.

That’s one reason you can get the BingoFit Young Kids Fitness Tracker. This has all the same benefits an adult fitness tracker does but it also has sport modes so if your child is into running or basketball or more, the tracker can give them accurate stats.

Something that’s important when you’re working out is your heart rate. You want to know when your heart rate changes and the reason for that is because it can help you to monitor your cardiovascular fitness level.

That’s a feature that the runme Fitness Tracker offers. And when you go for a run, you want to be sure that the route you took is mapped out. This can help you with speed, duration and calories burned.

The fitness tracker can use the GPS to create your running map which is a handy resource to have. If you want a tracker that anyone in the family can use, then there’s the Letsfit Fitness Tracker which can fit men, women or children.

The more exercise modes you have in a tracker, the better and this one has fourteen. Plus, it offers what’s known as real time heart rate monitoring. This feature allows you to see at glance what’s going on with your heart.

The reason that this information is valuable is because you can see where you need to change your habits so that you can improve your heart function. Not only will you get to see what your heartrate is doing when you’re active, but it’ll also show you what your resting heart rate is.

This allows you to see if the type of exercise you’re doing is intense enough to make a difference in your heart health. If you want to use wearable fitness technology that’s known for being lightweight yet has a strong notification signal, then the Mgaolo Fitness Tracker is one to get.

This tracker has everything that other models do such as the heart rate sensor, step counter and sleep monitor. But, it also includes a special health feature that’s designed for women who want to track physiological changes.

A great feature with this one is the way it keeps up with the running distance. This is handy because you can just concentrate on running and let the tracker do the calculating. Plus, it has an extremely long battery life.

When it comes to fitness technology, you usually have two choices. The basic trackers or the ones with a lot of features. You always want to opt for the one with a lot of features because you gain more from these.

The ones with more features can tell if you’re running or resting, whether you’re standing, and it can also tell what the altitude is. This helps when you’re doing exercises such as stair steps or actually climbing stairs as part of your fitness routine.

Many of the trackers also have the ability to test your temperature. They can track the amount of sweat on your skin and calculate the intensity of your workout routine. With most of the wearable fitness technology that you can buy, they’re able to link with other devices.

This means that you can use an app on your smart phone to get your fitness data, set goals and more. The reason that you can use this to up your fitness level is because many smart devices can take your fitness to the next level by showing you things you might not know or be able to track without them.

For example, pairing your wearable tracker with a smart scale allows you to know what your BMI is because many of them have what’s known as a body composition analyzer.

This information can tell you what your muscle mass is and it can also show you what your visceral fat amount is as well as tell you your weight.

You can use the tracker in combination with the scale to see your weight weekly, monthly and then at your goal milestone such as quarterly. Many trackers that you can get also have an app that allows your fitness progress to be shared with your personal trainer if you have one, your fitness buddies if you’re using the accountability method or with your doctor.

Chapter 9: Push Yourself – Don’t Be Afraid of What Your Body Can Achieve

You might be one of hundreds of people who want to get fit. So you follow the suggested guidelines. You switch out the unhealthy stuff you’ve been eating and start concentrating on eating foods that are unprocessed or natural.

Because you want to get fit, you let go of habits that you know are holding you back. You give up stopping at the fast food restaurant on the way home. You avoid all the junk everyone brings in to the office where you work.

Instead of sitting on the sofa chilling with the TV and some snacks, you get up and workout. You’re feeling good except you’re in the same place with your fitness that you were in the beginning.

Maybe not physically, but mentally, you’re still holding onto the same mindset. This mindset tells you what you can do and no more. So you do what you can do and don’t try to reach new heights.

When you see other people doing amazing things, you automatically disqualify yourself from doing the same thing. Because you have a “this is it” mindset, you’re limiting the heights that you can climb with your fitness efforts.

By doing this, what you’re causing is known as self-limiting beliefs. Translated into fitness, it’s physically limiting beliefs. You might not be pushing yourself because you’re afraid of what you can do.

You’re afraid of what your body can achieve. Probably because it’s the unknown. You don’t know how pushing yourself is going to change your body and how it’s going to change your life.

You don’t know that you can trust these changes or that you can trust yourself to handle them. You’re also afraid that you might push yourself, thinking you can do what you set out to do, but you have a setback so now you’re afraid to go that route again.

The root cause of not pushing yourself, that causes you to get trapped in that mindset is either fear of success or fear of failure. Both can cause you to stay stuck in stagnation and prevent you from reaching the heights that you were meant to reach.

Sometimes fear of pushing yourself causes you to develop avoidance issues. You don’t try to lift weights because you’re afraid you’ll bulk up so you ignore what could help take your fitness up a notch.

You fear that pushing yourself will expose the truth behind your fear. For example, you might have wanted to lose weight because you were unhappy and you stall reaching for the final milestones you set for yourself because you’ve realized that you’re not happy at the moment.

There’s usually evidence in the lives of people who don’t push themselves in their fitness goals. They don’t try harder. They accept where they are and stick with their current exercise routine, their current way of eating, their current weight or current shape of their body.

Sometimes people who’ve had success when they pushed themselves stall because they fear they can’t duplicate the success they had in the past. What you have to realize is that what you truly fear are the results of change.

You’re afraid of how far you can push yourself and the changes it’ll make in your body as well as in your life. You’re afraid of the consequences that go along with change. For example, some people push themselves and it makes friends, family or romantic partner upset so they become afraid to push their body out of fear of having to deal with even more friction.

But it’s time to set aside the fears and push through the limits. And the reason for that is because you were made to achieve far greater heights than you could ever imagine. Your body was not meant to accept mediocrity when it’s capable of far more.

You have to decide that you’re not going to let anything hold you back from going as far as you can physically. Determine that there are no excuses and no person powerful enough to prevent you from physically being your absolute best.

Then go for it. Push yourself. If you’ve always wanted to build muscle, then do that. Set those goals and get started. Push your body during your workouts. You want to make sure that you’re consistently increasing your load.

That means you have to decide the number of reps that it’s going to take for you to see a difference in your body. When you know that, you hit those reps every time you’re working out to build muscle.

You don’t quit. You will start to build muscle and as you do, you can’t stay there. Even adding reps, your body will start to adjust, and you’ll reach the point where you’re seeing your body look stronger and your muscles more developed than before.

But now is the time to push again. Pick muscle building routines that are even harder so that you don’t slack off. You’ll know when it’s time to push yourself if you’re not struggling to get through your reps.

You’ll want to make sure that you’re building muscle by using strength workouts. Don’t dip below at least three muscle building workouts every week. Stay the course and you will reach your goal in this area.

The shape of your body will change. You’ll have a sleek, toned appearance and you’ll end up amazed at what you see all because you pushed yourself to do more. When you push yourself, it allows you to blow past your preconceived ideas of what you were capable of handling.

Right now, you might think that there’s absolutely no way you could ever run a marathon. Yet ordinary people do it all the time and you can to. You just apply the same mental strength to running a marathon as you do to your workouts.

You simply push yourself without allowing yourself to quit. Maybe your push challenge is small like running up a hill near where you live. Or bigger – like climbing a mountain. Whatever it is that you want, if you push, you can accomplish it.

If you want to do something like run a marathon, run every week, but don’t just run the same number of miles. Just like with reps on the gym for other exercises, you have to always add more.

So the distance that you run must always increase. And for effectiveness you have to push yourself to run five out of seven days. If you’re not at that point yet, you can start by adding to the distance that you run every day.

Don’t do short burst runs because the longer ones help you go the distance during a marathon. When you push your body, you can do anything. Besides running a marathon, you could take part in an Ironman competition.

While it might seem like overwhelm when you look at it as a whole, you can push yourself and do one. That’s the key to competing in an Ironman, which is to just push yourself in the weeks leading up to the event.

The more you train, the easier the event will be for you. You’ll have to create a strategy that you follow to determine what activity you’re going to do on which day as well as the duration of that exercise.

Since the Ironman covers cycling, running and swimming, you’ll want to push yourself in each of those areas. It takes a big commitment to not just exercising to get ready but eating right as well.

To have the kind of follow through you need for an Ironman, you’ll need to train for between 12 to 16 weeks prior to the event. During those weeks, you’ll be working out between 10-13 hours per week.

Each of the exercises that you focus on, the running, swimming and cycling gradually build over the weeks until you’ve pushed your body into doing more than you’ve ever done.

For example, you might start out by cycling for an hour but by the time the Ironman is on the horizon, you’ve built up to easily cycling at least 25 miles. When you set out to push yourself, don’t go from something like swimming for half an hour to suddenly swimming for four hours.

You’ll be too sore to move the next day. The key to the pushing yourself is to take every big thing you’re doing and break it down. For example, if you know you’re going to run twenty miles that day and it’s something you’ve been working toward but never accomplished, don’t let your mind focus on the twenty miles.

Instead, focus on each five miles that you run. It’s easier to maintain motivation and keep on going when you do that. Set your focus when you push yourself on the results rather than the time.

For example, instead of looking at how long the Ironman is going to take you to do, focus only on making each portion’s time limit. Finally, push yourself but don’t injure yourself. Otherwise, you’ll end up derailing your goals.

Chapter 10: Make Fun an Integral Part of Your Fitness Plan

It seems to be the general belief that getting fit couldn’t possibly be fun. Everyone knows that giving up bad habits, eating healthy and exercising can be a drag. This is the mindset that makes it difficult for many people to stick to a fitness plan.

The eat right and exercise advice doesn’t feel like fun. It feels like being responsible. Like it’s something you can’t avoid. But, that doesn’t have to be your mindset. Fitness is exactly what you make it out to be.

And if you make your fitness plan fun, then it will be. But you do have to make the effort.

You have to start by being yourself. There’s no reason to try and make yourself do something just because everyone else is doing it.

Let them be who they are, and you be you. The main reason that so many people quit on their fitness plan is because they get a mental picture of what it’s supposed to be like based on what other people are doing.

They then try to force themselves to fit into that mold even though that’s not who they are and they’re miserable. Create a fitness plan that matches who you are. Fit it to your lifestyle and your personality.

If you hate exercising outside, then nothing you do outside is going to work for you. But if you create your plan with your likes in mind, then you’ll view exercise as something that’s fun rather than something to suffer through.

There’s nothing fun about boring workout gear, especially if it’s bland or serviceable. Don’t make the mistake of “making do” with your gear. Make fitness fun by getting yourself some snazzy workout equipment.

This might be tools, machines or clothing. Buy yourself a fitness tracker and have fun with that. Give yourself permission to invest in you. Get what you know will motivate you but that you’ll also enjoy using.

This will give you something that works to keep you motivated. It’s okay to buy gear with the latest bells and whistles. Don’t talk yourself out of just because something might seem extravagant. It’s fun to treat yourself.

Go back to yesteryear to make fitness fun. Remember back when you were a kid and you enjoyed spending time outside? You could run around all day long and it was so much fun that you hated when it was time to come inside.

You played games with your friends and ran and shouted and there was nothing boring about it. Look at all the fun stuff you used to do as a kid. There was a reason that you enjoyed doing those activities.

You thought they were fun. Now look at the activities that you didn’t enjoy. You didn’t do those. Your fitness plan should be the kind of fun that you had as a kid. Make a list of all the stuff you once did like dancing for no reason or just because you were happy.

Jump rope just because you like it. Get on a trampoline and just have fun. Bounce, fall down and laugh. Use a hula hoop and see how many rotations you can make before it falls at your feet.

Grab a set of skates and zip around outside. Skate with your dog or dog walk someone else’s dog while you skate. Get together with some friends and have games of tug of war.

Climb trees. Use the branches to help you lift your body up or do strength training using a tree. Run, play tag. Play hopscotch or go skipping. Race your friends on foot or on bicycles.

Get technology involved if you have to be inside because the weather is too bad outside. Use your game console and play some of the fitness games that you can download like tennis if that’s what you like.

If it’s not, find one that you do like. None of those activities might feel like you’re truly working to get fit but you’d be surprised at how effective those things can be at working your body.

Plus, fun activities are fantastic stress relievers. Get the tunes that you want. It doesn’t matter what they are. Playing music while you workout can help with tempo for when you need to keep cadence with a particular exercise if that’s what you’re doing.

Exercise isn’t the only time to use music, though. You can play music that pumps you up while you’re eating and that can help you associate eating healthy foods with something fun.

Listening to music while you’re exercising creates a rise in motivation. You can use your imagination with music. Get into an exercise dance routine and imagine that you’re a rockstar jamming out.  Dance like you’re that rockstar.

Here’s an important factor about making fun part of your fitness plan. Whatever you don’t like, kick it to the curb. This is where the herd mentality can really derail your fitness if you’re not careful.

Don’t be afraid to forge your own path. So what if everyone else is doing the latest in exercise? If you don’t like it, then it won’t work for you. Some people swear by hitting the gym and going through certain exercise reps.

You might look at that and think it’s so boring you can practically hear your hair grow. But since reps are part of a fitness plan, you give it a try. You don’t have to do reps regardless of what anyone says or what’s written in any exercise books.

That’s not the only way to work your muscles or to build stamina. If you absolutely hate a particular exercise but think you have to do it, ask yourself, says who? You’re the one in charge.

Too many people forget that. Find what works for you that you just can’t wait to do. Instead of hitting the gym and sweating it out on the machines, you might prefer to be part of a fun class.

That’s okay. There are a lot of class exercises that are fun and can help you meet your fitness goals. You might even prefer to avoid working out that way because you want to be part of something more competitive and you like team sports.

If you think that’s fun and you want to join a team, then do that. If you just like to go off road biking because you think that’s fun, then let that be your exercise. Make fitness fun by giving yourself all things that appeal to you while you workout.

If you like to watch TV or a movie, then do that while exercising. You’ll get so into what you’re watching, it won’t even feel like you’re exercising at all. If you feel like it’s beneficial for you to add a social factor with your fitness plan, then do that because you don’t have to do it alone.

It can be fun to get fit with others who have the same mindset. Create a fun buddy list and fill it with only positive people. Negative people can quickly make things uncomfortable and drag you down.

Schedule group excursions or outings like swim volleyball that are physically challenging, engaging and make you laugh. Have fun prizes or trophies to give away to the winning team because that triggers the reward center in the brain. 

Forget traditional organized exercise completely if you’re someone who doesn’t do it because you’ve tried numerous times and hate it so much you quit every time.

There are a lot of things you can do that are fun that fit the bill for exercise that aren’t under the umbrella of traditional exercise.

Go mall walking alone or with others. Play kickball. Learn how to paddleboard. Take up a physically challenging hobby. Get a group together and take sailing lessons. Take up golfing.

Invite friends over regularly to play lawn games like horseshoes or badminton. Spend a few hours at an amusement park. Go play paintball or laser tag. Play group soccer or go ride bumper cars or go-karts.

Set up Frisbee teams in the park. Every time you accomplish a milestone, treat yourself. Get something that you really like and bonus points if this something is fitness related.

Do something completely different with your fitness routine every now and then.

You might not be able to afford to this often, but you can work it so that it fits with your vacation time. Get fit like a celebrity by going somewhere beautiful or luxurious to relax and work out.

Travel somewhere you’ve always wanted to go and jog on a beach there. Or ski down the slopes. Hit the water and take some surfing lessons. By making your fitness plan fun, it’ll become something that you look forward to doing.

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