We can easily come up with a 100 excuses of why working out does not “work for us”. I have had a couple of failed attempts at a healthy lifestyle myself. In the past, I have blamed my metabolism, workload, a low hemoglobin, my taste buds, “heavier bones”, the heat outside, and what not ! After finally having figured out that living a healthy lifestyle can really be easier than it seems, I feel these are a few things that a person should know before starting a workout plan to increase the probability of it being a success:-
Experiment with your daily schedule
While starting to work out, we tend to think that things will only go up-slope and when this doesn’t happen, we lose all motivation. In reality, if you are just beginning to be serious about your fitness goals you will have to take some time to come up with a schedule that suits you. Working out after work or before, in the evenings or in the mornings, depending on personal day-to-day responsibilities the schedule can be very different for everyone. “I cannot wake up early” cannot be an excuse then because you can always workout in the evenings or afternoons.
Reserve at least the first few weeks for experimentation and adjustments to your schedule.
Treat nutritional deficiencies FIRST
Nutritional deficiencies like low hemoglobin, lack of protein, calcium etc can make working out really difficult and need to be taken care of first. Symptoms like feeling dizzy, joint pains, problem with breathing, persistent headaches etc are direct indicators that something in your body needs attention. Our body is designed to heal and repair itself provided, we feed it with the raw material that it needs to do so. A daily intake of multivitamin supplements along with nuts, fruits and green vegetables etc can work magic and the results are usually visible in the first few weeks. It really just sums up to this:
Work out because you love your body, not because you hate it.
Experiment with your foods
Eating healthy doesn’t necessarily have to be a punishment. There are a myriad of foods that contain the nutrition that you need. Experiment with what you like to eat and can become a part of your lifestyle. Look for healthy alternatives. This might need time and effort but is totally worth doing !
Some of my favorites are guacamole, cranberries, popcorn (unsalted and without butter/oil), Greek yogurt, chocolate flavored protein shake, egg white protein muffins, steak etc.
Experiment with your workout routine
Similarly, find out which activity you like to do the most. It could be running, cycling, swimming, squash, dancing, anything that gets you moving ! Remember, it doesn’t have to be a punishment. If you do something that you love doing, chances are you will not drop out of it. And the way to figure out WHAT exactly suits you, is by experimentation.
Patience is not the ability to wait, but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting
Set your motivation right
If your goal is to look good or just to fit in to those jeans, sooner or later you will lose motivation simply because it will take sometime before you get visual results for these goals. However, if your goal is to develop strength and to be healthy, motivation will keep flowing because the results for these goals can be felt week by week. When I started to weight train, my biggest motivation was being able to lift more weight than I could the week before. And this week by week motivation will eventually lead you to fitting in those jeans.
Overcoming what you think is impossible for you is the greatest of all feelings and definitely deserves a “Keep trying until you are proud” .