Our fitness expert Ollie Thompson helps you stay into an exercise routine.
Embarking on a fitness journey in January is exciting, but as February arrives, the initial enthusiasm can fade. In this month’s article, we’ll explore practical strategies for maintaining motivation in your fitness routine.
To maintain your fitness motivation through February and beyond, it’s crucial to have set realistic goals in January. Within these goals, set achievable small milestones that keep you engaged without overwhelming you. This could be adherence-based, such as aiming to exercise 20 times through the month of February, or it could be more performance-based, such as a weight change target, or lifting a specific weight by the end of the month.
Consistency is key in any fitness endeavour. Establish a routine that integrates seamlessly into your daily life. This could be a mix of cardiovascular workouts and strength training, or it could include yoga, hiking or a sport.
By making fitness a regular part of your schedule, that you enjoy, helps it to become a habit. If you’re getting a little bored with your current exercise routine, consider trying different activities to keep things interesting.
In fact, getting a workout buddy, joining a fitness community or local sports club could be great for you. Social support is a powerful motivator. Whether it’s a friend, family member, or even an online community, having someone to share your achievements and challenges can significantly enhance your commitment to sticking at it.
Celebrate your successes, no matter how small. Acknowledge and reward yourself for achieving milestones along the way.
Additionally, tracking your progress through a fitness journal or app can provide a visual representation of your accomplishments, serving as a great motivator to keep pushing forward.
Something I do with some of my clients that own an Apple Watch is connect their Apple activity app together with each other to create some friendly competition and adherence. Perhaps you could do similarly, with a friend or family member.
Lastly, listen to your body and prioritise rest. Overtraining and under-recovering can lead you to feeling run-down, burnt out and can subsequently severely decrease motivation. Adequate rest and recovery are essential components of a sustainable fitness routine that often get overlooked.
Ensure you are getting enough quality sleep, nourishing properly with nutrient dense whole foods, staying hydrated and skipping the gym if you’re feeling very sore, run-down or ill.
If you’re feeling a little run-down but you’re adamant you don’t want to break your consistency streak, here are a few ways I recommend adjusting your exercise session to boost your energy, aid in recovery and make you feel better.
1 Decrease the resistance you’re using by 30 per cent and extend your rest periods.
2 Focus on more stable gym exercises that require less co-ordination and balance.
3 Avoid high intensity lifting or cardio, keep things low or moderate instead.
As February unfolds, remember that maintaining motivation is an ongoing process. Set realistic goals with smaller milestones, celebrate these small victories, and follow a routine that aligns with your lifestyle.
Here’s to a healthier, happier you!
Ollie specialises in helping career-focused professionals get into great shape, build long-term health and perform better in their work. Ollie works across Cambridge and London and offers both in-person and virtual personal training. Visit www.welltolead.com and follow Ollie on Instagram @olliethompsonhealth for more.