How to train diligently?
Do you know the kind of people who always seem to be motivated with a sheer determination to constantly exercise and a Facebook wall plastered with pictures to account for it? What’s their secret, really? No matter what we may say about them, a part of us is envious of their determination and capacity to train diligently. Despite the fact that we’re constantly reminded of how people who exercise enjoy improved health, better focus, increased energy levels, greater self-confidence, deeper sleep, and lowers risks of developing chronic diseases, etc., 85% of us (Canadians) do not meet the recommended minimum of 150 minutes of weekly moderate physical activity.
My 10 tips to be diligent
Therefore, how do we become diligent? First, I think it’s necessary to understand that it’s a change of lifestyle, rather than a temporary fix to reach a certain weight X. Once you’ve digested that, I invite you to read my advice and a few of my conclusions that I hope will help you achieve that goal:
- Monday: mandatory training. I have to start the week on the right foot, so I always schedule a workout on my lunch break, whether it’s a yoga class, a walk outdoors, or a workout at the gym.
- When I feel tired, I HAVE to train! I have to remind myself that exercise energizes me! All too often, we think we’re too tired, especially at the end of the day after sitting through all that traffic. AAHHHH! My trick is very simple: I just put on my running shoes, and then everything gets so much easier!
- I don’t think about whether I feel like it or not. This is THE question you should never ask; more often than not, the answer will be NO! So just go and do it, really. You know as much as I do that after you’re done, you’ll feel like a million bucks. The feeling of accomplishment is simply unrivalled and provides an instant feeling of well-being. Why even ask the question?
- Small investments that pay off! Sometimes, a good pair of running shoes, wireless headphones, a healthy recipe book, or comfortable clothes can be an additional source of motivation to feel like being active and take care of yourself. If you lack motivation, think about setting an appointment with a personal trainer to get a program adapted to your needs and add some variety to your workouts. These small investments can really help you get back in shape.
- It’s in my busiest times that I really need it! You know, these days when you have to meet impossible deadlines at work, your husband is out of town for a few days, and you have to prepare meals, drive the kids around, and make sure they do their homework? Now, I know that those are the moments when I really need to schedule exercise into my agenda so I can have some time for myself. Everything else seems to become simpler, and one thing is for sure, my patience is greatly improved!
- Every minute matters! I will never repeat this enough: every time you’re not sitting down, I say bravo! Every movement, every step, every minute when you’re active or just standing makes a difference. Don’t underestimate the impact of these details. I even got a standing workstation, so now I spend 75% of my work day standing up. Suffice it to say, it added some momentum to my working pace!
- Never go longer than two days without exercising. I make an effort to never skip more than two days. This psychological boundary helps me remain diligent. The key here is to plan ahead my training schedule every week, and always carry my gym bag with me.
- I have time! Let’s stop pretending we don’t have time, and actually make the time to exercise. I know, I know, YOUR schedule REALLY is BUSIER than anyone else’s… So, if you don’t take time to take care of yourself, who will do it for you?
- No need to sign up for a gym membership! Face the facts: being member of a gym does not improve your health! Only regular diligence will make a difference, but if you want to, you should choose training facilities that provide services to deliver results. Enough with the tall stories; become an active member and take full advantage of the benefits you’ll get with a gym membership. Are you aware of that fact that with Nautilus Plus’ Boomerang membership, you get double the rewards? On top of the mental and physical benefits, you’ll also earn money each time you visit your centre. Another source of motivation!
- I plan at least one outdoor activity for every weekend! My weekend schedule is very different from what I do during the week. Routine is out of the question, and I plan ahead for the sports activities I’d like to do. I strive to pick activities that can be performed outdoor, and one of them has to include my kids!
And you, what are your tips to remain diligent?
Karine Larose, M.Sc.