“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit”.
There is no truer statement in regards to fitness and good health; Aristotle sure nailed this one.
Over the past few weeks I’ve been talking with several fellow trainers and instructors and it seems like we’ve all come to the same conclusion, that there is something strange in the air, that clients, students and class participants are showing an out of the ordinary lack of focus and motivation regarding their fitness programs. It’s become obvious that people are struggling with their commitment and their once clear view of their health and fitness goals has been clouded.
In hopes to help my personal clients, I’ve been devoting time for reflection on this and trying to put my finger on the root of this problem that seems to be facing a lot of people these days.
The saddest thing for a fitness trainer is to see people take steps backwards. In some ways, it almost seems personal since as fitness trainers we share in our client’s fitness experience. We are present, involved and invested in every step of their journey, no one else knows just how hard they’ve worked to move forward and achieve success.
The key to any fitness program’s success is consistency, in Aristotle’s quote the key words, “repeatedly-habit” speaks the truth. Inconsistency has powerful negative effects and can quickly kill any progress a person has made. Consistency is such an important point to grasp and as fitness professionals we can’t stress this enough.
For most people the start of a new fitness program is always challenging, but pushing through this difficult time is so important as they will be constructing some serious building blocks for their strong fitness foundation and guaranteed success. In time, workouts should become so routine that they will be as simple as brushing your teeth. You are not only feeling great, you are seeing the positive changes physically and mentally. Results will become your ultimate motivation and you will crave and look forward to your workouts.
Beware of fitness pit-falls though; it’s very common that as the hype and romance wears off a bit, (and maybe results aren’t as noticeable as they were in the beginning), it is way too easy to allow “laziness” to start creeping in and start seriously sabotaging your fitness program and diminish your hard work (results).
If you’re not careful and remain mindful, the extra pounds start coming back, your cardio fitness level drops, your positive mental attitude changes as one missed workout turns into three. Before you know it you’ve missed weeks of vital workouts. This is a potentially dangerous period because more often than not, along with missed workouts people start making very poor and costly decisions regarding their diets.
Fear not, everyone experiences fitness set-backs from time to time, as an unfortunate result and bad timing of an injury or mental lapse, but the essential thing is that we return to the present moment and hold ourselves accountable for our health and well being. It doesn’t matter so much that you fell off the horse, what matters is that you had the drive, courage and focus to get back on it.
You can’t rest on your past successes when it comes to good health and fitness, you have to keep at it and keep striving. Think of exercise as fuel for the fire.
If you are find yourself struggling, lack motivation and find yourself slipping backwards, here’s some simple and helpful ways to get pumped and get that all important spark back in your fitness program.
* If you’re not currently working with a personal trainer, book a few sessions with a qualified professional fitness trainer. At The Fitness Underground-LA we offer a “30 day Shed and Shred” program which is designed to ignite your fitness routine. It’s an awesome way to kick start a new fitness program or breathe some life into your current one.
A passionate trainer can show you some new things, get you pumped back up, and get you back on track, thinking and moving in a healthier direction.
* Go out and buy yourself a new pair of workout shoes or some new workout clothes; something so simple can often create that much needed push and make you feel great.
* Try something new! Take that Yoga, Kickboxing or Fitness Boot Camp class you’ve been thinking about; getting away from the same old – same old and learning and experiencing something new keeps your workouts fresh. (If you have a good trainer this will be something he or she should be doing)
* Look at some old pictures of yourself; notice the extra pounds or the lack of muscle definition. Remember how you felt back then. Think about the fitness transformation you made and get moving again.
* Recruit a friend or family member to share your workout experience with. As the saying goes, “In unity there is strength”. Having someone to challenge you in the spirit of friendly competition is always fun and motivating, as well as having someone help you stay accountable to be committed to your workout program.
* Read a self-improvement, self-help or personal growth book. Maybe something by Tony Robbins, which comes to mind, since Mr. Robbins is always talking about how important good health and fitness are in regards to Mastery of Life.
SO GET UP, GET MOVING, GET ACTIVE, GET FIT, GET HEALTHY, GET HAPPY..!
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Personal Fitness Trainer, Health, Fitness and Lifestyle Management, Los Angeles, California