In my role as a health coach it is not uncommon for the people I work with to struggle with exactly how to create a fitness plan that sticks. There are lots of reasons for this and I will dive into a few as it does help to know why some behaviors are easy for some people and other behaviors are really difficult to change or modify.
First, I have found that it is an assumption that most people enjoy moving their bodies in any way, shape or form. So, if you are one of those people that has not been able to find a fitness routine or plan that you at least like it would make sense that this would be a tough behavior to maintain as a lifestyle change.
In addition I have noticed that there are also some interesting messages surrounding fitness that ,if you believe them, would also create road blocks for fun, lasting behavior around moving your body. Some of these are messages like: a good workout should hurt or be uncomfortable. While any form of movement might be uncomfortable for a short period of time it should not be really painful (unless your a professional athlete and training for very high performance).
Another message is related to the type of fitness you choose, indoors or outdoors and length of time you spend on this activity. You may have heard things like: longer is better, fast and hard is best for results, working out with others (classes) is more motivating and effective.
I am here to tell you that any fitness plan you like (enjoy would be even better) is one of the most important keys to creating a new behavior around fitness and sticking with it. I will list a few key components related to how to create a fitness plan that sticks.
- Make a list of things you already enjoy when it comes to moving your body. If you are not sure think about what you used to enjoy or what you enjoyed as a child/young adult.
- Start slow and build a base. If you are at 0 on a scale of 1-10 for daily movement creating a plan that begins with 30 minutes 6 days a week will be to much to maintain. While this may sound easy at first after about 3 weeks most people will go back to what they know-0 minutes of fitness a day. I recommend start where you are and add 5 minute in duration per week. If your at 0 start at 15 minutes and build.
- If your going to take on fitness classes and the format is new for you be prepared to modify. Take care of yourself so that your experience is positive.
- Working out alone, with people or with a pet is all personal preference. There is no right/wrong, good or bad. It is whatever gets you in the game and keeps you there.
These are only a few ideas/suggestions that might help you understand why certain things have not worked for you in the past and how to create change so the current goal of working out happens and becomes a habit. I highly recommend the book No Sweat by Michelle Segar
www.michellesegar.com She does a great job of diving into the complex arena of behavior change as it relates to exercise and fitness. My role as a health coach is specific to helping people create the life they desire and assisting with change needed to make this happen. This video clip might be one helpful tool as well: https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipNmDEY0iJfzndEile3tkFRF5uAd2taFGQzoJZ2PNYB8qA6xnzSP9hXMviuB4GelOg/photo/AF1QipMOtZl0FEtK_rA3TvMO43TTdyQl_EINMmSXiVp3?key=c09tUEpuN09OQVREanhqWlNBUEREZFZReUlYMXdR
In the end you want a plan that is enjoyable at least more of the time, is doable for you physically, has the component of some challenge/growth and you see results whether this is physically, mental, emotional or all three. I am committed to what works for you.
In support of you being able to live a life that feels free, powerful and awake.
Laurie Bagley: MS in Outdoor Adventure Leadership, mother, Author, ACE certified health coach and group fitness coach, entrepreneurial business owner, Level 1 PN Nutrition coach and EnergyUp coach. Her Health Fitness Coaching Business focuses on assisting people reach healthy lifestyle goals. She is also the 6th woman to summit Mt. Everest from the North Col route and has written a book called “SUMMIT”. One woman’s Mt. Everest Climb Guides You to Success.