Finding a workout you REALLY enjoy, a workout that gets you out of bed in the morning can sometimes be more challenging than finding a good man. There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all workout in the health and fitness world. And even if you do find the perfect workout for you, you can’t rely on it forever. You’ve got to change things up to consistently challenge yourself. Evaluate your current or prospective routine with these three questions to ensure you stay on track to any positive lifestyle change you may be pursuing – one that you can stick with for the long haul.
1. Is it Sustainable?
It’s easy to be inspired at the beginning of a program or immediately following the time period you first set a goal. You may not be completely obsessed with a new workout program (and that’s okay) but you’ll need to like it enough to continue doing it long after the “honeymoon phase” wears off. If you feel that ever familiar feeling of dread start to creep in on a reoccurring basis, you may need to keep searching.
Likewise, if you need to force any program into your schedule, it’s most likely not sustainable. Your availability is very different than anyone else so it’s crucial that you don’t compare yourself to others, or feel like you need to workout how your sister, friend or trainer works out. Even if you are completely obsessed, if you don’t have the time it’s not going to work. Evaluate a program’s time commitment and really ask yourself if it’s undeniably manageable. Start small and build upon your program to avoid burn out.
2. Who Are Your Peoples?
A community can take on many forms, it can be a physical, in-person one that comes in the form of a class of regulars. It can come in the form of an online forum where discussion is ever-flowing and collaborative. If you crave a kind of support system it’s important to find your peoples and its respective workout.
Are you the type of person who uses a workout as a time to unplug, a solo hour with your headphones on, but still needs some external motivation? A digital workout plan or app may be perfect for you. There are many brands out there that offer digital or downloadable workouts for a subscription or membership. With that membership you not only get the workout, but access to a community of like minded people all on the same journey.
Are you the type of person who feeds off of the energy of others? A group exercise class is right up your ally. Everyone may show up for different reasons, but everyone is contributing to the same environment. The person next to you most likely has no idea that they’re inspiring you to push harder by not giving up, or by committing to an extra rep, or by pushing harder. Just as you may not know you’re affected by that energy, or inspiring someone else.
Are you the type of person who needs pointed direction and in-person accountability? A one-on-one or small group personal trainer may be the ticket. You’ll never know if receiving a dedicated program designed for YOUR goals and YOUR ability level is your ultimate motivator until you give it a try.
4. What Does Success Look Like?
How are you checking and measuring your progress? If you’re purely looking at numbers on a scale, you may be disappointed when the needle doesn’t move two months in to your new CrossFit membership. In addition to weight loss (if that’s even your goal) start to set goals external to that to stay motivated. Whether it’s running faster, lifting heavier, or getting to the gym X amount of times a week always give yourself something to work for.
A lot of finding YOUR workout will be trial and error, and sometimes it can take a lot of time. It should be an ongoing process. It’s not going to be easy, but it is going to be worth it.