March 4, 2022

Sticking to a Programme

Sticking to a Programme

If you find yourself continually starting and quitting new exercise programmes over and over again, you need a pep talk!

The most common reasons for giving up on a programme are boredom and time constraints, ultimately we can lose motivation and that's where it ends.

I think everyone should learn to recognise when they are highly motivated, and use it to their advantage, but to also learn that motivation isn't linear.

Motivation comes and goes, so on the days you feel de-motivated, lacking inspiration or pressed for time, here are my 5 top tips to help you stay on track and commit to making the healthy changes you set out to achieve.

1. Commit 

Choose a suitable programme, make yourself a promise, get it done.

Commitment outweighs motivation any day! So, set yourself a long term goal, with short term SMART goals set at regular intervals. Be sure to reward yourself when you hit a target as this will help you to enjoy the process instead of solely focusing on the end goal. Recognise that your goals and requirements might change throughout the course of your plan - and that's ok.

Timing is important…

I like to workout at lunch time. I always have more energy at this time because I've had enough time to wake up and eat, but the day hasn't yet completely tired be out! And, because I have been training for years, it is ingrained as part of my weekly routine.

When I have a great session planned I look forward to it all day. But this is not the case for everyone.

Some people find it easier to workout in the mornings as they have more energy and there are less distractions. Evenings are then freed up for other plans or simply relaxing after work. Sometimes leaving it until the end of the day allows more time to make excuses or put it off, so if that sounds like you, ditch the snooze button and just get it done first thing.

2. Plan and prepare meals

Start the week with a well planned food shop and make sure you buy everything you need to make a good variety of healthy meals that you can look forward to. When I am bulk cooking for a specific goal, I like to do an online food shop so I am not distracted by unnecessary purchases that don’t fit into my planned food choices.

Allow some time to cook your meals. A couple of hours one evening should be enough to batch cook enough food to last a few days. I personally like to prep no more than 3-4 days in advance so that I know my food is fresh. A second batch also gives me some variety throughout the week and an opportunity to make adjustments if I need to.

Having pre-prepared foods you know you will enjoy will minimise the risk of making last minute, unhealthy choices. 

3. Get moving during your lunch break

In the UK the average office worker sits at a desk up to 9 hours per day. That doesn’t seem too surprising at first, but these hours are not including commuting or collapsing on the sofa all evening to binge watch Netflix...

"Worldwide, it is estimated that a sedentary lifestyle is responsible for 6% of coronary heart disease cases, 7% of type 2 diabetes, 10% of breast cancer and 10% of colon cancer cases. In fact, inactivity is responsible for more annual deaths than smoking."

A sedentary lifestyle not only increases the risk of certain diseases, but also has a major impact on our mental health and can contribute to anxiety and depression. Physical inactivity is also linked to high blood pressure, obesity and high cholesterol.

Use your break wisely, get in one of our super effective HIIT workouts or find a 30 minute fitness class. If you don’t have access to a gym or shower facilities you could try taking a walk or doing some of these stretching exercises instead. 

4. Be accountable and let go of your excuses

Your health should be your top priority.

Make your workouts are just as important as any other scheduled arrangements and hold yourself accountable for attending them. Having a workout partner you know you can rely on is an excellent way to keep accountability in check.

We know that a great gym buddy is hard to find and sometimes learning how to be accountable for your own progress can take some practice. 

If you find this difficult it might help to hire a qualified personal trainer at your local gym or make use of our one to one online coaching if you need a more affordable, flexible approach.

5. Don't let a bad day turn into a bad week

You woke up late, you scrolled through Instagram for your entire lunch break, you took five chocolate digestives from the office biscuit tin and skipped your workout for an evening on the sofa eating Dominos Pizza.

We’ve all been there.

Firstly, don’t call it a “bad day”. All this does is reinforce negativity and will ultimately make you feel worse. Learn to let it go, accept that we can’t always be perfect and try to recognise how certain behaviours make you feel and why. Get back on track as soon as possible and don’t leave it until “tomorrow” or “Monday” to carry on your programme.

Habits can be hard to break on your own and it’s easy to become stuck in a negative cycle. Most people will benefit from some form of behaviour change coaching which a qualified PT will be trained to manage as part of your programme.

6. Hire a coach or personal trainer

A good coach will inspire and motivate you, not to mention you'll have someone to stay accountable to.

The support of a good coach is invaluable and you can always learn new things when you train with one. There's also the added benefit of having someone to write you a progressive programme that suits you, check your form, make adjustments when needed and cheer you on.

Coaches allow us to step out of our comfort zones and try new things, without the fear of getting it wrong or messing it up.

How often have you found yourself in the gym, completely unmotivated and using the same machines over and over again without seeing any results?

Trust me, hire a coach!

Book a consultation and start your journey today!

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