Any fitness programme should be sustainable. One should be able to continue training and observing sensible dieting throughout life to maintain optimal health and fitness. This is important to help safeguard the gains of such fitness programmes. Here is how you can apply sustainability in your fitness regimen.
Start with Very Specific and Realistic Goals
One of the most important ways to ensure sustainability in dieting and training is to have a very clear set of goals. Not only should they be clear; they should also be realistic.
Most people think that going to the gym is enough to help them stay healthy. However, without a goal to provide direction in your efforts, you may not be able to measure how far you have progressed. Goals are targets that you want to achieve within a certain period of time. It is for this reason that one should be very specific about one’s goals.
For instance, you can aim to finish 5 sets of a particular exercise within one training session. In terms of dieting, you can have an initial goal of reducing the number of calories that you consume by about 10 per cent.
What is essential in these goals is that they are specific and measurable. Above all, they are also realistic. This should help you gain the confidence to continue with what you have already started. Once you get the hang of it, you can always revisit your goals and change them to make your fitness routine more challenging.
Manage Your Expectations
This is still a part of goal-setting. However, it is very important that it can merit its own discussion. It relates to how realistic your goal is.
For example, performing several sets of deadlifts in your first week is not only unrealistic. It can be dangerous, too. It becomes more realistic if you divide your main goal into smaller chunks.
Learning to perform the correct deadlift form in the first week is ideal. You can then deadlift for 1 to 2 days in the second two weeks. This will help you build consistency. By the time you reach the fourth week, you can start deadlifting a few sets at a time.
The same is true with eating. You may want to shave off 10 percent of calories first from your normal. This is more realistic than expecting to slash 50 percent of calories in the first few days of your fitness programme. It is possible, of course. However, there will be substantial effects on the other aspects of your health. These can dampen your motivation to sustain your efforts.
Choose Activities and Foods that You Enjoy
Another way you can apply sustainability in your fitness programme is by choosing activities that you love to do. Do not force yourself to work out in the gym if you do not want to. There are many activities that can make you fit without the need for any fancy equipment. You can run, hike, jog, swim, and climb the stairs.
As for your diet, you do not need to give up your favourite foods. The trick is to be mindful of the food items that are good for you and those that can undermine your fitness effort. It is still possible to enjoy fatty foods. The key is to substitute trans-fats and saturated fats with unsaturated versions.
Go for lean proteins. Always include a serving or two of vegetables and fruits in your meals. They do not have to be dishes themselves. Vegetables and fruits can be ingredients in your favourite foods.
Consider Working with a Fitness Coach
There will always be instances when you feel like giving up. A fitness coach can motivate you to keep on pushing yourself. There are now fitness coaches that offer online services. They provide a more convenient way of adhering to your fitness routines. This can help you achieve your fitness goals.
A fitness coach can help evaluate your progress and recommend changes to your existing fitness regimen. He or she can also provide invaluable feedback on how you can improve the sustainability of your fitness effort.
Health and fitness is not a one-time thing. It is ongoing. That is why it is important to have very clear goals and to engage in things that you love to make sure you are able to sustain your fitness efforts.