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10 ways to stick with your fitness plan

10 ways to stick with your fitness plan

When you reach the point where your workout results start to plateau or when you don't feel like working out that particular day, take comfort in knowing that we have all been there. Even the fittest of athletes have their bad days, but what keeps them at the top of their game is sheer willpower and determination.

Especially after a long day at work, it is easy to convince yourself that you are too tired, that it might rain, that you are too busy and that you don't seem to see any changes anyway. Once you fall off the fitness wagon, it can be difficult to get back on. So here are ten tips and tricks to keep you motivated on your fitness regime.

  1. Take It Easy
    On yourself, that is. You are often your own greatest hurdle to overcome. If you set high expectations and come up short, you are bound to be disappointed and frustrated with yourself. Start with realistic goals to give yourself a confidence boost before moving on to tougher challenges.
  2. Make Even a Small Effort
    It can be running that extra five minutes or opting for yogurt instead of ice cream, doing something is definitely better than doing nothing. Every bit of fitness-conscious effort goes to creating lifelong healthy habits, so do what you can do and do it consistently before you worry about improving.
  3. Run, Dance, Spin, Lift
    Keep your workout routine interesting by mixing it up with different types of exercise. Not only are you working out your whole body, you are also maintaining a healthy balance of cardio, weight training and core strengthening. You know what they say, variety is the spice of life.
  4. Treat Yourself
    Plan a fun outing with friends after a hard workout or go for a pampering massage session. Rewards make it easier for you to push through something you aren't keen on doing, and soon the gym will just be a quick stop on the way to something else you're actually looking forward to.
  5. Fit Up With A Friend
    Find yourself a workout buddy. The both of you will encourage each other to keep on the right track, from resisting that extra doughnut to pushing through the last mile. As an added incentive, set up a jar to collect penalties for missing workouts and the losing friend has to treat the other.
  6. Keep A Record
    Put up your fitness regime on a calendar in a prominent spot at home and at work. This makes it easier to keep track of your different exercises - no skipping leg day! - and when you miss a day, mark it with a red 'X'. Skip too many sessions and soon a row of red 'X's will be a glaring reminder.
  7. 'No Excuses' Backup Plan
    For those days when getting to the gym takes extra effort or if the weather is bad, it is a good idea to have an exercise or yoga mat and some free weights at home for a quick workout. No excuses means no takeaway food too, so prepare ahead and freeze a couple of healthy meals that are quick to reheat.
  8. Find Your Fit Family
    You can find them in the gym, in running clubs, in clean eating challenges, or online. If one workout buddy can keep you on track, imagine what a team of fitness buddies can motivate you to do. Join an online community that rewards you with achievement badges and sends you messages of encouragement from all over the world.
  9. Spare Some 'Me Time'
    Working out may not sound like the ideal way to unwind after a hard day but it is actually a great time for you to focus on yourself. Don't just go through the motions of exercise but familiarize yourself with your body's strengths and improvements.
  10. Celebrate You
    Changes to your body and health don't happen overnight. Even the slightest weight loss or muscle gain is a great reason to celebrate your achievements. Reward yourself with a new outfit, have a great day out, and celebrate your trimmer and healthier self.

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10 ways to stick with your fitness plan

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