How To Stay Motivated: Part 2- Katie Smith
Incase you need an extra nudge to help you reach for those trainers, here are my top tips on how to help you stay motivated:
1) Enjoy it – this may sound simple but you are much more likely to stick with something that you actually enjoy and look forward to. There is no point signing up to a sports team or exercise class simply because it is the new craze of the month – the passion has to be there too actually make you book the class or set your alarm earlier than usual. Remember, exercise should be a privilege not a chore.
2)Get SMART –step off those scales and set SMART goals instead. For example: “Completing a full press up within 4 weeks”
Specific – We know exactly what exercise we are working on.
Measurable – 1 full unassisted press up.
Attainable – With the correct method of training, this goal can be achieved by working through different press up variations, gradually progressing the intensity as strength improves. So, starting with less intense exercises such as inclined press ups and holding planks, to then progressing onto performing commandos, deadmans press ups, press ups on your knees and then finally a full press up – building strength to ultimately achieve the end goal.
Realistic – A single press up is a far more realistic than say, 100 press ups.
Timely – We have given ourselves 4 weeks to complete this goal.These SMART goals do not just have to be exercise based. Another great SMART goal could be nutrition based – trying to aim for two different vegetables in your breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Are you drinking enough water? Are you getting enough sleep? How could you manage your stress better? Collectively all these areas can be addressed through SMART goals. These small lifestyle changes will act as stepping stones towards a healthier and happier you.
3) Be organised– Sunday’s are for food prep and workout planning – fact. This is the time to plan your meals by batch cooking to save time during the week. Fully stock up on high quality whole foods to stop you reaching for more unhealthy options when you are out and about. Try to prepare meals yourself so you know exactly which ingredients have gone into the dish. Also, investing in some Tupperware will allow you to take packed lunches and snacks to work, preparing you for when hunger strikes.
When it comes to exercise, look at your diary and allocate times to workout, trying your absolute hardest to stick to these. Figure out the time that suits you best, some people are early birds and some people are night owls – we are all different. If you decide to wake up early and exercise before work, make life easier for yourself; pack your gym bag the night before so all you have to do is wake up, get changed, get those trainers on and go. We know how beneficial exercise is for us, so priortise it!
4) Variation & Consistency – It is important to vary our exercise to avoid boredom and prevent our body plateauing. By varying the type or intensity of the workout we will continue to shock the body, forcing it to adapt and grow stronger in response. An example of this is combining cardio with strength training; my favorite combination. A cardiovascular exercise could be running, cycling, HIIT or swimming – all very beneficial for burning high amounts of calories and improving our endurance. Strength training would be anything where we put our muscles under load or resistance. This can be done using just our bodyweight, performing exercises such as squats, lunges, press ups or planks – to help maintain both muscle mass and bone density. Keep your body guessing to keep those results happening. Consistency is also key – miracles do not happen overnight. Our body needs time to adapt so exercising and eating well eighty percent of the time for 8-12 weeks is crucial.
5) Buddy up – it’s one thing talking yourself out of a workout, but there is no way you will let your buddy down! Find an exercise you both enjoy and motivate each other to get it done. One of my favourite weekend rituals is to book onto a class with my workout buddy, followed by a delicious brunch afterwards – matcha lattes at the ready! You will be less likely to go out the night before and it gets you moving on the weekends alongside your midweek workouts.
6) Remember, it is okay to say no! – We have all been subjected to peer pressure at some point, whether it’s being persuaded to attend after work drinks or to stay out later than you had anticipated because you really needed an early night to catch up on sleep. The truth is, if someone calls you boring or makes you feel bad for trying to live a healthier lifestyle, it is often because they feel insecure themselves and think that dragging you down with them will make them feel better about themselves. My advice: stay strong, keep focused on your goals and just say no! You never know, they may be inspired by your actions and may take a leaf out of your book. Alternatively, start socialising with like-minded people who have similar interests. A quick tip, if you are trying to minimize alcohol consumption but you have to attend a function, order a sparkling water and ask for it in a special glass with some fresh fruit to jazz it up – it looks like a cocktail, but is indeed just water.
I am a firm believer in listening to your body and only doing what feels right for you, so the type and amount of exercise I do in the week will not necessarily be right for other people. My exercise routine does vary from week to week depending on how busy I am, but generally it follows a structure like this:
Monday – Lower body strength + 10 min treadmill intervals
Tuesday – Steady state cardio 30 mins / Circuit training
Wednesday – Upper Body and core strength + 10 min treadmill intervals
Thursday – Power yoga class, Lano yoga, Chichester
Friday – Full body HIIT workout
Weekend – Dependent on weekend plans. I like to partake in a conditioning class, perhaps spinning or when I am in London I am particularly partial to a Barry’s Bootcamp class which combines treadmill running with weights. Otherwise it’s plenty of rest and stretching.
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