With already two+ months into 2013, now is a good time to reassess, re-evaluate, and review your fitness resolutions. Have you been able to stick with them? Did you encounter any setbacks? Did you conquer something new? According to statistics, only 46% of people who make exercise one of their New Year’s resolutions are still hanging in there at the six-month mark. This means less than half successfully made exercise part of their lives.
If you were successful staying on track and keeping up with your fitness resolutions, give yourself a big hand. Beginning an exercise regimen is not the tough part—sticking with it is the real challenge. If you already were an avid exerciser but your resolutions included changing your routine by making it more challenging or incorporating something new, and you reached that goal—that is great! By now you have probably noticed that you are stronger, have more endurance, and look and feel better. So keep up the good work!
If you fell off the fitness track at some point in the past eight weeks, now is the time to figure out why this happened. Here are a few questions to ask yourself about why you stopped exercising:
- Were you unable to find the time to exercise?
- Did you lack energy or were too tired to exercise?
- Did you get bored with the exercises you were doing?
- Did you experience any measurable results, either physical or emotional, from the exercise you did?
- How many days or weeks did you exercise before you completely stopped?
- Where did you do most of your exercising?
These are all very important questions because they will help pinpoint where the problems were and what you can do to fix them. For example, if finding the time was an issue, you want to figure out how you can schedule at least 30 minutes of exercise into your day. It may take some creative scheduling, but it can and should be done. Sometimes moms who are new to exercise do not quite know how to fit it into their already busy days so they end up doing a little bit here and there with no consistency and then when a week goes by and they realize they have not been able to exercise at all, they throw in the towel. The great thing about exercise is that you can always pick up where you left off and just start fresh.
Another important consideration is to look at what type of exercise you were doing and whether you enjoyed it. After all, if you are bored walking on a treadmill or taking classes that all seem to be the same, the motivation to continue is going to wane. This is why most avid exercisers often change their routines and are able to stick with them. When you are constantly challenged and trying new things, you are bound to find something you really enjoy and boredom is no longer an issue. Plus, you get the added bonus of seeing definite changes in your body from doing a wide variety of activities.
This leads to the next question—did you notice any changes while you were exercising? Even if you did not lose any weight, did you feel better overall? Was there an improvement in your sleep, focus or energy levels? Most people discover small, but significant benefits right at the onset of exercise that they may not have realized can happen. Exercise does more than aid in weight loss. By focusing on these other benefits, you may be inclined to go back to your routine.
Finally, where you exercised may have had an effect on your lack of success. If you were working out at home, were constant distractions a problem? If so, choose a block of time where you will not be interrupted like right after dropping the kids off at school or just before lunch time. You should also try to avoid answering the phone, checking e-mails or doing a load of laundry during your scheduled exercise time. After all, this is your time so treat it as such. Everything else can wait. If the gym was your go-to place, why did it not work for you? If you felt uncomfortable or unfamiliar with all the machines and exercises that were there, ask a trainer or staff member to explain the machines, classes and any exercises that can help you reach your goals.
Do not become a part of the large percentage of people who never make it to the end of the year keeping their fitness resolutions intact. By identifying what got you off track to begin with, you can address the problems head on and devise a new game plan. There is no rule saying if you stopped exercising that you cannot go back to it again. It is just a matter of figuring out what the obstacles were and finding ways to get over them. Once you do that, you will have no problem staying with it and getting all the benefits exercise has to offer.