Whether you’re getting back into shape or training for that next big challenge, staying motivated will be pivotal for achieving those personal fitness goals in 2017. Here are 6 motivational tips for keeping focussed, sticking to your diet plan and optimising your ‘New Year, New You’ exercise programme.
Establish an exercise routine that works for you
To stay motivated in the long-term, your exercise programme needs to fit around your schedule (not the other way around).
This is especially true for busy lifestyles, but some small tweaks to your everyday routine can make a big difference.
Walking, running and cycling your commute squeezes exercise into your day without taking time out of your schedule.
You can even get up 30 minutes earlier to train in the mornings before work.
“I discovered that exercising for 30 mins in your flat before work is an amazing way to get your day’s training in and start fresh and awake without losing time or carrying a kit bag,” says Rowly, who lost 10kg and 4 inches from his waistline in 6 weeks with regular exercise, clean eating and Slendertone.
Set short-term goals and keep a training diary
From getting back into shape to fitting back into your favourite jeans everyone knows their end goal, but it’s those weekly wins that keep us focussed and motivated.
The best way to track those wins is with a training diary.
This is your bible for monitoring weekly progress and spotting trends that help you figure out what is working (and what isn’t) for you and your body.
Here is some training data that is worth keeping notes on:
- Meals and calories
- Waist size
- How long you can hold the plank position (for improvements in core strength)
- Sets, reps and maximum weight
- What times you’re eating and training
- For runners, measure distance, pace and routes (including elevation) to boost performance
Treat yourself to maintain motivation
It’s just as important to celebrate your short-term goals as it is to record them, especially if dieting is the toughest part of your programme.
To stay motivated, toast weekly wins with your favourite cheat meal or adopt a diet that offers more flexibility on weekends.
Health blogger and Slendertone belt user Protein Chef recommends the 80/20 diet: 5-6 days of clean eating with 1-2 days that doesn’t require calorie counting. Moderation, though, is still crucial.
“I don't spend every waking moment filling my face with rubbish,” she explains.
“Sometimes it’s smoked salmon with scrambled eggs on wholemeal bread. Other times, it’s a slice of carrot cake the size of my head.”
Try something new, exciting and challenging in 2017
Enjoying your training and keeping training fresh are crucial for achieving your personal goals.
Make small tweaks to your routine, like running on the trails instead of the road or doing core circuits outside inside of in the gym, or take the opportunity to discover something completely new.
“If you want to try something mentally engaging that gives you a serious core workout, bouldering at your local indoor climbing centre or combat sports like Brazilian jiu-jitsu are ideal,” suggests James at Slendertone.
If you’re not sure where to start, initiatives like ClassPass allow you to trial a huge variety of different activities (from hot yoga and spinning to boot camps and boxing) in nearby gyms and fitness studios.
Don’t forget to rest the mind and body
Rest and recovery, especially during the colder seasons, is vital for minimising the risk of overtraining and unnecessary injuries.
Static stretching before and after every workout is recommended, while yoga can enhance flexibility.
It’s important to rest the mind too.
Sleeping 7-9 hours each night can improve mood and concentration levels, promote muscle growth (which is essential if you train in the evenings) and, yes, even lose weight.
When you’re tired, the body produces more ghrelin (known as the ‘hunger hormone’) and less leptin (the hormone responsible for making you feel full), so it’s worth resting more to avoid food cravings.
Invest in a gadget for training anytime, anywhere
If long hours and busy weekends make it difficult to exercise regularly or consistently, Slendertone is the perfect high-tech accessory for keeping motivated and enhancing your workouts.
Our abs belts are lightweight, compact and discreet so that you can work your core muscles anytime and anywhere, including on your daily commute and when you’re sat behind your desk in the office.
You can complete a Slendertone session in 20-30 minutes too, so there are zero excuses for missing your daily dose of exercise!