A Guide To Finding Continuous Enthusiasm For Fitness

by - May 21, 2019

It’s fair to say that, for many people, fitness enthusiasm tends to come in fits and starts. Even if you’re well aware of the benefits of exercise and want to keep yourself as healthy as possible, there will be times in life when your attentiveness to your workout schedule can pale - life happens, time becomes short, and your overall enthusiasm for your workouts begins to wane.

Then, your enthusiasm comes roaring back; perhaps you have a vacation that you want to look your best for, or you’re reminded of the need to stay fit so you can keep up with your kids when they play. Once again, you’re finding yourself poring over workout ideas, taking the time to learn about personal training and how it can help you, and heading off to the gym every day with a spring in your step… and so the cycle repeats, ebbing and flowing, for years on end.

For some, this stop-start fitness enthusiasm works well, but for others, the lack of consistency can be troubling. If you fall into the latter category, then figuring out how to keep your enthusiasm consistently high can help to make it all the more likely you will meet your fitness goals - and here’s a few tips that you might want to keep in mind.

#1 - Continually reevaluate your goals

One of the most common reasons fitness enthusiasm tends to wane is a lack of goals. When you first started working out, you likely set goals that you wanted to achieve; over the years, these have been ticked off, which is obviously a huge triumph - but can leave you feeling a little deflated and wondering: “what now?”

As a result, it’s best to reassess your goals every three to six months. If there are any goals you’re unlikely to achieve for whatever reason, abandon the pursuit of that goal and set a new, realistic aim in its place. Goals that have been achieved should be reset, too; for example, if your goal was originally to run a 5K, you can increase that to running a 10K. Finally, consider adding different types of goals that include other fitness disciplines; if your first goals were primarily cardio-based (as the vast majority tend to be), then your next goals could be related to one of the other types of fitness.

#2 - Try to see time spent working out as a “treat”

Much of the language around fitness tends to suggest effort; you should “push yourself to the limit”, “test yourself”, and accept that “no pain means no gain”. While this kind of language makes sense, and achieving peak fitness will usually involve some element of a challenge, it’s not particularly great for your mindset. It can become all too easy to see heading to the gym as something you have to endure; something to tolerate and get through; a burden - and there will inevitably be busy, stressful periods of your life when you feel like volunteering to that burden is too much to handle, and your workouts drop off as a result.

To combat this, try to change the way you view fitness. Rather than something you just have to get through, you could try and see the time you spend working out as valuable “me time”. You can use the time you spend working out to read that book you’ve been meaning to finish, or watch a TV show without having to worry about distractions. With this kind of focus, working out can actually become a treat, something that you genuinely enjoy.

#3 - Make friends who share your fitness interests

When it comes to fitness, sharing your experience with others can be hugely beneficial to your overall enthusiasm. You’ll have someone to talk to when you have a good day or meet one of your goals; someone who understands how hard you have worked, and knows exactly how to congratulate you for your achievement. What’s more, you’ll also have someone to commiserate with if things aren’t going well, or if you haven’t been able to fit in as many workouts as you would have preferred - someone who will help to fortify your resolve and encourage you to get back on the horse, so to speak.

If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to find a “fitness friend” among your existing friendship group, but if none of your friends are particularly fitness-inclined, you may need to go out of your way to make specific fitness-focused friends. This could mean something as simple as making friends with people you see regularly at the gym, or by joining local fitness groups or clubs that include a social element.

#4 - Add a competitive element

If you’re a competitive person - or are just looking for a new way to focus on your workouts - then adding a competitive element to your fitness can be hugely beneficial. Competition can help you to keep going when you would usually stop, and help encourage your enthusiasm to do better, give more, and hopefully enjoy the delight of winning as a result.

The simplest way to add a competitive element to your fitness regime is to play a sport on occasion; squash, tennis, and table tennis will all improve your fitness significantly, as well as offering the opportunity to play against a direct opponent every time you ‘work out’. If you prefer athletic pursuits, you could look to join a dedicated club that holds meets, or simply race against yourself - seeking to beat your previous records and always do that little bit better every single time you work out. Both competing against others and competing against yourself can work well, so it’s worth trying both and seeing which options tends to be most conducive to sustained fitness enthusiasm for you personally.

In conclusion

If your enthusiasm for your fitness routine has tended to wax and wane in the past, then hopefully the tips above should allow you to establish a more stable, long-term solution that greatly aids you in the pursuit of your fitness goals.

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