It as long been questioned what the best strategy is to lose weight or achieve fitness goals. An answer I learned early in my fitness career was that the best exercise is the one that you will continue to do. This sounds simple enough right? Find out what form of exercise is fun and you will look amazing, be full of energy, and live much longer. Not everyone likes the burning in my legs and lungs I seem to enjoy when sprinting up a hill. While I find myself bored with the meditative practices and the long arduous holds so many yogis dedicate their lives to perfecting. Fortunately, our choice of exercise is exactly that, a choice. So here are my steps for getting the most out of your monthly gym membership fees.
1. Evaluate your goals with the good ol' fashioned S.M.A.R.T. method.
2. Research strategies used to achieve the goals you have. If you have a weight-loss goal, like most average american's then research successful nutrition programs for weight-loss. Many gyms and personal training studios offer specials for the New Year for specific diet programs aimed for a quick drop to start the year.
3. Be competitive. Whether it be "friendly" competition between you and your family members, or a challenge at a local training facility, beating other people is always a great motivator. Even if you don't win, beating others while also improving your health is twice as nice. The office is a great place to compete because of the built-in competitive nature seen between co-workers. Those who work together tend to do whatever it takes to win a competition, which makes for a fun team-building experience.
4. Choose a few different forms of exercise and decide which you want to continue, after a few sessions. You don't need to try everything. We have a basic understanding of what we like and don't like, so pick a few classes at the gym, try something you don't know what the hell it is, then try something that sounds difficult. Many times something that is difficult can end up being your favorite. The struggle of mastering or improving is a great intrinsic motivator. And don't give up on your choices after one session. Sometimes you won't mesh with your instructor, or they have an off day, or you might be dying because it is your first time. Try a second o even a third class before giving up on our fitness choices.
5. Complete your objective. What is our objective here? To a fitness niche. Where do you fit into the fitness community. Are you a Pilates/yoga-goer, a runner who also does crossfit, or are you into outdoor activities no matter what it is? After you have immersed yourself into the fitness world you must evaluate all your thoughts and feelings. Are you happy with your results? Do you still enjoy what you are doing? Are there other fitness goals I want to attain along the same realm? If you can answer these questions, you can easily decide what your next SMART goal will be.