Intro | Too much too soon | Motivation | Hurts too much | Social Media Comparison | More reasons | Ask for help
With spring a few month away I can hear people saying "I have given up, Ive fallen off, I cant keep it up" So what about about all them new aspirations you promised to do?
Strava suggest that 15th January is when more people give up, lose motivation or lose their enthusiasm from the start of the year, when they had every good intention to make this year there year for health and fitness.
Why do people give up? People often expect unrealistic changes within a short period of time which is counterproductive to long term fitness goals.
These common fitness related goals are often setting you up for failure. If you previously did little, to no exercise, depending on a lifetime of habits you trying exercise too much too soon and cutting everything out in 99% of cases, won’t happen or be sustainable! The key to success and longevity is to make small habit changes over time. For example these could be to start out as exercising twice a week instead of once. Or only eating out once a week instead of twice. Being realistic and achievable will give you a fighting change and also make you feel better and want to continue. Once you have established these healthy habits, they will act as a foundation for many more changes (saving money, losing weight, improving fitness and taking yourself to a different level than before). This article is trying to help you see why you might give up and what can you do to change. This is not an extensive list and I will add more as weeks go on. I also understand many people have different reasons, challenges and external factors affecting how they exercise and look after their health. With this in this mind there isn't always an easy solution but in most case you can make small positive changes.
So why do people give up? Is it time to "Be SMART"
So, you have joined the gym, joined a boot camp, bought new running shows, ordered that high viz vest and decided this year you are going to do take up more exercise. You give it a go and a few weeks late give in or slow down
Here are some of the reasons you may give up and how you can help this. Can 2023 be a better year for you?
1 To much too soon
You decide to dive straight in and give it your all. This is admiral and a good attitude, but you can do too much too soon. If you work out too hard too soon you might burn out and think this is too much or too intense. You ask the question “How the hell can I keep this up”
What can I do “Smart wise” Exercise constantly twice or three times a week for 4 weeks for example 1 hour at a time. Baby steps – Start off slower. Push yourself but don’t go overkill. If you need to stop, stop. You are not just going to go out there and run a marathon, hit that 5 min 1km and bench press 100kg in the first week. Start exercise lightly and each week add a little more. Going out of your comfort zone works but be realistic R in Smart goals. You can also over train too soon. If you over train you can stress you body and this is itself; hormone wise can prevent you from seeing the goals you want, including no weight loss (If this is one of your goal). Remember resting & recovery is as important as the training.
Set Realistic Goals Make them realistic and measurable – ‘I want to lose weight’ is a very common new year’s resolution but is far to vague. Break that down into short-, medium- and long-term goals. Initially it could be to cut out junk food for at least 3 days a week. This could progress to losing 10lbs within the first 3 months (medium term) which leads on to the long-term goal of losing 2 stone within the year (long term). These are measurable, achievable, and specific
Start of slow do not burn out
Be Smart Summary
S Set a Specific goal for that week or month
M Look at how you will measure this / diary/ pictures/ times
A Is your goal achievable – You do not want it too hard but at the same time not too easy
R Similar to Achievable you need to make this realistic to what fits in with your life. Sometimes you need to change a few things. Remember Health is Wealth
T Set a time-lated scales and review with weekly incremental along with monthly targets and goal
You are not seeing the results and you give in easy. Sound familiar? Have you got a lack of will power. So many people start with the best intentions and for 3-4 weeks seem to be fine at sticking their “NEW YEAR NEW ME” attitude. They get to a few weeks and think “Why bother”: I am not seeing results, their social life gets in the way, its someone’s birthday, I’m too tired to cook healthy, being health is too expensive, it’s too cold or I just cannot be bothered with all this hard work. Yes it is hard work. Sometime you just need to stick at it. But if you can’t then you need to work out how to stay motived.
Remember the saying Rome wasn’t built in a day. You see people on Instagram seeing amazing results in 2 weeks. This is in reality not the case. Everyone sees results at different rates. Some see it in weeks; some it takes months. Everyone’s body works at different rates
What can I do
Find yourself a group of positive people to support you. Peer-encourage can really help. I am not a massive fan of WhatsApp groups; but if they helps set these up and make sure you keep it positive and keep each other going. Look at more variables than just weight loss. Your resting heart rate. Can you run faster. How do you feel? Say no to drinking if you can and still have that night out. You can add exercise in to your diary and make sure you stick to it. One of the strongest ways to stay motivated is social media. Social media has many negative impacts on the world but for motivation of your health it can really help. Be vocal and your friends and family that care will encourage you along whether its like or comments to keep you going.
The two biggest variable that keep me motivated are entering competition and setting challenge and secondly getting a fitness watch. I track how many steps I do every day and compete again other people and myself from previous weeks. You can look at short term daily goals and long-term goals of I am going rot run a race in June, July; I am going to walk up mountain; I am going to improve my 5-10Km time (Or what every goals is realistic and achievable for you in a time-related period (Again A and T of Smart Goals)
3 Its hurts to much
Yes, it is going to hurt. If you have not exercised in a while or new to exercise you will have to go through the pain barrier. It generally takes 6-8 weeks for you to get into a routine and the aches will get better. DOMS – Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. Generally, you will have more muscle pain on days 2 and 3. This is normal.
What can I do
To help this you can drink more water and try stretch in the evening. Stretching in the evening can also help you sleep better. You can also look at adding protein into your diet which aid muscle recovery
4 Social Media Comparison and overload
Two aspects of social media; One you end up spending too much time scrolling through point reals and videos which seem to be very addictive or two you find yourself watching others and trying to copy what they do. There is nothing wrong with the latter as there are many fitness influencers who give excellent advice and motivation but equally there are make fake and “pretend fitness people” who are only about the likes and self-indulgence that society gives them. They are not trying to help you but more their “ego”. They sell you results and if you do what they do you will look like them. Remember a lot of what happens on social media can be staged, fake, and take 50 shots / videos to get that perfect 30 seconds for as many likes as they can. You can also spend alot of time wasting your life away scrolling through pointless reals and media. Think how is this affecting your life, health and motivation. Do you feel like you will never achieve what they have?
What ca you do
Ignore what other people are doing, do not compare yourself but be inspired to do better or improve yourself. Remember as said before a lot of what happens on social media is can be staged and not always 100% realistic. Be yourself. Look at credible athletes, trainers a qualified fitness professions and sports people. Not self-proclaimed gurus who just want to show off their bodies for likes
Top Tips for social media overload
Other reasons people give up and what can you do?
Reason The weather – It’s too cold
What can I do
Wrap Up, you can always take layers, train with a group and others. Find the right clothing for the weather. We live in the UK so we have a varied climate. Aim to be an all-year-round exerciser rather than just fair weather
Reason Being Healthy is too expensive
What can I do
Look at what you spend money on. How much do you spend on takeaways, going out meals! Exercise and health are only too expensive if you deem it too expensive! Again, remember Health is wealth. Remember running and walking outdoors are free. All it cost you is your time and is 100% time well spent.
Reason I’ve had a bad day and can’t be bothered/ I’m tired
What can I do
Think of the aftereffects of exercise. Remember how good you feel after and focus on this. If you visual the positive effect and then go for it! I guarantee you will feel so much better afterwards. Train in a group, community and with friends so you have MOFO (Fear of missing out) as well as some accountability. Training with others will help you exercise rather than easily missing that workout on your own.
N.B Seasonal Affective Disorder can also be a reason which is a completely different issue. I will look at writing a mini blog on this too. Your energy levels and general motivation can be really effected by this.
Join a Group. Finally ask for help The exercise environment can be daunting for many starting out. You may feel intimidation and scared going to a group class or fitness coummity. Remember if this is the case ask for help. Don’t be afraid to share your concern. Not just our trainers but if you have trainers / fitness groups in your local area contact them and I am sure like us, they will have a welcoming community and help you all the way.
"People who train together stay together" longer term. As a result this may prevent you giving up your gaols and aspirations
Here are some of the reasons our members shared recently to why they come and continuing coming to our group classes
Dont start tomorrow looking after your health next week, next month or next year but now
Other reasons I will look to expand in the near future:
If you find this useful, please let me know and would like more blog like this.
- Lynne Tyson
I've been a member of UK outdoor fitness for around 10 years and love it. It is a great community, helps me push myself harder and the laughs we have keeps me young! It is great for all ages and I'd recommend it to anyone who likes being outdoors
- Andrea Hinnells
I joined UK Fitness nearly a year ago and have thoroughly enjoyed every single class both outdoors and the online classes during lockdown . All the trainers are fantastic and even though they push you it’s always with a smile and plenty of banter. The classes cater for all abilities and ages with help and alternative exercises when you need it. Paul is the most positive person I have ever met & through these difficult times has kept everyone motivated with his upbeat attitude offering advice and support to us all . The online zoom classes have been an absolute lifeline to keep us all positive, fit and well. I am loving my fitness journey with UK Outdoor Fitness and can’t recommend them highly enough