Fitness today is such an overused word as everyone is trying to stay fit and get in shape, yet not everyone gets it right. And like many I tried a bunch of fitness programs and had a lot of ups and downs and fair share of failure but finally I found something effective and completely gratifying. So I am here to tell you about my fitness journey that I discovered and adopted about 2 years ago and what worked and what didn’t.
My goal then was to get in shape (for most part it still is) and after having tried all short term plans and diets prior to that, I decided to give it my all. One of the things I learnt is that fitness is a commitment. So, no matter what your goal is, you have to make time for fitness and make sure it is a part of your daily routine. It may be slightly hard to accommodate it initially but once you figure it out, it will just fall into place. Apart from that, there are certain other things I learnt through my experience:
- Push yourself: I started with running for 15 mins and had to push myself to see results. I gradually stepped up my game and eventually got to doing 50 mins a day for 6 days a week (and that is when I finally started seeing results). No matter what kind of gimmicks you may see on TV or internet, there is just no substitute for hard work! I kept track of each run, using Fitbit and set a goal for every week and it really helped me move up my stamina.
- Enjoy what you do: First of all, it’s important to know what kind of exercise to pick for your fitness goal. Since my primary target was to lose weight and burn fats, I knew I needed a good cardio. The good news is that there are so many other forms of cardio like zumba, dancing, swimming and so on. I love a good old refreshing run to pump up my heart beat with music as a distraction. Weather permitting, I run outdoors, and if not, I do it on the treadmill. Now that I am comfortable with distance running, I also mix up strength training in my workout.
- Eat right but don’t starve: If you don’t already know, starving or any other crash dieting is not the solution. Apart from the consequence it will have on your health, you will end up eating more once your body can’t take it anymore. Yes, staying away from junk and unhealthy food is not easy but start by adding healthy food to the mix and eventually it will crowd out the bad stuff. I started by making sure I eat some kind of fruit everyday and focusing more on nutritional food. I stay away from soda, chips or red meat but I allow myself a cheat day (or two) a week which is when I dig into candies or fries. Also I always have a pre workout snack, usually a banana or an energy bar to fuel myself up.
- Have patience: One of the mistakes that I made initially was that I expected too much too soon and when I didn’t see results, I would give up. Yes, sometimes it takes time to see the desired results and it could test your patience at times. I would get restless all the time especially when I heard other’s stories and compared notes. I realized that everyone has a different journey and you can’t keep comparing your result with others. Reaching a plateau after a certain point is very normal but no hard work will ever go to waste, so don’t give up.
- Stay disciplined but don’t be rigid: I try to work out at least an hour for 5 days a week but sometimes I miss it. While I try to make it up for the lost time in some way, missing a day (or in some cases days) in a week is perfectly normal. Just don’t be hard on yourself and what’s important is to get back to the routine or work something around it.
- Think long term: Fitness isn’t just trying to fit into a dress for an event, it’s a lifestyle choice. And it is possible to stick to a plan only if it is doable or practical in the longer run. Initially I tried many crazy diets off of the internet or tried workouts I did not enjoy and so many other not so practical programs which I gave up after couple of attempts. So its important for the plan to be long lasting and sustainable. For example, adding a fruit or a veggie to your diet is practical but giving up carbs and starving yourself isn’t possible.
So get moving and stay healthy! And whatever you try out, don’t give up !