The Idea that a Successful Fitness Routine Must Follow a Rigid and Unattainable Schedule
During my time as a Personal Trainer, I’ve been confronted with many misconceptions about adopting and maintaining a fitness routine. In three posts I’d like to share some of the most common misconceptions and the facts behind them. We’ll discover why high intensity exercise isn’t always the answer to progress, why a ridged schedule may not be as successful as a fluid one, and why just two days at the gym could be your key to success.
The World of Gym Myths vs the Real World
In this post I’ll focus on the 2nd misconception; the idea that a successful fitness routine must follow a rigid and unattainable schedule. To be successful at anything we need to dedicate our time, but in building a regular fitness routine you must also make room for flexibility and recognize that starting over is part of progress. In the world of gym myths people wake early everyday and hit the gym for a crazy challenging routine. They never miss a scheduled workout and they love every moment of it.
In the real world, the early mornings are hard, the workouts are too much, and this routine lasts about two days before they’re pulled away by some important life challenge like no daycare, late work meetings, or an illness like the flu. Now they’re sore, tired, and feel as though they’ve failed at another attempt to get healthy. The good news is, in the real world, staying healthy and active doesn’t require a rigid schedule that’s never interrupted.
Make Room for Flexibility
We should have a reasonable plan to exercise regularly, but we should also create a physically active lifestyle full of the activities we love. In those real-life moments when we must miss a workout, we’ll have our physically active lifestyle to fall back on. Most of us can meet or exceed exercise recommendations with as little as two full-body sessions per week. If we’re also on a local softball team, take short walks after dinner, and always choose to take the stairs (or, if we create a physically active lifestyle) missing a session at the gym isn’t going to have the same impact it would in the world of gym myths.
Start Over without Judgment
In the real world missing an exercise session due to life challenges isn’t a failure, it’s an expectation. It’s something we plan for and accept as part of maintaining our health. If we have an interruption to our regular exercise schedule and we start again, that’s overcoming a challenge to get to our end goal…that’s progress. Rather than punishing yourself with negative thinking, challenge your perspective with the idea that every time you begin again, you’re making progress.
A Few Tips for Success
Consider working with a Certified Personal Trainer to have a safe, sustainable program designed specifically for you. It’s much easier to commit to a program when you are confident in your methods. Brainstorm ideas for physical activities you enjoy. Go back to your list each week and make a plan to engage in a few activities. Eventually they will become habits. Challenge the perspective that starting over is a negative. Consider all the great things that have come into your life because you’ve started again.