Libby Norris on rebooting your workout for summer
Published Monday, April 30, 2012 11:23AM EDT
Canada AM fitness expert Libby Norris shares her top strategies to reboot your workout for spring.
Every spring, I attempt to get into shape for summer. Usually I do okay for the first month or so, but then I get derailed and fall back into bad habits.
This is such a common problem for one very simple reason -- lack of planning. Don't just "wish" you could be fit. Plan for it like you would your career, your retirement or getting ready for an event.
So often people get eager and start a new class or program right away, which is great. I absolutely encourage that! However, if you don't follow up with an actual strategy you will fall off the wagon as soon as the novelty wears off or you hit your first challenge or plateau.
There's no big fitness secret. It's a matter of working through a traditional goal-setting process.
Step 1 -- get started now:
You're keen and eager, so just get moving. Don't overdo it initially, though; start with something that matches your current fitness level and interest.
Step 2 -- don't just wish it, make a plan to be fit:
Now let's build a plan with that momentum. If you don't, you're going to fall off the wagon as soon as the novelty wears off. Include the following in your plan:
Identify your goals
- This can be anything but be specific. Is it improving your fitness level – how does that look or feel? Is it losing weight – does that mean weighing in, taking measurements or fitting in to your favourite outfit?
Set your benchmarks
- Once you've chosen your goal, measure you are now.
Plan your activity
- There are specific training principles and practices that are ideal to follow, but don't get paralyzed by the process. Keep it simple and start with any kind of activity. Choose something you enjoy. Start with moderate intensity and time and gradually increase both.
Track your activity
- Choose whatever method works for you -- a hard-copy calendar, a fitness journal, online tracking or apps. This will give you a great visual and help you celebrate your successes.
Review and revise for overall goals and mini goals
- Take the time to looking at your tracking to review your progress and results. If it is working, start stepping it up. If it's not, identify why. You may want to change up the exercise, the intensity or your schedule.
Step 3 -- find your motivation to keep you moving:
Sticking to a program can be challenging. Early on, while you're feeling keen, start identifying what gets and keeps you motivated. Write these things down. Make a long list with a variety of tools you can use:
- Favourite music
- Working out with a friend
- Visual displays
- Pictures that remind you of your goals
- Giving yourself checkmarks for every workout
- Mini rewards for successful weeks or workouts
Visit my website for more specific tips on getting started and home workout options.