by Lynn Gray,
M.S., RRCA certified coach
The secret to success in establishing physical fitness is developing a routine. Beginning a physical fitness program can be much like dieting
programs. Your first initiation will require discipline, changes of behavior, development of new habits, cultural re-thinking, continual motivation, and a definite form of
commitment. How does one form a consistent routine which faces those challenges?
previous sports background.
Let’s start with developing a physical fitness routine. Remember to think of lifetime fitness as not just an event, but an evolving lifestyle which will provide you countless healthy benefits. A “getting fit” program begins with an interest from the participant; be it running, biking, swimming, and/or skating just to name a few. Therefore, first investigate and observe the movement or types of training you enjoy. Second, make sure you can handle the Florida sunshine; or you will be limited to gym activities. Third, check to see if you can fit a basic rule of thumb for physical fitness; that of 35 minutes or more on most days of the week.
Thinking ahead as to what a routine may include is the notion of cross training; that of using other
sports to complement your key interest. An example is with running; the addition of yoga or swimming on different days is an effective cross training match since it promotes agility, good posture, and lessens the propensity of injuries. Research has shown that most sports are performed best when there is cross-training built within the routine. My clients are asked to integrate cross training activities such as biking, spinning, swimming, weight training, or yoga on days they are not engaged in walk to running.
Pinpointing your desired sport and then suggesting all of the above cross-training activities take quite a lot of commitment, physical adaptation, and time. However, the diverse use of muscles in those various activities result in tremendous wellness gains; and possibly weight reduction without introducing a “new diet program.” Now let’s tackle the most frustrating challenge – making it part of your daily routine. Here are suggestions from folks whom I have brought into fitness:
* Find a mentor or professional trainer to teach you all about the sport; be it biking, running, etc. Learn the right way to implement the sport helps success and reduces chances for
* Make out a schedule of your daily life activities Monday through Sunday; and see which days you can plug in your sport(s). A recommendation is the morning since there are fewer variables to prevent you in engaging; late in the day can bring on rain, tiredness from work, family demands, etc.
* Make a fitness appointment. Yes, treat physical fitness as you would a doctor’s appointment.
Until wellness becomes a habit; you may have to rely on pure discipline. When I began running I
simply made it a rule to run 1 mile each day no matter what. Now 94 marathons later I have to say running is part of my routine!
* Seek camaraderie; there are countless running clubs, group walks, biking organizations, swimming
classes, yoga groups, etc. Make your new sport social and gain accountability at the same time. Making friends leads to them expecting you to join them.
* Go for establishing a routine at first versus performance. Getting your fitness routine will lead to better performance due to complying with the key training principles of both frequency and duration.
* Share fitness goals with your family, friends, loved ones, etc. They will need to be part of your
“support team”. Those mornings when you do not want to engage will be a key time for your family members to “help you out the door”.
Your turn. Try out new fitness adventures and develop a positive relationship with exercise.
Reflect on five years from now and think where you want to be physically. Find your physical
routine, and feel increased wellness throughout your years.