For a large part of the world as of June 2020, fitness is the furthest thing from a lot of people’s minds. Sheltering in place, trying to survive, having enough money to eat and pay the bills and avoid getting sick is the order of the day.
Confusion, stress, and uncertainty rule our thoughts and what is in the fridge is more appealing than doing another set of squats. But I will argue that there has never been a time when your health is more important. And health ( not vanity) is the real reason to get off your butt and move.
Fitness is a lifelong journey which is full of twists, turns, bumps, failures, and victories. And we are all going through one big twist right now but that doesn’t mean you should put exercise entirely to one side.
Because a little goes a long way.
Having or developing these 5 traits will keep you on the fitness straight and narrow during times of chaos or prosperity.
1. Set goals
If you aim at nothing, you will hit everything.
When it comes to fitness helps to set goals. And you’ll do this by finding your why. Because when motivation wanes (and it will), you will need goals to hang your hat on.
The process of setting goals is an entire post in itself. However, using the S.M.A.R.T (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time bound) goal setting method is a quick and easy place for you to start.
Then writing this down and keeping it someplace prominent will act as a great reminder on why you are exercising. I will use myself as an example.
Specific- I want to deadlift twice my bodyweight, that is 360 pounds.
Measurable- I will record how much I lift each week to see if I am making progress.
Achievable- Is my goal too hard or too easy? My current max is 325 pounds and a 35-pound increase is achievable.
Realistic- 35-pound increase is not a massive jump.
Time bound- I will test my 1 RM by July 2020
Now it is your turn.
This world does not owe you a thing, particularly now. What you do with your life and the circumstances you find yourself is entirely up to you. You cannot control what happens to you, but you do control how you react to it.
Whether you want to run a marathon, deadlift twice your bodyweight or to get off your backside to exercise, you are going to have to put in some effort.
You are going to face difficulties; (sensing a theme here?) you are going to fail, and you may even feel like quitting. But if you acknowledge this and you face these obstacles head on, you will never fail. That is grit, baby.
3. Remember Fun?
You could all do with a little fun, particularly during the COVID-19 nightmare.
Just for a moment think back to your childhood when you ran, skipped, rode bikes, and played all types of games with your friends. It was not that long ago, correct?
Did this feel like exercise? Did this feel like the torture of running endless miles on a treadmill? Of course, it didn’t because you were having too much fun to think about your sweat, elevated heart rate and how many calories you are burning.
When movement is fun, you are more likely to do it and when it feels like punishment, you don’t.
Inserting some “fun factor” into your fitness like playing a sport, dancing, or whatever interests you will make it more enjoyable. Life is already full of stuff that you have to do, and exercise doesn’t need to be one of those things.
Life comes at you a million miles per hour and there will be plenty of excuses for you to stop making exercise a priority. However, I want you to remember that someone will always have it tougher than you.
That guy in the wheelchair who is paralyzed from the waist down would love to get up and go for a walk. Plus there’s people who have lost their jobs and cannot pay the bills.
Please keep that in mind when you come up with another excuse not to get up and move. Just strap on some shoes and go for a walk. It will do you wonders.
There are going to be times when you are either too busy, too tired, or when you just do not give a crap about exercise. And then exercise slips down on the list of priorities and then scale becomes your enemy.
Rather than going down this slippery slope just aim to do a little movement each day. All movement is good movement and it all counts. Exercise does not always need to be formal or intense, particularly now when you are under stress.
Strap on some shoes, catch up on housework, stretch or do something fun. Doing 10 minutes of movement has great health benefits for your body and state of mind.
We all fall, but it is not a matter of falling, it is more a matter of getting back up. Having one (or all) of the traits listed will make sure you will get back up and get back on a successful and enjoyable journey towards good health.
“Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.” –Sir Winston Churchill
If you need a kick start I have just the thing for you right here.