Have you been trying to start working out for a long time but just can’t? Rest assured, you are not alone! Adding new habits to your routine can be pretty challenging, and sometimes, the simplest path is to accept reality, its limitations and put some effort to overcome them.
I went through a long period of a sedentary lifestyle and, as someone who has been in your shoes, I will share some thoughts to help you overcome this challenge. Are you ready? Let’s go!
Read our latest Fitness articles below:
- 4 Types of Exercise: Balance, Endurance, Flexibility, and Strength
- How Working Out Changed My Life
- Complete Home Workout With Equipment – Under $350
- Pilates: What it is, Benefits and Tips
- What are the Benefits of Swimming?
- Cycling Benefits: 6 Reasons Why Cycling is Great For You
1. Accept Yourself and your Reality
Sometimes we cannot change because we don’t recognize our own limitations or simply because we know that change can be difficult.
In this sense, the comfort zone can be pretty harmful since, in most cases, it’s the adverse situations that will make you evolve as a human being. The problem is that many people are afraid and flee from adversity – even though life brings you new obstacles almost daily.
Keep in mind that the first step to overcoming is accepting the problem – and everything around it. Below are some questions you should ask yourself.
Be honest with yourself and, if possible, find solid reasons why you should change. If you want to change for superficial reasons, such as to please someone, you will hardly be consistent with your plan. You must change because it will do you good – not other people!
- What is my weakness, and why do I want to improve it?
- What causes this weakness?
- What should I do to resolve this issue?
- Can I overcome this challenge alone, or will I need help?
- How can I organize my routine to overcome this challenge?
Note: Try to separate your priorities from your own expectations – or those around you. When working out, your main goal should be achieving better health, not having someone else’s body. Once you have this mindset, it becomes clearer that training is a life project that you are doing for yourself, not others. Believe me: there is no better motivation than having good health, and this should be your goal!
2. Don’t Feel Guilty
The feeling of guilt is another factor that prevents you from seeing what is in front of your eyes. Guilt is a feeling that paralyzes you in many ways, and you should avoid it as much as you dan.
Keep in mind that as human beings, we are imperfect, and we often forget about it. Don’t feel ashamed or guilty about being overweight, wanting to eat junk food, or simply not being motivated to exercise.
You need to understand that we all have our own time and individual strengths. This means that even if you still don’t have the body you want, you have other strengths – and you can still work on your weaknesses!
We all live in different times, with other priorities, and no damage cannot be fixed. If someone has ever embarrassed you or put you off in some way, that says a lot about that person – not about you. Don’t be afraid to change, and don’t feel guilty about past mistakes. Always look ahead!
3. Done is Better than Perfect!
Perfectionism can be healthy for some tasks, but it just doesn’t work for others.
I’ve always been a perfectionist, and that was one of the things that bothered me the most when I had a sedentary lifestyle. At 15 kg above my current weight, I looked at myself in the mirror, compared my body to “perfect bodies”, and was constantly sure that I would never make it – and that, even if I had a chance, it would be a lot of work.
Unfortunately, it took me a few years to understand that perfection doesn’t exist – and that most of the time, it’s just a matter of perspective. In this sense, the key is to focus on your priorities, what you want to do, and move forward. Don’t question yourself too much, don’t judge yourself, control your expectations and go after your goals.
Reminder: If you look for perfection, you will never be content, and done is better than perfect!
4. Lack of Knowledge
Another factor that can keep you from moving and pursuing your fitness goals is the lack of knowledge.
Lack of knowledge will make you choose physical activities you don’t like, make bad decisions, train poorly and delay your results. What’s worse is that all of this will affect your self-discipline, motivation and consistency – precisely the three factors that make you progress.
These days it is possible to learn a lot on the internet, but if you are a beginner or a long-term sedentary person, I strongly recommend that you seek professional help.
In this sense, a qualified professional, such as a doctor or a personal trainer, can help you create a suitable strategy, besides finding a physical activity that works for your body. In addition, you will learn how to exercise correctly to train effectively and avoid injuries.
Throughout your fitness journey, knowledge will be as necessary as your willingness to work out!
5. Get Organized
I’m sorry to tell you, but if you have a disorganized routine and live one day at a time, you’ll have even more difficulty being consistent. I say this because exercise is an arduous process on the body.
If you sleep and wake up every day at different times and skip meals, you will hardly have the energy and willingness to train consistently – especially if you work and have a stressful routine.
Have you ever noticed how tough it is to create a habit when there’s no routine? Try working out every day at different times and see how annoying it will be in the short and medium-term. You will probably feel even more tired, unwell and give up as soon as you can.
Understand that to achieve your fitness goals, you will need to allocate part of your time, and it will be even easier to do this with pre-set times and days to train.
Example: If your dance class is every Friday at 6pm, you organize your week knowing about that commitment. Now imagine a scenario where there is no set day, and your only goal is to dance. The simple fact that it’s a generic and non-committal goal affects your motivation, so you will most likely put other tasks ahead, and dancing becomes another one of the 1000 things you need to do that week.
6. Have Fun!
It’s pretty simple: when we have fun and enjoy something, complex tasks become easier. This means that you must find physical activities that you enjoy doing. If the gym environment intimidates you or just finds lifting weight boring, why not try swimming or dancing?
Have you ever heard the phrase “Do what you love, and you will never work a day in your life”? This is the purest truth. When you choose a job or physical activity you love, you’ll simply execute the plan no matter what – even on the most challenging days.
On the other hand, you won’t perform well when you have to do something you hate daily. You won’t make the same effort, you won’t give 100% of yourself, and you’ll jump overboard the first chance you get.
Keep in mind that exercise is not a punishment and, if you know how to choose, it will be a powerful tool to combat the stress of your routine.
Always do what you like and try to have more fun with yourself! Avoid your own judgments, and don’t take life too seriously!
Founder and Editor of TheLifesty. Passionate about Health & Fitness and enthusiast about changes. Interested in everything that improves the quality of life.