Here’s how to stay hooked well beyond the first couple of months
“How to stay healthy” tends to find a spot on most resolution lists. Yet just like the rest, these tend to get discarded soon after January. This is despite the many benefits working out can give you – from making you healthier to getting stronger, reducing stress, allowing you to sleep better, feel better and, of course, look radiant. So what does it take to really stick with your fitness goals? These fitness experts reveal tips and tricks on how to stay healthy.
The plan: set achievable goals
Anshuka Parwani, Celebrity Yoga and Holistic Wellness Expert and Founder of Anshuka Yoga, says, “People tend to send very unrealistic goals as far as their health and fitness is concerned at the beginning of the year. We live in a world where we want everything quickly, and our bodies don’t work that way. Setting realistic goals that are achievable and sustainable is the way to go.”
The best way to stay on track: “I always make sure whatever I am doing is sustainable – something I can do every day and fit into my schedule. If my goal is to get into my yoga practice five times a week, which for me is very doable, I will plan my days and week accordingly, so I maximise the use of my time and get everything done. I also love challenging myself occasionally – I try different things and change up my practice often, which keeps it interesting. I also listen to my body – if there is a day my body is not up for it, and I know it needs rest, I give it rest. It is so important for you to be in tune with your body.
When my students finish their practice, I ensure they are aware of and conscious of how they feel. Understanding and appreciating how their routine makes them feel motivates them. Seeing the results of investing time and energy into their health makes them want to keep doing it. Keep it balanced, consistent, and realistic!”
The plan: give it time
Vaishnavi Boora, Fitness coach and Nutritionist, says, “Most of the time, I find that it’s usually the ones who are impatient to achieve their fitness goals who end up losing their staying power. Beginners come in overly enthusiastic, wanting to lose weight or gain muscle mass and tone up in only a few weeks. They do too much in terms of volume and intensity at the start and end up injured, burned out, or disillusioned. So start small, and work towards building a routine and consistency. When you create a ritual around your fitness goals, they tend to become ingrained, making them easier not to discard.”
The best way to stay on track: “Start by rewarding yourself, which is highly underrated. This doesn’t have to be with food. New clothes that fit and look better make a great reward. The idea is to show appreciation for what you’ve accomplished and all the work you’ve put in. Keep rewards at a constant, and spoil yourself when you deserve it; it’ll only increase your drive that much more.
The other thing you can do is to develop strong habits outside of the gym. Developing solid habits at the gym is undoubtedly essential, but it can sometimes be depressing because of the lack of progress. This is usually because your lack of effort outside the gym can leave you unmotivated and ready to give up. A simple way to combat this is to devise a diet plan that works for you and your desired goals. Doing so will quickly cause a change in your body and mood. When your habits are strong in and out of the gym, your results will show, leaving you more motivated than ever. Lastly, if you fall off track or have a bad day, it’s okay, but don’t give up. The next day, get back on track; that’s how you will sustain this journey.”
The plan: get the right guidance
Swapneel Hazare, Strength and Conditioning Coach, Founder of Shield Fitness, and Trainer to Hrithik Roshan, says, “Most people turn to the Internet or other non-credible sources for advice on how to ace their goals. Consulting experts and qualified professionals will help you stay on track and not derail your fitness targets.”
The best way to stay on track: “The other aspect to watch out for is procrastination. Human behaviour dictates that we often put off things when they seem tough. Avoid falling into the “I will start from tomorrow” trap and, instead, decide to commit. My workaround for this is to set smart goals. I write down my goal with the utmost clarity detailing my desired results. I follow this up with a proper representation of my targets, such as the number I want to see on the weighing scale or the number of reps I want to achieve in an exercise. I ensure it’s doable, keeping my current fitness levels and potential in mind. I set a realistic deadline by when I want to achieve this, and finally, I track my success, as knowing how far along I’ve come is the key to knowing how far I can go.”
The plan: get used to how you feel post exercising
Sumaya Dalmia, Fitness and Wellness Expert and Founder of SUMAYA, says, “For me, the biggest reason to stay motivated is that I am addicted to how I feel post-exercise. Something that helps me to stay motivated is that I stay consistent throughout the year, and my goals are very short-term.”
The best way to stay on track: “The most important tip I give clients is to think beyond the weighing scale and six-pack abs. Think about the goal, which will help you to be a better performer, improve your mobility and flexibility or even help you run a five km race that you couldn’t do earlier. Don’t be married to your weighing scale; goals that motivate you are key. The other aspect is to stay consistent. This means you don’t have to go to the gym every day or eat 100 per cent clean every day. A little bit of cheating actually helps you to stay motivated because it doesn’t make you feel that you are caged into some resolution.”