We’re fast approaching the tail-end of 2017 (some faster than others). Know what that means? It means we’re standing up the cusp of a whole new year of failed #fitnessgoals.
Okay, maybe that’s a bit harsh. But the hard truth is, everyone falls short from time to time, and there are always hurdles on the way to success. It’s all a part of progress. Fitness is no exception.
Why do so many people fail to achieve their fitness dreams? Well, for one, staying in shape can be tough. It requires you to develop habits for healthy living, and that takes time.
There are also some common pitfalls that keep people from reaching the heights they desire.
#Goals and Actions Don’t Match
Too often, different exercises and activities get lumped together under a general umbrella of ‘fitness’. But not all activities will generate the results one desires.
For instance, long-distance running will do great things for your cardiovascular health, but it won’t burn fat nearly as effectively as weight training. Hitting the weight machines can help you lose weight and get lean, but it won’t improve your balance. Zumba is a lot of fun, but if that’s all you’re doing, it’ll take a lot of super intense shuffling to lose weight.
The form of exercise you most enjoy may not be the one that best aligns with your personal goals. In that case, something has to give. You’ll have to alter your routine or adjust your expectations of the outcome.
But it’s better to do this now than to be disappointed or frustrated with a lack of results in the direction you desire.
No Progress Tracking
Fitness gains aren’t always visible on the outside – at least not right away. Building strength and endurance takes a lot time, and progress doesn’t always show in your body at first.
However, just because you aren’t looking leaner or stronger doesn’t mean you aren’t making progress. Finishing the course in record time is progress. Achieving heavier lifts is progress. Finishing complete sets where you fell short before is progress.
It’s important to keep track of your progress on paper (or electronically) and not just gauge your goals by your physical appearance. Otherwise, you’re more likely to lose motivation. And if the data shows you really aren’t making progress, that’s valuable information that can help you make different choices.
Starting a new routine is hard. We all have a hundred things going on in our lives, whether it’s work, family, illness, or other things that pull our attention away from our #fitnessgoals. No matter how disciplined you are, sticking to a fitness routine takes a hell of a lot of commitment.
A Stanford University study split 218 people into three groups and asked them to exercise 150 minutes a week. The participants who received a monthly phone call from a Stanford health educator exceeded the goal; the ones who got an automated call did too, though just by a hair. But by and large, the people who were not held accountable failed.
Having someone else to hold you accountable, be it a friend, a team, or a personal trainer, makes it much easier to stay on the path towards your goal.