Why Do Most Fitness Programs Fail?
We start with the best of intentions, usually to eat right and exercise more, but like those New Year’s resolutions, we soon lose interest or “real life” gets in the way. So, why do most fitness programs fail? Here are five reasons:
Not understanding your motivation.
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If weight loss is your goal, why? Do you want to fit in your wedding dress? Your bikini for a class reunion? Do you want to get fit? Stronger heart and lungs, climb stairs or walk to the corner store without wheezing? Why? Is it to live longer, healthier, be more self reliant or live pain free? Or is it to spend more years with your children or grandchildren? Identify your underlying “real” reasons you want to get fit and USE them to get motivated and stay motivated.
No clear goals.
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Now that you understand why you want to get fit, you need to determine how and set some clear, measurable and achievable goals. How many pounds do you need to lose to zip that wedding dress or wear that swimsuit at the reunion. How many pounds do you need to lose to take pressure off your knees or to lower your blood pressure? How much time do you have to accomplish this? Start with short term goals, “I need to lose 10 pounds by the end of next month” or “I need to run one mile without stopping by the end of this month.”
No clear plan.
If you don’t have a plan, your fitness program will fail. You’ll go to the gym or track or pool and just bounce around without any measurable progress and you will soon become discouraged and quit. Use those daily, weekly and monthly goals and develop a specific fitness plan and program to reach those intermediate goals and you will soon reach your fitness goals. Do extensive research or hire a trainer or coach until you understand what you need to do and how often. Identify what you need to do and then focus.
Too much, too fast.
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You are excited, motivated, ready to go and run into the gym and hit all the weights and machines…but tomorrow you will be too sore to repeat the process, or even worse, injured. Make that plan and follow it. Take small steps that produce small and consistent results, day after day and week after week. You will see the progress in the mirror and on the scale.
Celebrating too soon.
Rewards are great, they can provide motivation, but most often they involve high calorie, edible rewards. “I worked hard at the gym, rode the stationary bike for 30 minutes, hit those weights, I deserve a pizza on the way home.” Any progress you made that day is now gone. Be very careful with little rewards, sweets or “cheat days” that often turn into “cheat weeks” or binge eating episodes that completely reverse your progress.
Have a way that keeps you going in your fitness program? Share in the comments below!