Phoenix Ignition Fitness Company

Fitness by the Fire: How to create systems to commit to your gym and fitness life style.

by Ron Kennedy • March 21, 2018
It’s very unfortunate that despite our standards today of instant gratification that many people still reasons to procrastinate going to the gym and committing to an exercise program. The excuses out number the muscles in the human. Bad weather, being too busy, to having a cold, to much more creative ones! I have been a fitness professional for over 16 years and believe me when I say that I have heard and seen it all! I even had a client that I began to keep a personal log of the different excuses she kept creating to pursue her fitness lifestyle since, after time, she began to use the same excuses as before not remembering she did so.

The trick is to retrain one's mind to understand and accept that exercising (especially going to a gym) is extremely beneficial. Think of it as a battle, with the obstacles to be conquered not just once, but regularly. Instead of being daunted, consider it a test to become stronger physically, mentally, and emotionally. There is nothing sweeter than success, especially when it comes from self-improvement and overcoming the limitations we have unjustly set upon ourselves!

First, it is extremely important to work out in a manner that appeals to you. No one wants to engage in something daily which they dislike. You must enjoy the exercises you do, even if it's different than what friends or co-workers do. Do you have a hobby or activity that you thoroughly enjoy, even if it isn’t considered traditional exercise by modern standards? Could it have been playing tennis in college? Did you spend hours with a punching bag as a kid? Were you the best skater in the neighborhood? You get the idea. Some (like myself) prefer to do something on their own, since you can follow your own schedule and the thrill of stepping up to the challenge you have placed on yourself is just as satisfying as the results. Others prefer the moral support and camaraderie of others and will only lead if there is a group to follow. It all depends on whether you need socialization in order to make exercise fun. Even if you exercise "formally" just twice a week, if you love it, you'll want to practice the same habits on your off days and reap the benefits of staying in shape.

Second, once you have found your desired way to exercise, objectively look at your schedule. It is easy to commit to going to the gym, but hard to follow through, so be conservative. If you work normal business hours, the only available time may be in the evening; it is important to understand that feelings of fatigue are often remedied by an invigorating work out. Many individuals actually have increased stamina and strength in late afternoon and early evening, and studies prove that even late-night exercise ending 30 minutes before sleep does not interfere with it. (However, don't work out immediately after a big meal because the body is spending energy on digestion.) Many indoor workouts can be done while watching television or movies with today’s technology of smart phones and tablets, and obviously outdoor workout routines typically are accompanied by endless music streaming or playlists. This added entertainment will make time fly and add a different dimension to your program. It now becomes your time to escape from daily life and focus on your own interests, if only for 30 minutes. Failing that, you can catch up on news broadcasts, or ponder situations that require your assistance, increasing the value of this time. Just make it about you and your time!

Third, have what you need handy. That means keeping necessary clothes, shoes, headset, and any other required equipment together in one place. It's much easier to follow a regime if your workout DvD is already in the machine, if your exercise bike is set up and ready to go, or your gym bag is packed and waiting for in the car, outfitted with towels and toiletries. Running late is often a deterrent to exercise, but with everything at your fingertips, there's more chance of follow-through.

Fourth, find a way to monitor your improvement-and there will be improvement. Sometimes the best encouragement to continue with any gym based or private exercise program is to see your body and abilities get better. Now, there may not be earth shattering progress at first (even professional body builders have off days) but after a few weeks, you should see small changes for the better. When the scale numbers begin to come down, you can fit into those old jeans or gym clothes you used to wear, you get out of the shower and have to do a double take in mirror from the definition you have created, you're heading in the right direction. Knowing that you are improving your physical health and your personal abilities (not to mention appearance) will have you naturally committing to your daily workout. Don't worry if situations arise where you just can't squeeze it in, as long as you acknowledge it’s just a momentary lapse in discipline. As I have stated, I have owned a fitness facility, and despite my passion and livelihood there were days when I simply couldn’t find any time to dedicate to fitness. The majority of us have busy lives, and family and work obligations many times take priority. The next day, simply work out a little more, and increase physical activities. Walk to meet the kids at the bus stop instead of driving or take the stairs instead of the elevator. Although it is important to get at least a half hour of physical conditioning each day, you should not allow situations beyond your control to cause stress. But do remember that it's important to bet back into routine as quickly as possible, since the longer you postpone it, the harder it may be to get back to the level you once were.

When you find the type of exercise that elevates your spirit and produces noticeable results, you will look forward to that part of your daily routine, and soon you won't be able to imagine life without it!