Once you set your mind to a fitness regimen, it seems like your motivation at the very beginning is unending. You stick to your meal plan, exercise on the daily, and always make sure to get in enough sleep and water. As the time progresses. However, more and more obstacles present themselves. While those obstacles present themselves in the form of lack of motivation and plateaus, they also can come in the form of friends, family, birthdays, and the weekend.
The Social side of exercise
You may already know the benefits of regular exercise, both physical and mental. Benefits such as lower blood pressure reduced risk of injury and illness, promotion of weight loss and increased energy levels. Likewise, exercise plays a significant role in your mental health. Helping you lead a happier life by improving mood levels, decreasing anxiety, lowering stress and aiding better sleep.
However, did you know that regular exercise has also been shown to improve people’s social life, boosting their motivation to stay active? Here’s how the social side of training can help you achieve your fitness goals faster.
You don’t have to hit the gym alone to burn some calories. If your partner or friends are into it, make it a fun social activity. Cardio sessions can also be done outside, so grab your friends for a game of tennis, go rowing on a lake or take a beautiful hike. Dancing is another high activity that won’t only help you unwind and hang out with friends but also give you a good workout. So, if you have a night off, hit a dance club and get your freak on. Expand your vision of what exercising means, and you’ll find various great activities that will allow you to combine your fitness and social life.
Now, we don’t want to be mean, but let’s face it, everyone has that “loser” in their life. And, hey, if you can keep them in your life without allowing them peer pressure you or suck up all your time, feel free to let them hang around occasionally. However, if you have someone who keeps putting you down, making you feel guilty, or seems to be a negative influence on you, contact-free to cut them loose. As Steve Jobs once said, “Life is too short to be living someone else’s life.”
Schedule and plan ahead
Don’t deprive yourself of spending time on loved ones. Sometimes when you’re on a mission and have set goals, it feels like you’re always flying’ solo. I promise you that that’s a surefire way of burning out. Plan get-togethers with your friends in advance, pencil them into the calendar, and make sure you have a couple of “naughty treats”. You’ll feel “normal”, and it’s a great way to keep both metabolism and motivation high.
You know what they say if you can’t beat them, join them. No, it would help if you didn’t stop working out, but your friends should start working out with you. Sometimes it gets a couple of gym sessions to get into working out entirely, and it tends to be scary when you’re alone. But with you at their side, you never know, maybe they’ll start to enjoy it, too! Now you have a motivator, workout partner, and friend to count on!
Yes, it is difficult to juggle responsibilities (in general), but the best way to preserve your sanity is to set aside some ‘YOU’ time. Once a week make space to throw on your most comfortable jammies, paint your nails, put on a face mask, watch your favorite show, and drink a glass of wine. Alright, maybe that is my idea of some top-notch R&R, but whatever you think fits the bill will do!
Engaging in fitness challenges can help you connect with larger groups of people. Whether it’s through social media, a fitness app or a problem posted by your gym. You can choose one-on-one problems, one versus a group or a team versus a team challenge.
There are also many different types of fitness challenges to choose from, such as walking a set number of steps in 30 days, training for a 5k run or team workouts. Or you might try the bike to work challenge and organize a group competition amongst your colleagues.
You get to become part of a fun fitness community. And this sense of community and spirit of competition can help you achieve your goals faster. Some fitness challenges have added incentives such as earning points, prizes or ranking performances to boost your motivation.
Another great way to stay motivated to exercise and achieve your fitness goals faster is through social media. For the days when you don’t feel like getting off the couch, social media and fitness apps can give you the push you need to keep exercising and working on getting in shape.
It might be a comment from a friend acknowledging the hard work you put into your fitness routine -encouraging you to “keep up the good work” after you log your progress on an app. Perhaps it’s that Facebook message from your gym buddy, reminding you to be on time for your workout that evening.
Staying connected with your exercise partner and support network online can keep you on track with your fitness goals even when you’re not exercising. Check out class schedules, see who will be keeping you company during your session, create goals and participate in fitness challenges by linking in with friends online. Keeping you motivated and helping you to achieve your fitness goals.
This tiny word is often one of the hardest to say in the vocabulary, but if you use it at the right time, it can save you a lot of time and money. Don’t want to go out and get drunk with friends? Just say no. Don’t want to take up that extra shift at work? Collect your thoughts, find a good argument and report no. It will save you from many unwanted situations, and it will open a job of work, fitness and social life opportunities.
Balancing work, social life and fitness might sound like mission impossible, but with proper planning and some effort, you’ll manage to cram everything into these short 24 hours!