Losing weight or keeping fit is a common New Year resolution for most people. However, many tend to give up along the way and sometimes without trying hard at all. Why does this happen and what can be done?
It starts with you
Starting a workout routine takes determination. You have to be in it to win it. Starting something because another person started it is one straight way to a short-lived workout. It happened to me recently. When lockdown started, it became a family tradition to work out every morning and evening. It was because someone brought the workout idea that I literally started working out.
A few months after the curfew was relaxed, I started deteriorating with an excuse of walking to work until the routine went back to normal and I stopped working out altogether.
Helen Koyokoyo Buteme, a strength and conditioning instructor at Express Football Club, says when you make a resolution just because other people are doing it, you will easily get bored and give up. You will keep asking yourself why you started in the first place.
In my case, if I had made the decision myself before anyone pushed me into it, I would have had a reason to keep moving.
Starting a workout routine with a goal in mind is better than not having a goal at all. When you make a resolution, you will stick to it, especially if you have a goal in mind. Usually, you can overcome the fact that you do not have resources or money because it is something you really want to do.
According to fitnessenhancement.com, without anyone to message you and ask if you are coming, track your progress, or push you finish that last set – you are much more likely to just quit as soon as it starts to feel hard, if you show up at all. Being accountable to a friend or personal trainer will greatly increase your chances of showing up, working harder and having success.
Buteme says on the days that you do manage to drag yourself to the gym at 5am you might start to feel a bit out of place. Between the lycra-clad bikini models looking fabulous in full-make up, the giant body-builder grunting loudly with every rep, and forgetting how to use any of the equipment – you can easily feel self-conscious with your baggy sweats and complete lack of direction; an outsider in the middle of a jungle of gym-pros.
Setting realistic expectations helps a great deal. Buteme says if you have never exercised, you cannot expect to be fit in three months. If you weigh more than 100kgs, you cannot expect to lose 60kgs in one month.
Set small, realistic goals, and get advice from qualified personnel to help you achieve your goals. Know what you want to achieve and know that it is not going to be easy.
Solomon Kirinya, a fitness trainer, says getting the needed results depends on the activities you engage in.
Engaging in activities that excite you such as dance classes or aerobics is paramount.
“Find an activity that interests you, stick to it, keep it more often to keep motivated,” he says.
Tips for a successful change
●Social Aids: Exercise with a training partner. Use friend groups to let them know about your success or use them for support when you didn’t meet a goal.
●Self-Monitor: Use a training diary to write down your progress, accomplishments and even thoughts and emotions that you can revisit for support, or compare your performances to your past ones.
●Write it down: Write down your long term (outcome), mid-term and short term (process) goals. This will make them concrete and less likely to change as times get hard. You may wish to put them on the fridge to make them visible or tick them off as you complete them.
●Use reminders: Simple things such as placing your running trainers near the door can act as cues to remind you to exercise.