When it comes to fitness, sometimes actually starting a training plan is harder than the prescribed workout of the day.
And like all things in life, real progress in the gym is accomplished through consistent efforts over a long period of time. Don’t let gimmicks or relentless infomercials fool you — unfortunately there is no magic fat-loss pill or overnight six-pack abs device on the market.
Today is a perfect day to go ahead and create a new fitness routine — no matter if you’re starting from square one, or are an experienced fitness junkie looking to freshen things up for a change.
With these insightful tips from Frederik Aegidius, CrossFit Games competitor, and coach of Polar athlete Annie Thorisdottir, the ‘Fittest Woman on Earth’, you’ll be sure to create and stick with a new fitness routine this time around.
Our takeaways? Keep your new fitness routine simple.
Do you have any simple tips for people new to fitness who want to create a routine?
Don’t try to make extreme changes to your daily routines, as this often leads to a few weeks of successful adherence to the program followed by a fall back to the old habits. Make sure you know why you are making a change and become a fitter version of yourself.
What does the planning process look like?
Find your why, formulate a goal, draw up your roadmap and create small-but-measurable checkpoints to follow your progress.
What are some easy ways to ease your way into a more active lifestyle?
Make small changes, everyone can find 10 to 15 minutes every day to be active as long as it is made easy and the “entry barrier” is not too high. Start out with simple at-home workouts that don’t require equipment or you leaving your house.
What are some ways to motivate people to stick with fitness long-term?
Finding the reason why you want to become fitter is the best way to stick to the regime long term. If you can convince yourself this process will not only be beneficial to you, but also to the people you care about, the likelihood of success increases tremendously.
What are hardships someone should expect?
You can expect days with low motivation, low energy levels and lots of stressors in your life. The important thing to remember in these situations is that dedicating time for YOU will most likely have a positive effect on energy levels and mood. It is scientifically proven that exercise releases endorphins and will make you feel better.
What does a basic fitness routine look like?
It does not have to be complicated to be effective: 30 minutes of higher intensity work two to three times a week is enough to maintain general fitness.
How important is it to set fitness goals?
It is important to set goals, no matter how big or small they might seem. You are much more likely to be successful if you can measure and track your progress – and creating goals is the first step.
How can you keep yourself accountable when it comes to fitness?
Creating a roadmap that will guide you to your goal is a great way to keep yourself accountable. Writing it down will further increase your chances of success. Having checkpoints along the road is also an effective way to increase accountability.
How can someone new to fitness track their progress?
Something that I have found useful is to create “benchmark” tests that I can redo and thereby measure my fitness. These tests can be anything from a one-mile run to 100 air squats for time.
The scores for these tests will be easy to compare to prior results but there is another factor that can tell us a lot about how fit we are. Using a heart rate monitor (Polar H10) or a wrist device (such as Polar Ignite or Polar Vantage V) you can see if you used the same relative effort to finish the work.
You might end up with the same score as a previous test, but with a lower average heart rate which means you are now fitter than the last time you did the test.
How does technology help create a fitness routine?
Tech can be a handy way to log your results and help you remember previous scores and give you extra motivation to try to beat those times.
For many people it is not the lack of desire to get fitter, but also a question of getting the reminder to do something for yourself. Wearing wrist devices that remind you regularly can also increase your chances of reaching your goals.
Let’s say you’re experienced, how can you switch things up and create a new FITNESS routine?
I would suggest to seek out experts in the field. If you are a runner, I would search runners forums to find proven programs.
The same rules apply for other fields as you will often find that trying to invent your own program will lead to more doubt in the process and less faith in the efficacy of the template.
Find a template that has a progression. It will start you of where you are now and gradually build you up to where you want to be.
How strictly should someone stick to their training plan?
To be successful in adding in a new routine it’s very important that you don’t teach your brain that it’s okay to skip training regularly.
As with everything else in human nature, creating habits and making it part of your daily schedule is the best way to stick to your routines.
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Please note that the information provided in the Polar Blog articles cannot replace individual advice from health professionals. Please consult your physician before starting a new fitness program.