This is a guest post from Nell Gyenes, a running blogger and creator of Good Morning Runners, a site dedicated to information for runners. Visit www.GoodMorningRunners.com for training tips, resources and news.
‘I’ve let my workouts and diet slip – is there’s a right way, or at least better way, to get back on track?’
It’s a question I hear a lot when I lead group fitness activities. My reply is almost always the same – “Start easy at first. Don’t overthink the process.” I follow up by suggesting something simple, say 15 minutes of walking every day for a week, or begin each day by eating a healthy breakfast along with a full glass of water.
More often than not, these suggestions produce a reaction along the lines of ‘…oh, no that’s too easy. I mean I know I should be doing all those things, but I really need to get back on track.’ There was a time when I thought and said that same thing too.
Since I felt bad about how ‘far off track’ I’d gotten, I really expected any solution to my problem would require serious, time-intensive, sweat producing routines. No half-stepping, if you know what I mean.
And this happened more than once unfortunately. Talk about frustrating and embarrassing. Finally one day I knew it was time to start, in whatever way I could. For me, that proved to be with a daily walk. A simple, yet effective way to establish a healthy new routine and most important – it was doable.
Looking back on those years, I realize getting on a healthy track is about small consistent actions you take, day in and day out, to produce life-changing results. It’s not the quick fix many people hope for, but it is the best way to start and stay on track with any health or fitness goals.
Once you’ve made the decision to start, follow up with easy, simple actions that will acclimate you to a new mindset, routine and goals.
Get Healthy Habits Back On Track
- Find Inspiration – Whenever I need inspiration I look at health/fitness related magazines or online sites to learn about how others overcome their challenges, train and succeed. I did this when I first started and still use this technique today.
- Get Started – Remember, Try Easy. At the beginning you simply need to establish a new routine for your fitness or health habit. Maybe that’s 10 minutes of walking each day, or 15 minutes of running or a gym workout every other day. Just keep it doable and be consistent. More on that last note in a moment.
- Accountability – Share your fitness and health goals with others who will support and encourage you and hold you accountable. Developing new healthy habits is a process and having ongoing support makes a big difference. I actively participate in local running and walking groups along with various online, social web communities. I’ve found a lot of heartfelt encouragement, motivation and camaraderie shared within these groups. They understand what you’re going through!
- Commitment to Consistency – In order to get back on track and build up your fitness, you must be consistent with new routines and habits. If you’re returning to working out after a long hiatus, do not jump back in where you left off. You’ll set yourself up for disappointment, frustration and possible injury. Start back up gradually, with consistency you’ll increase your strength, endurance and achieve your goal(s) in whatever sport or health activity you choose.
The bottom line: If you want to get your health and fitness habits back on track, start easy at first, make it doable, establish a routine, stick with it and then enjoy the results!