It comes as no surprise that finding time for fitness can be a challenge for young professionals. Work, friends, family, and volunteering commitments can derail even the most dedicated YP. We’ve put together some tips on keeping fitness a consistent part of your life:
Stop feeling guilty. We’ve all been there. We want to run farther, lift more weight, stretch longer, or just get started; but when we fail to do so, we feel guilty. Guilt will almost always cause you to shut down mentally. Give yourself permission to start everyday fresh and move forward on your goals.
Do something you love. Try as I may, I just can’t get excited about yoga. But pilates? Love it, and so I’m at the studio twice a week working out my core. If you are constantly pushing yourself to do activities you think you should be doing rather than activities you actually want to do, fitness will always feel like a struggle.
Start small. The first walk/run interval I ever did involved a one minute jog, and that minute was the most difficult cardiovascular challenge I have experienced. But, had I not started with walk/ run intervals, I may have never pushed through that first session to finish the summer running a full 20 minutes. When you take on more than you can handle, you will almost certainly find yourself discouraged and believing you can’t do it. When you work out at a level that’s right for you, the rewards will be consistent and motivating.
Make it non-negotiable. Schedule your exercise into your day and don’t break your commitment with yourself unless your job or relationships depend on it. When you do this, you will never have to worry about whether you’ve gotten enough activity into your week.
Mix it up. When I first started working out, I did the same routine three days a week for two years. Needless to say, I hit a plateau and felt disappointed with my results. Choose from a variety of activities inside and outside the gym that challenge your balance, strength, and endurance. If you love group fitness classes, find a gym with amazing instructors who take their job of training you seriously and evolve and adapt their classes so you don’t get bored or hit a plateau.
Pass along the good karma. If you’ve been successful at incorporating fitness into your life, share your challenges and successes with other YPs who are wondering how you stay so committed and dedicated. We’ve all had challenging days where we wished we’d done more; don’t be afraid to let other YPs know where you started.