Accountability for gym routines – coaches are just like you!
Accountability to go workout or be active must be one of the biggest barriers or fall outs of an exercise routine. That is what most people who work with coaches need the most help with. But it is important to know that even the most fit people and coaches themselves have trouble with accountability and sticking to exercise routines.
Coaches have all the components to keeping to a routine best; unlimited access to a gym at any time of the day, and unlimited knowledge of what to program for a workout makes it that coaches have no excuse to miss a workout, yet it still happens! There have been weeks at a time where I am unable to fit in a solid workout in between work, studying, and general life activities.
Eventually, missing workouts leads to lower self efficacy and impacts on our mental health; we feel that we cannot control our time as much as we hope to fit in those important healthy activities like getting to the gym or going for a run. It affects coaches as well because they are supposed to be the ones leading by example when it comes to healthy living. However, we also have the resources to get you back on track!
The first part of the solution to get back to a regular exercise routine is to:
1) recognize that you are in a dry spell of gym workouts so to speak. After you recognize that there is a need to get back to being more active, then
2) find an amount of time you can commit to being active (on any sort of level or intensity); say if you can commit to 30 minutes of activity everyday, then cut that in half to being active for 15 minutes each day; this gives you more control and a higher success rate to give you those small wins!
3) Once you have made a time commitment, pick an activity that you enjoy the most! This could be walking the dog, hiking with a friend, skiing, joining a group fitness class or yoga class, or visiting you favourite coaches at the gym. Whatever you enjoy the most, you will have a better chance of completing it regularly!
4) Finally, it is important to plan for relapses and understand that it is okay to miss a day of exercise! We are human after all, and things come up. But if this is to happen, then try to plan for it and repeat the steps above to get back to your routine quickly.
To help prevent relapses and stay accountable, there are many tips and tricks that can help, such as having a friend or fitness coach message you to remind you to be active, schedule it into your daily routine, have your gym clothes laid out the night before to be worn for the next day morning workout, or visit the gym or go for a walk over your lunch break. It is all about building small habits, starting with 5 minutes a day or less, and slowly building. For those of you who are interested in building healthy habits, I strongly recommend reading the book Atomic Habits by James Clear. Some of the strategies Clear writes about includes focusing on one small habit at a tiny and growing it and associating a healthy habit with something like you do daily (such as every time you brush your teeth – do 5 squats afterward). If you are interested in this topic, keep a lookout for some future blog posts on building habits!
Having clear goals for healthy habits is important, and your fitness coaches are here to help define these goals and find ways for you to be successful for them during your days. If you need some guidance on setting goals, feel free to contact the coaches at Okanagan Peak Performance Inc, and we can set up a Strategy Session for you.
Lastly, as I mentioned above, being out of a healthy routine does affect mental health and even mental performance. As some of you may know, exercise is an excellent modality to improve all aspects of mental health. Being physically active helps to reduce anxiety, stress, and depressive symptoms, as well as increase your self efficacy and self worth.
To bring more awareness to mental health and how physical activity helps, we here at Okanagan Peak Performance Inc. are holding a group fitness fundraiser on January 25th, 2020, called Move for Your Mood. Current Okanagan Peak Performance Inc clients can join by donation, and non-clients have a minimum donation drop in of $10. All proceeds raised will go to Third Space Life Charity, which provides programs for mental health and counselling services to those in Kelowna, BC. If you are interested in attending the event or donating online, contact us at Okanagan Peak Performance Inc! Door prizes and healthy snacks will be available the day of, and group fitness classes will run each hour between 8:30am-12:30pm. Come join us for a good sweat session, and to learn more about the benefits of exercise for mental health!