As much as I want to be really fit, for the past two years, I couldn’t really commit to an exercise program. My exposure was limited to zumba classes, and I’m a type of person who’s very set in her ways. If i don’t feel interested in a fitness program, no matter what benefits you present to me – flatter tummy, sexy body – if I don’t like it, I won’t do it. That’s one challenge in getting me to commit to a fitness routine.
For me, what’s important is WHY I exercise. This year, I decided to set more realistic fitness goals for myself – stay healthy, be more active, improve my energy levels, so I can function better.
I noticed that my fitness level started to decline late last year. Towards the second half of 2017, my gym membership ended, and I became less active. What I noticed was I would carry Kyle for a short while, and I’d feel tired already. It was a big difference from the earlier part of the year, when I would get up early and go to zumba class. I’d come back home around the time my husband Paul wakes up, and he’d ask – how do you do it?
One tip I gave Paul, which I think can work for other people, is to treat your exercise time as a meeting. Book it into your calendar as a fixed appointment. If someone comes and asks if you’re free during your gym time, you simply say “No, I have another appointment.” You can always reschedule that dinner or that coffee meetup to another day. It’s what helped me stick to my exercise routine before, instead of moving my gym day to accommodate dinners and meetups.
Another challenge I faced is travelling, because it disrupts my regular schedule. It’s hard to get back to my routine after coming home from overseas. Somehow, the one week drags to two weeks, then three weeks, and before I knew it, I haven’t exercised for a month. When I travel, there’s usually a lot of things I need to attend to when I come back. Exercise becomes a lesser priority. It’s only when I started feeling weak towards the end of the year that I realized how important it was to prioritize my fitness routine.
When I exercise regularly, my body feels stronger and I don’t get sick as easily. I get more things done and my energy levels are higher. But somewhere along the way, I lost that drive to exercise and stay physically fit. On the flipside, my focus on fitness in early 2017 motivated Paul to be more active. I would push him to exercise more back then, and he began to make his fitness a priority. Now, he’s the one who’s more focused on exercise, and he’s the one encouraging me to get back into my fitness routine.
I find that having a husband that motivates me to stay fit is a good thing. I also have friends who do the same, and they help keep me on the right track. They understand that I’m busy, but they would still push me and in some way, make me feel guilty. If you have a hard time motivating yourself to exercise, find gym and fitness buddies that can encourage you to stay active. I find that a healthy support system is helpful when undertaking longer-term goals.
One unexpected benefit of staying fit is the positive influence it has on my son Kyle. At an early age, Kyle is seeing that exercise is important because of how Paul and I make it a priority. Sometimes we’d see him on the couch, stretching, and he would say, “Look, mommy, I’m exercising!” It’s cute, but it also tells me that he has become aware about fitness, which is a good thing.
For now, I’m trying my best to get out of my comfort zone by trying something aside from zumba. I tried combat fit, and in my first session, I almost passed out after twenty minutes! I was breathing so heavily, I thought I couldn’t make it to the end of the class. But after the 60 minute session, I felt really challenged. I felt that this is something that would be good for me. It energized me, even though it was difficult. Now I’m scheduling sessions with my trainer not just on weekdays, but also on weekends.
Hopefully I’ll stick to this routine, and I’ll be able to share how it has helped me on my fitness journey. I’ll post an update three months from now to let you know how I’ve done!
How about you? What has been your experience in trying to get into and sticking with a fitness program? What are your fitness goals and plans this year?