Health and Fitness Coach, Diego Carrete, has helped hundreds of people begin their fitness journey and guided them to reach their fitness goals - regardless of age, fitness level or what the goal is.
Below, he gives his top recommendations on how to start a fitness routine, and how you can ensure you stick to it.
Diego explains the key is to develop a sustainable healthy habit…
When it comes to starting your exercise regime, the most difficult element is sticking with it long term and maintaining a steady routine that becomes a habit for life. One of the questions I’m asked the most is - “How can I maintain a regular training program!?”.
It's quite simple to begin going to the gym, eating healthily or foam rolling after your workouts, however sticking with it over time is a far more challenging task. Life gets in the way - we all know how easy it is to find reasons not to work out; you’re busy, you're tired, your meeting ran over. The list is endless…
Sooner or later, excuses appear, motivation fluctuates and what started with a ‘cheat day’ or ‘rest day’ becomes a ‘cheat week’ or ‘short break’. Before you know it, you're back to square one - it's a vicious circle!
I have broken down how you can help yourself to build a healthy habit (even if fitness is not your focus, this will help you!) and how to remain consistent with it.
Why create healthy habits?
Find your why and think about what you want to get out of this new activity/habit. Why are you starting and what is the point? Do you feel like this is important and linked to one of your deeper or long term goals? Know why you want to start and understand the positive impact it will have.
Create a trigger
A “trigger” is something you already do that you can link to your new habit, to make it feel more ‘automatic’ and require less thinking or action from you.
By repeating the trigger-habit sequence over and over again, you can make it a habit that you do every day (or as often as you want). For example, placing a foam roller next to your front door, which triggers you to massage every time you run.
Make it simple
Think about how you can make this habit as simple as possible for yourself once you start. For example, picking a gym that is close to where you work or live so that it doesn’t require a long journey to get there, or beginning with a 30-minute fitness class instead of jumping into a 60-minute class.
Plan your schedule
Choose times and days that suit you, to set yourself up into a solid routine. For me, I know that weekends and evenings are spent with my family, so I choose to work out Monday - Friday in the morning. This time is dedicated to me and allows me to focus on what I want to achieve before the rest of my day begins!
Combine it with another activity
Can you do the things you love as part of your fitness routine? To keep yourself engaged, make a playlist of your favourite songs or listen to a podcast that interests you. You could also consider joining a sports team, if you enjoy playing football, tennis or rugby - this is a great way to keep active, do something you like and socialise.
Find an accountable partner
You might find it useful to have someone around you that can keep you accountable. If so, find someone to work out with or join a group fitness class. A lot of people work better in groups as you can motivate each other and you’re less likely to cancel a workout if you know there is someone waiting for you.
Now over to you - good luck! If you’d like more tips on training, health or nutrition, follow me on @DiegoCarreteFitness