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11 Reasons To Not Give Up On Exercising

11 Reasons To Not Give Up On Exercising

As it’s summer and a lot of people are getting “beach ready” these days, here are a few words of encouragement for those that try hard but simply can’t seem to lose weight (as fast as they may like).

Deciding to lose weight – or to start exercising – is the easy part. Keeping it up week after week, month after month is where things get hard — especially if you don’t see the results you want.

I know, I have been through it myself. For most of my life, I have been big. It started when I was about nine years old. From one day to the next, I just ballooned out of nowhere. The rest of my life I spent getting rid of this excess weight, and it was not easy.

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Over the years, guided by experts and determination, here is what I learned.

1. Some bodies simply lose weight slower

If you do not see results in the first few weeks, it doesn’t mean you are not losing weight. That was the lesson I learned, and even though annoying, there is nothing you can do except keep going.

2. More is not always more

When you lose weight slowly, it is tempting to add more and more exercise in the hopes of losing weight faster. It does not work, it burns you out, and you’ll lose motivation. Think up a doable exercise plan (preferably with the help of an expert) and stick to it.

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3. There are other benefits aside from weight loss

Even if you do not lose weight, there is always a benefit: you get fit. Daily exercise keeps you in great condition and you will feel healthier.

4. You can keep it fun

The worst thing you can do is choose something you don’t like simply because you think it’ll bring fast results. It won’t. You’ll do it for a week or two then give up. Choose something that works for you and that you can stick with.

5. You aren’t gaining weight

As long as you exercise, you are not gaining weight, which is a result in itself.

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6. Variation is key

Don’t do the same exercises day in and day out. Your body will adapt to these exercises and will burn calories slower.

7. You can check in with experts

If you feel you really should be losing more weight than you are, check with an expert to see if they can help you. Maybe you have been doing the wrong exercises – an expert can help you find what’s right for you.

8. Even walking is beneficial

Walking is key with slow burners. A short walk a day makes you happy and keeps your digestive system working.

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9. Starting the day with a brief burst is a wonderful thing

Starting the day with a short energetic moment — climbing the stairs, that walk I just mentioned, or any other brief outing — is wonderful. It clears your mind, gets you going, and kickstarts your digestive system.

10. Taking a day off is a good thing

Training non-stop all day every day is not good for your health, and could even lead to breaking down muscles instead of growing them. It is also mentally unhealthy to never have a day off. Your brain will enter a “there is no end to this” mode and you will start resenting exercise. Overtraining is harmful for the mind as well as the body. Take some time to rest and recover.

11. There will be results in the end

I stuck to it, trained every day, and – despite not seeing results as quick as I hoped — found that one day my trousers kept sliding down. Then I found all my clothes were wider. Without even noticing, I had gone down several sizes. I stuck to it and eventually got results.

Patience, variation, finding the right exercises, and taking enough rest is what brings the best results for everyone. Remember: Exercising is about getting fit and healthy. As long as you achieve that, the rest will take care of itself.

Featured photo credit: Curtis Mac Newton via unsplash.com

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Dannii Cohen

PsyD in Psychology, professional counsellor, life coach and self-help expert

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Last Updated on March 2, 2021

Why You Should Keep a Fitness Journal to Jumpstart Weight Loss

Why You Should Keep a Fitness Journal to Jumpstart Weight Loss

As you get started on a fitness journey, you’ve probably looked up the importance of a good exercise regimen, a healthy diet, and a more active lifestyle. What you probably haven’t heard much about is the importance of keeping a fitness journal to keep yourself on track.

Here is how to get started with a fitness journal and the benefits it will bring.

How to Start a Fitness Journal

Starting a fitness journal is simple and easy. You either buy a pre-organized fitness motivation journal or a blank notebook if you are interested in designing your own layout.

As you get started with your fitness journal, try to include the following.

Fitness Goals

Before you even begin to track your workouts, it’s important to clarify what your fitness goals[1] are and the deadline you plan to reach them by. Your goals can include changes in your diet, your exercise routine, or your weight.

Workout Statistics

Each time you do a daily workout, write down the date, day of the week, start/end times, the exercises you completed, and the reps of each. This can be altered depending on your specific workout. For example, if you’re a runner, you can write down your average speed while running, your peak heart rate, and your total distance traveled.

Body Metrics

In order to track your progress, you’ll need to know specific body measurements. You can include your weight, BMI, length measurements, and calories consumed each day. Then, go back and measure these at least once a month to see how close you are to achieving your fitness goals.

Diet and Sleep Info

Your eating and sleeping habits are just as important as your workouts when it comes to fitness. As an added element in your fitness planner, you can keep track of what you eat, your water intake, how long you sleep, and your sleep quality. This can help you identify patterns that can help you work out more effectively.

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Benefits of Keeping a Fitness Journal

1. The Key to Celebration

“Progress equals happiness.” -Tony Robbins

One of the most encouraging acts you can do in your life is to track your progress. If you’ve set goals, it’s absolutely crucial for you to know if you’re moving any closer.

As Tony Robbins, a top-notch motivational speaker and author, said: Progress is happiness. It’s one thing to crave progress and another thing to start measuring it. That’s when the workout journal comes in handy.

When you’re able to see just how far you’ve come by looking back in your fitness journal, you’ll feel more motivated to keep moving forward.

2. Better Guidance

“If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable.” -Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Imagine if a coach could analyze your whole progress, your weaknesses, and your strengths in less than 5 minutes.

If you have paid to be coached by a professional in the fitness industry, why not make his/her life and your progress easier? If your trainer knows where you’ve been struggling, and where you’ve been excelling, s/he will know how to guide you toward better results.

3. Reduce Reliance on Willpower

The last thing we all want is to put more stress on our plates. Why should we consciously note down our progress and add an extra task?

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A workout book can actually lessen the willpower that we need to get to the gym. The fitness journal takes the decision weight off our shoulders that is needed to start the task.

When you plan your workouts in advance through your journal, your mind will already have the habit embedded in your routine.

You can also check out Lifehack’s Fast-Track Class: No More Procrastination. This can help you learn to stop procrastinating and get to the gym when it’s time.

4. Helps You Face the Truth

A fitness journal will help you analyze what you’ve really been doing to achieve your fitness goals.

Some people think they simply have “bad genetics,” yet when they look at what they’ve really been doing through the fitness journal, they may see that their eating and exercise habits haven’t gone in the right direction. This can help eliminate excuses and get you moving on a better path.

5. Creates Accountability

By looking at our past achievements, we can set the goal to achieve more. A fitness journal can foster our ambition by keeping us accountable for what we did yesterday and what we plan to do tomorrow.

6. Recognize Patterns

Have you ever wondered why you feel a lack of motivation one day and then feel like exercising for two hours on another? A fitness journal can help you see patterns in your behaviors. In the end, what gets measured gets managed.

7. Experience Joy of Task Completion

You know that feeling when you cross off something on your to-do list? It’s possible to replicate that same feeling after going to the gym with your fitness journal.

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If we write down the results of our training, we get a dopamine rush. It makes us feel that we’re in control of our destiny.

8. Prevent Excuses

If you’ve noticed that you haven’t made any progress recently, look at your fitness journal. It’s most likely not your genetics.

If we write our progress down, we can see what works and what doesn’t, which can help prevent excuses.

9. Minimize Injuries

Do you feel a sting after doing shoulder exercises? Make a note in your fitness journal.

Before starting the next workout, go through the old workout and act accordingly. Often, injuries accumulate after multiple workout sessions. We can minimize the occurrence of injuries by writing it down in our journal and noting what isn’t working for our bodies.

10. Look and Feel Like a Pro

If you have a fitness journal to track your progress, you’ll feel more dedicated to your workouts overall. Looking and acting like a professional becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

11. Determine the Value of Your Time

Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion. -Parkinson’s Law

Parkinson’s Law also applies to your fitness results. If you don’t give your workout a maximum duration, you may not end up using your workout time wisely.

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Pre-determine the sets, reps, and exercises that you want to do beforehand to make the most of your time.

12. Focus on You

While I’m a huge believer in motivation through a competitive spirit and external factors, in the end, this journey is about becoming a better you—a healthier, faster, stronger and better person altogether.

The fitness journal can help you keep your focus on where it should be—on you. In the end, all the notes that you take are focused on your progress and your decisions.

Final Thoughts

The reason most people don’t have a fitness journal is that they assume it’s not worth it. Nothing could be further from the truth.

There are plenty of reasons to follow a fitness journal. From creating motivation, to helping you stay on track, to being a facilitator for personal growth, having a fitness journal is an absolute necessity if you’re serious about reaching your fitness goals.

In the end, having a fitness journal for goal setting can really make all the difference for your physical and mental health.

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Featured photo credit: dylan nolte via unsplash.com

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