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Fighting off the February fitness frustrations

It’s been eight weeks since we vowed to be healthier in the New Year, and we wonder

whether it’s all worth it… hang in there. Our fitness guru, Alex, will show you how!

Photographs: Unsplash

Text: Alexandra Beck

February is a universal test! Even the most avid winter lovers, who enjoy bundling up in layers, grow weary of the grey days towards month’s end, and it’s absolutely normal to struggle to remain committed to fitness, improved eating habits, and other health-related goals.

Expecting too much, too soon?

After several weeks of hitting the weights section in the gym, running more than we ever thought we could and eating according to plan, we expect to be rewarded. So, where is that athlete’s body we’ve been sculpting? And where is that extra energy we were promised when munching on all those greens?

Here’s the thing. We may not be shredding weight and dropping jeans sizes, but other improvements are happening. For example, imagine how sluggish we would feel if we were not exercising and eating well…

We would also not be creating healthier habits that will benefit us all year long (and way into the future), even after our goals are reached. Instead, we are founding, or improving, a healthy lifestyle—not one single goal to be checked off a list. Try to experience the journey – your evolving and improving lifestyle as you travel towards your desired results.

“The man who loves to walk will walk further than the man who loves the destination.” Let us commit to the long term.

Let’s shift the focus from the one-month resolution to a lifelong plan: nourish a healthier, happier life with a stronger body and mind in which you can comfortably live to old age.

Here are a few tips to help you remain consistent:

1. Skipping workouts and binging on Ben & Jerry’s?

It happens. T’is the admitted dreary season, after all.

So re-visit your initial new-year’s motivation. Re-evaluate your routine. Are your workouts too hard or too easy? Are you on the treadmill when you really feel like dancing? There is so much variety out there, so find the activities that threaten the remote. Check out your fitness centre’s offerings and explore all the available classes. Research fitness communities like running and cycling clubs, outdoor group workouts or other sporting clubs.

2. Achy, tired body?

Your workout routine may require a little quality vs quantity tweaking. Being fit doesn’t require extensive daily exercise. However, doing so wears on muscles and joints and may slow progress and create more frustration. Injuries are also more likely to occur when fatigue takes over. So speak with a personal trainer to determine if your workout is effective and suited to your goals. With this, you will learn where your workouts can improve, ensuring a quality session every time.

3. Constantly talking yourself down?

Negative self-talk wrecks efforts in all aspects of life. Health goals included.

Choosing and adopting a healthier lifestyle can feel overwhelming. It’s a lot of change. And we can only handle so much of it at a time. You are doing GREAT. So instead of beating yourself up for missing that one workout and drinking that one extra glass of wine, pat yourself on the shoulder and praise yourself for wanting to make the change.

Results take time, and a skipped workout or a three-course dinner is not a setback. They, too, can be part of a healthy lifestyle. We all need to find—and manage—our own balance.

Setting realistic expectations will be vital in avoiding disappointment and frustration. So instead of suddenly waking up a rock star, expect to gradually become the person you intend to be, putting in the hard work and letting yourself make mistakes that enable you to learn and become stronger. With that new attitude, I promise that goals will be reached at the pace they are supposed to.

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