January is always a very special month for me because it is when I celebrate another year with fitness being a pillar in my lifestyle, which it wasn't always, & so I celebrate it like any other milestone, birthday & anniversary - with acknowledgement, respect & pride! January 2024 marks 8 years since I had my "Day 1" & never looked back. It started with a decision. A decision that it wouldn't be like all the other "starts" in my past. It was a decision that I was never going to give up. The circumstances weren't perfect, I didn't start "Jan 1" infact I can't even recall the day, but sometime mid month. So I started imperfectly. I was 4.5 months postpartum, at home with 30 minutes workouts. And here I am today, still sweating from home, 5 days a week, with 30 min workouts and a whole COMMUNITY of hundreds of women in Namastay Sweaty Club who I'm helping fall in love with fitness, just like I did.
The overwhelming amount of evidence supporting regular & consistent exercise for overall health, as well as the continued research surfacing to support it's effectiveness for improving mental health, is undeniable. Strength training particularly rises to the top as one of the most effective for boosting energy, confidence, improving depression & anxiety as well as increasing longevity & survivability.
You know exercise is good for you but you have started & stopped so many times you've lost count. Or maybe movement/fitness hasn't ever been a part of your lifestyle but you're ready to change that. Maybe you're ready to level up your fitness & commit to a structured program 5 days a week! Let 2024 be the year that you CLAIM consistent fitness as a part of your lifestyle.
Here are my TOP 10 TIPS to help you start and stick with a consistent fitness routine:
Set expectation: When you make a decision to incorporate fitness into your life - consider it's for the rest of your life, not just in the moments you feel motivated. Expect hard days, unmotivated & uninspired days & determine how you will show up, what tools/strategies will you lean on.
Out with the old, in with the new: When we decide on a lifestyle change, it requires us to make space for the "new" which ultimately leads to what we will be replacing. So - what are you willing to give up in order to integrate this new habit? Sleep ins? Netflix? Consider what isn't serving you & let it go.
Choose a program & stick with it: Eliminate the guess work & choose a well balanced, structured workout program that focuses on optimizing body composition - which has shown to be best for metabolic health & ensure it is sustainable to prevent over-exercise & burnout. Namastay Sweaty Club is a structured weekly fitness program that offers live workouts from home (hello conveinence!) with minimal equipment - oh & all the classes are 30 mins which is perfect to fit into your busy lifestyle! Avoid the temptation to change up your program frequently, switching to different workouts to "see if you'll see faster results". Pick one & focus on it.
Never skip more than 3 days in a row: Action creates motivation & repitition creates habit. Rest days are important, yes, but so is staying routined in your new fitness journey. Generally speaking, I like a gentle ritual of never skipping more than 3 days (of course illness, injury or possible vacation doesn't apply here).
Fall in love with the process, not just the progress: Learning to fall in love with the daily process of your new journey will serve you far better than the mindset of "I'm doing X to achieve Y". Progress will come & it's a nice byproduct of having fitness in your life but if it becomes your sole "why" it will never be sustainable. Develop a hunger for the process & constant improvement - because trust, even 8 years later I still have so many strength goals to look forwared to!
Prioritize a Time: You'll never have time, you have to make time. I heard on a podcast recently that the main reason women give up on their fitness routine is because life gets busy (when isn't life busy?) Treat your workouts like appointments for yourself in your daily routine, a non-negotiable like brushing your teeth. I find choosing a general time of day that works well consistently for you is ideal because it eliminates you negotiating with yourself on where you'll fit it into your day.
Find a Workout Buddy or Community: Having a workout partner &/or online fitness community can provide motivation, accountability, and make exercising more enjoyable. Namastay Sweaty Club has an empowering community!
All or Something: Replace a perfection mindset with a consistent mindset. You will not have 100% to give to every single workout - I guarantee you - you're not a robot, you are a human & so many variables affect your body & energy levels daily like how you have slept, nourished, hydrated, time of the month, etc. If you have 50% - give 50%, & know you gave 100% of what you had that day.
Honour Your Body: Meet your body where it's at every day. Be completely honest with yourself to prevent falling into excuses & decide - does your body need a rest day or does it need ot be pushed today? Respect your body's limits to avoid injuries & burnout.
Prioritize Recovery: Recovery is as important as exercise. Get enough sleep, hydrate well (with minerals), and consider incorporating rest days or active recovery (e.g., gentle yoga, walking) into your routine to allow your body to recover and adapt.
Remember, the key to a consistent fitness journey is finding what works best for you and adapting your routine to fit your lifestyle. It's about creating habits that promote long-term health and well-being.
Although tempting, it's important to caution you to avoid the traps - quickfixes, crash diets, fit teas, overexercising/programs promising results in x amount of weeks. I get it, when you decide to commit, you want to see change. AND YOU WILL. But you also want the changes to be forever, not for a vacation.
Namastay Sweaty Club is hosting ACTIVATE our first Sweat Challenge of 2024 starting January 8-28th. It is the perfect time to jump into a 3 week structured program to develop your consistency & routine. Join us for 3 weeks - with 5-30 min workouts per week, all fom home, minimal equipment & a chance to win 3 amazing prizes!
Focus more on the direct benefits you get after each workout like the happy endorphin boost, elevated energy, improved strength & mental health. Trust the process, this journey is full of so many gifts & so much wisdom - the longer you're on it.