This article brings our four-part series of ‘Train Better, Train Smarter’ to a conclusion. The Grand Finale if you will. I had a thoroughly enjoyable few weeks discussing different areas of training. As a brief reminder or in case you missed out - we went mental early on by touching on the psychological side of reaching your goals. We know that having a reason or a ‘why’ behind our training is very helpful in giving us a focus or drive that can be so powerful. This was followed up by getting physical, where we challenged you to find out if you could complete basic bodyweight movements such as a pull up. Humbling indeed. No matter who you are, a strong foundation is a necessity. Without it, we are limiting our potential. Last week we got technical when we stressed the importance of efficient movement, and how making small tweaks can help you get the most from your efforts. The great thing about training is we will always have many areas that require work. This is most certainly a positive, otherwise things would get boring very quickly. Right, now that our recap is out of the way - it’s time to talk tactics! How can we make ‘fitness’, a part of your life?
Firstly, regardless of what Instagram or any other forum is telling you - perfection is unattainable. Nobody’s life runs completely smoothly and we can always improve. All too often, a ‘lack of motivation’ to train, is an excuse that is heard when working in and around a gym environment. It makes me shiver. Now, once again I stress, if you are happy out with your current routine and feeling good, keep on going. However, if you have been known to use such excuses, feel sluggish or find yourself complaining a little bit too much, lend me your ears. We can’t rely on motivation alone. It’s too temporary. We have all been lying in bed on a Sunday night with plans to change the world the following morning, yet when the alarm rings we decide to rain check. This is a mindset that can quickly become a habit. A habit to do nothing, which may result in a downward spiral. Remember, habits don’t die, they are overpowered.
Training can be made part of our daily routine. Something that just won’t be questioned, like having dinner, or taking a shower. This doesn’t mean an hour in the gym or a long run is required everyday. Training can mean anything that will help you improve in the slightest way, either mentally, physically or both. It could mean walking to or from work or perhaps doing 10 minutes of stretching while you watch Netflix. Another reminder, something is always better than nothing. In order to make training a mainstay in your life why not put a purpose on it. Get tactical. What does your life require of you right at this moment? Have your children that love kicking a ball around but you feel you don’t have the energy? Maybe you play 5-a-side once a week and struggle to keep up with the pace. Does your job require you to carry heavy objects or be on your feet a lot? Training regularly can assist you in doing what your job requires of you better! Your training can be made enjoyable knowing it’s going to serve you elsewhere. By making small additions to your daily routine you can get the most from the least. Marginal gains!
Although we are spoiled for choice nowadays with an abundance of gyms and classes of all sorts available to us wherever we look, training doesn’t mean you have to use them. Although they serve a great purpose, maybe you don’t like the gym. Blaring music, tight areas filled to the brim with enthusiasts making an array of strange sounds notifying us they are working harder than you, may not be the most welcoming! The gym isn’t a necessity every day, no way.
“Progress equals happiness”. A quote nicked from author and entrepreneur Tony Robbins. He stresses that you will become unhappy if you stop growing. If we are moving towards what we want to achieve, there is a sense of purpose present that is tough to rival. The feeling of overcoming a challenge no matter how big or small, keeps that fire burning in each one of us. That feeling will never get old. In terms of health and wellness, this could mean something as minute as taking the stairs when you can, or parking further from your destination. While setting up and overcoming small challenges can be applied to all areas of life, your training can be something that provides you with this feeling of progression more often than you realise. If not daily, definitely weekly! Examples include running farther or ‘feeling’ less stiff. Recognise this and it will change your life. Awareness is key!
Other options to provide a purpose for your training could include signing up for an event of some sort. With the summer looming, why not commit to something you can aim for? There are many styles of fun adventure races, 5KM runs, cycles and hikes happening all over the country that may light the fuse for you. Perhaps a group of friends will join you, not only making the process even more enjoyable but also you shall have someone to hold you accountable.
Remember, by doing what you can, with what you have, wherever you are, can help you become healthier and happier! Lets get moving!