Preparing for your Spring-Summer fitness goals
Posted on 11 Mar, 2022
Running cool down image.

How to start preparing for your spring fitness routine

Spring is a time when people start thinking about their summer body and what they’d like to achieve. However, many people leave planning and starting this till too late to be successful. It’s important to start to prepare as early as possible to give you the best chance of success. There are a few key steps that we think are important in planning your spring fitness routine. Where are you at?

Before starting your fitness routine – Baseline!

Well, you don’t need to wait for anything to start, but one of the first things to do is to take a baseline. This will help you know where you’re at. You need to know what is possible and what you are capable of. Once you have this information, it will be easier to plan for success.

A good baseline will help to guide your goals, but be careful, because picking the wrong measurement may lead to disappointment. Of course, we would always suggest that for composition goals, the DEXA is the best measurement there is. It’s detailed, consistent and absolutely reliable on ensuring that you are measuring the right things, and this will allow you to set your goals accordingly. Additionally you’ll be able to see what changes are making the most impact. If controlling your eating is going to feature (and there should be some eating control to most regimes), then a Resting Metabolic Rate Test can also help to accurately set your calories.

Formulate some goals

Once we’ve baselined, next we need to formulate some goals that are realistic and achievable. Remember, even when on a good fitness journey, it might take twice as long as you expect. One thing that’s really important when doing this though is not to set yourself up for so big a challenge at the start that you’re unlikely to achieve it. This is where the next part comes in.

Plan your daily actions of what you need to do to achieve your goals

So now you have the baseline and you have your goal. You’ll need to break it into achievable daily actions. Consider these three questions: 1) What time of day are you most likely to be successful in doing what you need? 2) What are some things that don’t take too much time and can be done on autopilot as you go about your day? 3) What is doable even if life has been a little crazy lately?

These daily actions will form habits, and it’s our habits that will achieve our goals for us. The habits will directly link to the goals. If your goal is to lose 5kg of fat in 3 months, but your daily habit is to eat only 100 calories under your maintenance, then your goal and your habit are out of line, as that deficit will not achieve the goal. However, if your goal is to lose 15kg in 3 months, and you work out (correctly) that this would require a daily caloric deficit of 1166kcal, then your goal and habit is in line, but your habit is completely unsustainable. The likelihood of you achieving your daily habit is very small, and would be counter productive if you tried, as this is too deep a deficit for most people to safely achieve.

Plan for slip-ups and breaks

It’s also important to consider how any social and other plans can affect your fitness routine. You need to plan around these accordingly so that there aren’t any major breaks in the routine: breaking momentum which could result in lack of motivation or support. Don’t forget about the slip ups either! They’re going happen (we all slip-up from time to time) but don’t let them become an excuse not to keep pushing forward with your goal – use them as an opportunity for learning and getting back on track sooner rather than later. Don’t let the slip-up of one meal turn into a slip-up for 1 day without reason, and this is where the planning comes in. Take occasional check-ins along the way to measure progress and ensure that things are staying on track – but be careful because checking in too frequently can cause fluctuations which might make you lose motivation or enthusiasm for the process altogether. Lastly, try not to underestimate the importance of scheduling in days or events which you can let go. We all need a social life, and don’t want to feel like we are counting and measuring every day.

Remember to take occasional check-ins and keep a daily log of adherence

It’s important to take regular check ins, but be careful not to measure too often as it may cause you to lose motivation. Daily weighing in or similar is usually counterproductive. check in monthly at most, and more likely every 6 weeks or so. The best form of daily tracking and logging is simply to mark down whether you kept to your habits for that day. Seeing the number of days on which you kept all your daily practices gives you a pretty good picture of your room for improvement also. This allows you to forget other measurement for the day-to-day, and trust the process.

What to do if you’re losing motivation?

You’ve set a goal for yourself and you’re doing your best to stick to it, but now you’re feeling like you’re losing motivation. Don’t worry! We all go through this. This is where the importance of a solid plan comes in. The daily actions and habits discussed above are what will get you through when motivation fails. (Yes, I said *when* motivation fails – because inevitably it always does). The trick here is to create a plan that’s sustainable, but not perfect. When you feel like quitting, just return to your daily actions, your habits and your plan, and trust the process.

Conclusion

If you’ve started to think about a spring/summer fitness journey, you need to be taking action today! Take a few minutes today to think about what you want to achieve this year and how you want to feel come summertime—whether it’s more energy, less stress, or just feeling more in shape.

Now it’s time to get started! Of course come and get tested with DEXA or our other tests, to get your baselines. But start small, and rely on the plan and the daily habits to get you through. For example, if more activity is the daily target, start by adding another 10 minutes to walking time, or another 2000 steps each day this week. Build up from there.

 

If you’d like to talk to us about how to structure your goals and habits, by all means please get in touch on the form below.

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