We get it. There’s a certain cool self-sacrificing quality about indulging in your workout mentality and expressing your potential. There’s no sarcasm here either – it does feel good to weightlift and see your muscles pumped, finishing a long run does feel like an accomplishment, and putting aside your excuses and taking the time to “Just Do It” can feel very rewarding.
In other words, as JFK once said, we do these things not because they are easy, but because they are hard.
That said, that doesn’t mean working harder is superior to working smarter. Heading back to the gym three times in one day isn’t going to help anyone, especially because good rest is where you actually build muscle with the right stimulus, not because you tore yourself to pieces in the gym.
For this reason, learning to make fitness easier on yourself can be the wisest approach you take. It will also help your efforts become much more sustainable, enjoyable, and safe.
So, let’s consider how you can achieve that with ease:
Start Light, Progressively Load
If you start light and progressively load your fitness routine, you don’t have to begin feeling more worn out than you should. It’s okay if your first few weeks of exercising are super light, perhaps even comprised of walking and stretching.
Programs like Couch 2 5K can help you run up to 5 kilometres in twelve weeks, but you can repeat days, walk and run in increments to build up your conditioning, and only progress when you feel comfortable. A session isn’t “wasted” because you’re not breaking your previous records. Simply easing into the practice working out is more than enough.
You’re Allowed To Enjoy Yourself
It might sound like fitness is some grim duty you have to begrudgingly accept, but that’s not true at all. You can enjoy what you feel is interesting or worthwhile. That might involve running, but it may also involve attending swimming classes.
Perhaps you just like photography, so heading out on hikes to take pictures of landscapes is a good way to get your exercise in. Maybe you have a metal detector and walk along the beach trying to find lost treasure. Whatever get you out and active can be nothing if not rewarding.
Rest Is An Essential Part Of Fitness
It’s important to remember that resting is an important part of fitness. In fact, many athletes will joke that most of their performance comes in the kitchen. Working hard on a certain discipline will make a huge difference to your overall conditioning and strength of course, but all you’re doing is breaking yourself down if you don’t replenish and rest.
That’s how muscles build – you tear the fibres by working them out and lifting heavy objects, then the protein and amino acids you buy from AthleticStore will build them stronger, bigger, and more capable. As such, nothing happens without that second step of good rest and good nutrition. Could you start the healthy habit-building there perhaps? After all, you can’t go for a good run if you’re too hungover or haven’t had enough sleep.
Technology & Apps Do The Thinking For You
It’s important to accept that sometimes, technology and apps can and will do the thinking for you. Does that make your fitness journey less “real?” Absolutely not.
Depending on what fitness regimen you’re on, you may decide on a few different potential disciplines. For example, using MyFitnessPal or Lose It can help you track caloric intake, intermittent fasting, exercise and workouts. Apple Health and associated smart watches can be very insightful, and help you learn about the kind of health efforts you’re making.
Over time, having all of this aggregated information will help you make better decisions. Perhaps you’ll start branching out into other disciplines that have gone unattended to, like learning how to stretch instead of just running. When technology helps you track everything, you don’t have to waste time laboring over a notebook.
Separate Your Workouts Into Different Days
It’s fine to separate your workouts into different days. Even professional bodybuilders will work chest on one day, legs on another, and abs at the weekend.
Sure, you might not be at that level (nor want to be), but you can certainly benefit from mixing up your sessions to make them more pliable. Some days, you might run. Others, you might just stretch or do pilates at home. In the long run, making a customizable workout plan with what feels right, what your goals are, and how much time you have will come as second nature.
With this advice, you’re sure to make fitness easier for yourself, in the best and most sustainable way.