Darren Ho is one of our guest contributors for our sports series, FUEL. He is a triathlete who experienced a transformational weight loss from a peak of 150kg. Since then, he has participated in various triathlons – including the renowned Ironman. Darren has also shared about his experience with ADHD and autism in hopes of ending the stigma attached to mental illness.
Consistency is one of the most valued traits in our history and has long been associated with triumph, success and the ability to overcome the toughest of tasks.
The problem associated with consistency is actually training ourselves to possess the trait because contrary to popular belief – it is not something we are inherently born with.
In the realm of fitness and healthy living, consistency is even more important because it shows in our physical appearances and for the more serious athletes, in our performance.
Here are some tips on how to form consistent habits when it comes to fitness :
1. Start Slow And Maintain Manageable
Remember that you want to start a regime that you can continue daily or on a regular basis. For runners, this would mean going at a pace that you can continue tomorrow without dreading the workout.
Go too fast and you’ll burn out over the weeks that ensue. The same can be said for most other sports, start slow and find that rhythm that suits your lifestyle.
2. No Pressure
While it may seem daunting that you are embarking on a new journey, pressure is the last thing you need to feel. You will see tons of posts about fit people doing crazy workouts and feel inclined to measure up to them.
Do things at your own pace and be patient. Fitness is a marathon, not a sprint.
3. Throw In Tough Ones Once A Week To Break The Monotony
I do this sometimes just to change things up.
It does not need to be a muscle and tendon breaking exercise but something that is slightly harder than your usual workout.
It mixes things up and keeps things fresh.
4. Time Off Is A Good Thing
Yes, we all want to run every day or lift every day or do something every day to stay fit and healthy. But we also forget that being human means that there will be days where workouts will be missed.
Taking one or two days off a regime will keep you fresh and ready to go while dragging your feet will eventually affect your will to keep going.
5. Rest Is Necessary
In addition to the above, rest is something that a lot of people miss out on.
Our bodies are amazing machines and we will be surprised at how far we can stretch ourselves. But even the most well-oiled machines need rest (the professional athletes have off seasons!).
If you are feeling fatigued and starting to dread the workouts, its time to rest! Take a day off and do anything but workout.
Catch up on some sleep, read a book, do anything else but workout. Your body will thank you for it.
6. Plan Multi-year Goals
Get a notebook and write down what you wish to achieve for the next year, 3 years, 5, 10 and so on.
Trust me, if you want to be running every day for the next 20 years, your training methods right now will be very different than if you were just preparing for that one marathon next year. Try it out!
So many people I work with simply do not consume enough calories to maintain a consistent workout habit with the number one complaint being always hungry and having this lack of energy.
I’ll be talking about this in another article but in a nutshell – if you are burning more calories than before, then these calories need to be replenished.
Even for weight loss, the optimal deficit of calories is no more than 10-15% of your daily requirement. Anything more than that will result in fatigue and a mind fog that will impact your ability to workout.
In my experience over the years fighting the battle of obesity, training for my triathlons and playing competitive tennis all over again, I found that consistency was the hardest bit of any training plan because it requires numerous changes to take place in our lifestyles and importantly, in our mind set.
Hopefully these tips will allow you to make some basic changes and move towards a healthier and fitter lifestyle and to stay consistent!
Till the next time.