There’s nothing quite like that feeling of conquering a hardcore fitness challenge, particularly the Fit, Lean and Strong 6-week challenge that we just smashed out together.
Let’s be honest: it was intense!
While it’s absolutely OK to take a deep breath and chill out on the lounge for a day or two (or maybe that’s just me?), it’s really important to have a plan moving forward so that the hard work you did was worthwhile.
Right now, after finishing the challenge, your body is accustomed to performing efficiently. Your heart rate is probably lower, your muscles are stronger, and you are likely to have lost some body fat. Now is the time to establish a fitness lifestyle that is manageable for you, but keeps bringing you the rewards.
The most important thing to remember is that you have the capacity to keep the momentum going. Here are some tips on how you can do it:
1. Schedule Your Workouts in Advance
Decide what days suit you, what times, and make them a priority. Make sure you’re doing workouts you enjoy, because it’s not fun to feel at war with our bodies rather than appreciative of them. Sign up for my monthly workout calendar if you want to take the hassle out of choosing!
I always include 5 workouts a week in the calendar, but feel free to adjust it depending on your fitness level. You might decide, for examples, that Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays work best for you, and that’s completely fine. The schedule is there to help and there are no rules!
Just try to make sure you’re pushing yourself a little beyond your current fitness level. That is to say, make it manageable but not too comfortable!
2. Pay Attention to How You Feel
I’ve mentioned this before but it’s worth mentioning this again! Whenever you finish a workout, take a minute or two to really pay attention to how you feel within your body.
All those endorphins have just been released: your blood is pumping, your stress-levels have plummeted, your feeling of accomplishment and self-worth have risen because you did the thing you said you’d do.
Milk that feeling! It makes working out so much easier because your brain starts to associate exercise with feeling great.
3. Don’t Fall Into the All-or-Nothing Mentality
If you take a couple of days off before getting back into exercise, or for some reason you miss a workout session that you had planned to do, don’t abandon the program altogether.
You’re aiming for consistency, not perfection, so get back to it as soon as you can and ditch the guilt. It really is a choice!
4. Surround Yourself with People Who Support You
It’s harder to stick to fitness goals when the people around you aren’t interested in health and fitness. One of the best things about fitness challenges is that you have other people doing them with you, and you feel like you’re a part of a community!
Now that the challenge is over, I encourage you to be part of a community or group that is totally into fitness. It doesn’t have to be a face-to-face group (it can be difficult during these times, depending on where you live), it can be a virtual one.
My new YouTube Garage Fitness Girl Squad is one option. Membership includes a private member’s only Facebook group run by me (and it’s only $2.99 AUD a month), but I’ll leave it up to you!
5. Avoid Dieting and Establish a Healthy Lifestyle
One thing that can sabotage your fitness goals is constant dieting, which makes you feel so stressed, deprived, and so hungry that you end up overeating. This, of course, leads you to having zero energy to exercise! It’s such a downward spiral.
Be kind to yourself and aim to eat in a way that nurtures your body. If you eat more junk food than you’d like, don’t beat yourself up about it. Notice how you feel, decide how you’d prefer to feel, and eat in a way that supports you.
Sometimes, nurturing yourself will include eating something that is supposedly “naughty”. It’s called being a normal human! Ditch the guilt, enjoy what you’re eating, and move on. I’m personally a fan of the 80/20 rule because if I’m eating healthy most of the time, then I’ve got nothing to feel lousy about.
The Bottom Line
Maintaining momentum and continuing to get results after a fitness challenge can be easy, if you allow it to be.
Don’t aim for perfection, aim for consistency, and love yourself through your mistakes or misses.
Your body is primed and functioning better than ever. Now is the best time to incorporate this positive change into a way of life that works for you!
Let’s keep smashing those goals together!