The journey to losing weight takes a lot of willpower, and there are numerous bumps in the road that can derail you from your fitness goals. However, there are a few tricks you can employ that can make sticking to your goal a lot easier:
Join a Pack
Almost everyone craves for social interactions. It’s a good idea to join a group to make your exercise sessions a little more interesting. It can motivate you enough to go when you’re feeling off or down — because you feel a little bit of obligation to participate. Play competitive team sports like basketball, football or volleyball. The camaraderie can drive you into performing better and sticking to your regimen. Not into large groups? Pair up with a partner for tennis or badminton. Not competitive? Join a running or cycling group or grunt it out in a CrossFit box.
Apart from the dopamine you get from exercise, you’ll also get a blast of oxytocin for being part of a group. Oxytocin balances your mood, promoting feelings of acceptance, belonging and security. Of course, you’ll need to find the right group because toxic groups will have the reverse effect. Fortunately, most people in the fitness world are generally welcoming and friendly.
It’s OK to Cheat Once in a While
Diet plans, especially pre-packed meals, can be a bit dull and repetitive. Cheating once in a while shouldn’t set you back a lot, as long as you keep it down to once or twice a week. But avoid binge-eating and try to relish the flavour and texture of your food cheats. Try to stick to your diet during regular days and withhold your cheating to one day of the week. Dining out with friends can be problematic, so try to opt for a Singaporean or Chinese restaurant. Asian restaurants, even premium Korean fast-casual restaurants, are usually a lot healthier and vegetables are always available. Just cut your carbs and fill your plate with meat (or fish) and veggies. However, reserve sugars for cheat days — these include doughnuts and other pastries.
Take Your Rest Days in the Pool
Sometimes, fatigue or injury can force you to miss a workout session. A day or two should be fine, but more than that can cause a slump that can make you lose interest or discourage you from going through with your routine. Rest days are fine, even more so if you spend them in a swimming pool.
Swimming is a low-impact activity, and a twisted ankle or a sprained knee shouldn’t prevent you from swimming. You don’t even need to actually swim. Just immerse your body in the water and let the cool temperature do its magic. Workouts usually elevate your body temperature, burning calories in the process. Immersion in water does something similar; as your temperature drops, your body automatically adjusts to bring it back up by burning stored fats. One-hour dip in the pool burns as many calories as an hour of light walking. You may not be exercising as much, but you’ll still be burning calories.
Find ways to stick to your fitness regimen, even if it means breaking it once in a while. A little bend is better than a complete break — just make sure those bends are few and far between.