We were about a month into quarantine when my friend Michelle sent me a message that said “Need!” and included a link to a workout top. Not just any old tank, though…it said “What Am I Training For? Life, mother fu%#er.” I couldn’t have personally agreed more with the sentiment these days. So, naturally, I have to ask: What are YOU training for?
It might seem like a straightforward question for some, but my guess is that others haven’t considered it. Yet, it’s key to staying consistent, maintaining motivation, and actually enjoying exercise both short- and long-term. Knowing what you’re ultimately training for gives you a reason to get up early, squeeze in five more minutes, or even get started exercising in the first place.
If you aren’t sure how to answer this question for yourself – and you’re finding it difficult to stick with exercise or usually loathe every minute of it – here are some training goals to consider.
Training For Weight Loss or Maintenance
I’ve heard from so many that it’s been super tough to stick with healthier eating during this stressful quarantine period (not like it can’t be tough ALL THE TIME). If you’re in this category and have gained a bit of weight – or you want to maintain the weight you’re at – exercise is an important part of the equation. Training for weight loss or maintenance includes ensuring a certain intensity and length of time are reached as well as both cardiovascular and strength training are included.
Training for An Event
This is the reason I often stick to a training schedule…I’m training for an event. I like to run, so I sign up for races occasionally so that I’ll have a reason to log a certain number of miles. I also frequently sign up for these events with friends. I’m not a competitive person AT ALL, but there’s nothing fun about not being able to keep up with your running buddies during an event! There’s more than running events, too. Cycling, triathlon, walking, obstacle races – heck, you can even come up with your own event and complete it. The important part is that you decide what you’re training for, pick a date, and then stick to a schedule to get ready for it.
Training for A Good Cause
Many races or events go to benefit a good cause. This provides additional motivation to stick with it. However, there are also events that aren’t races but still raise funds for a cause. With our current situation, many of these larger events won’t be held in person but will instead be held virtually which means you can participate from anywhere. And – the more laps or greater distance you complete in many of these events – the more money you raise. You can even create your own fundraiser and use it to motivate you to exercise daily while raising money for a cause dear to your heart.
Training For Your Kids
I’ve heard from some moms and dads who train to be good role models for their kids. Our kiddos are watching our every move. If we eat healthily and exercise, chances are greater that our kids will, too. Also, some parents train alongside their kids for different sports or as a way to be active as a family. Another reason some people start to exercise is that they want to be able to keep up with their grandkids as they age.
Training for Camaraderie
In our busy lives, it can be hard to fit in both social time AND exercise. Plus, sometimes it can be difficult to meet people with shared interests. Fitness can break down both of these barriers by providing a reason to get together as well as a common interest that is shared by two people. I have a client who loves playing basketball with a group twice per week. It’s what keeps him consistent and also pushes him to stay fit even outside of the games (he doesn’t want to be sucking air on the sidelines). Group exercise classes provide this for others.
Training For Life
As I mentioned, I find myself in this category more and more these days. Exercise for me is more than just checking off my active minutes for the day. It helps me clear my mind, work on my mental endurance and toughness, and shows me that I CAN accomplish something within my own control each day. It’s also often time for ME – something I get less of now than before. Finally, it allows me to stay in shape so that I can say “yes” to any activity that might come up. Want to hike a 14er? Sure! Try SUP? Yep! Bike the wine country? Let’s go. I don’t want my fitness level to hold me back from enjoying all that life has to offer. What about you?
Set Yourself Up for Success
What you are training for – you’re “why” – determines the type, frequency, and duration of your exercise. Having some type of plan to help you be successful at your training goals is essential to sticking with it. Plus, having some type of accountability to maintain consistency is key.
If you have trouble exercising regularly, loathe every minute of your workout, or find that quarantine has thrown your exercise habits for a loop – I’m here to help. As a Healthy LIVING Coach, I’ve helped tons of clients find the right exercise routine for them…and stick with it!
Even if you’ve had a workout routine in the past, times have changed dramatically. It can be helpful to talk things out or consider new options for staying fit. I know my routine looks a lot different than it used to. The good news, though – I’ve been able to be MORE ACTIVE during this unprecedented time – and it’s only helped me to cope better!
I’d love to support you in developing the right exercise program, moving through any barriers, and finding ways to stick with it over the long-term. Reach out and let’s chat. It could be as simple as that to get on the right track!
I also have a free Inspirator Workout Windows Guide if you’d like to start training for life right now. Grab your copy!
Photo credit: Fellow Flowers