For fitness to “work,” most people think you need a big challenge. While big results require change, the secret is finding ways to make your new habits easier to achieve. Because it’s not the level of challenge that desires your success; it’s your ability to be consistent.
So, if you’re looking to build a lasting habit, start by finding the easiest way to start doing something better for your health. Most people begin with big goals that require complication, time, or learning endless skills. While it can be exciting and motivating, it’s also a plan for failure.
Because, eventually, the motivation fades. That’s because motivation tends to follow your actions, which is why it’s easier to sustain motivation after you start a new workout or diet.
Your goal? Find the easy button for your next challenge. No matter what fitness or nutrition goal you want to achieve, here are a few ways to make it easier than ever to get started, gain momentum and motivation, and unleash your potential.
HIIT Your Goals
If you could only do one type of training, your best bet is likely high-intensity interval training (HIIT). While these workouts have a reputation for being extreme, it’s not about pushing your body to the point where you feel sick. Instead, it’s about increasing your intensity that is difficult for you to maintain, incorporating short rests, pushing hard again, and then calling it a day.
HIIT is a go-to fitness solution because it’s time friendly (you can do some workouts in as little as 10 to 20 minutes), and research shows it can help you do everything from lose fat and build muscle to improve your cardiovascular and metabolic health, and even boost mental health.
The problem? Many HIIT workouts can feel either too intimidating or require too much equipment.
If you want all your HIIT problems solved with just one piece of equipment, the Max Trainer 16 from Bowflex might be your best bet. It’s an extremely effective way to enjoy high-intensity cardio training without the typical dangers of sprinting. The Max Trainer 16 was designed to provide all the intensity of the hardest workouts with lower impact. And with 20 different intensity levels, it caters to anyone at any point in their fitness journey.
Best of all, it’s loaded with FitOn-approved video content for endless HIIT workouts that make it both fun and easier to complete your workouts quickly – and see amazing results in a fraction of the time.
Most people know that meditation is good for them. But, if you’ve ever tried to meditate, it’s easy to feel bad about it. Too many thoughts run through your mind, you can’t focus, and you’re still pissed off at your boss for the email she sent at 8 pm last night.
The best way to meditate is by purposely not trying to do anything but sit with your thoughts.
When you wake up in the morning, set a timer for 5 minutes instead of scrolling social media and just sit with your thoughts.
Don’t try to be perfect. Just try not to control anything and observe what’s on your mind, whether it’s your to-do list, the fact that you need to get out of bed, or thinking about what you’ll eat for breakfast. It might not seem like you’re accomplishing much, but the ability to simply sit with your thoughts and no other distractions is the first step to becoming good at meditation.
Ready to take the next? Check out the many different guided meditations on FitOn.
Eat Healthily (Finally)
There’s a reason that some surveys suggest adults can try more than 50 diets in their lifetime. Healthy eating can be very hard with so much delicious food seemingly everywhere.
If you want to leave the diet merry-go-round, your best bet is to make it a bet. According to a study in the Annals of Internal Medicine, the fear of losing money is one of the most effective ways to help create new behavior.
It might seem crazy, but betting that you can create a simple habit – like drinking a glass of water before every meal – can be the first domino that leads to other healthy behaviors. And, even if you’re just drinking more water, the results can be significant. In fact, one study found that people who drank a glass of water before meals lost nearly 50 percent more weight than people who didn’t have any water.
Ready to wager on yourself? A review in The American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that bets as low as $5 per week can do the trick. You just need to make sure you have a friend to hold you accountable. Tell one of your besties about the bet, have them check in on you at the end of each day, and if you don’t stick to your goal, it’s time to pay up.
Soon, you’ll be saving money, drinking water, and building a foundational habit that will lead to other healthy eating behaviors.
Get Your Steps In
As long as you’re placing $5 bets on yourself, you might as well also make a 5-minute investment in your health. While it’s not touted as much as the latest fitness boot camp, yoga, or barre, walking is one of the best things you can do for your health.
Research shows that people who walk more have a lower likelihood of premature death. Specifically, men and women who walked at least 7,000 steps per day were about 50 percent less likely to have died prematurely than those who took fewer than 7,000 steps.
If that seems like too many steps, simply start with 5-minute walks every few hours. If you took a 5-minute walk every other hour of the day (when awake), you’d average about 30 to 40 minutes of walking per day. That’s enough to hit 7,000 steps, and, according to a study in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, it could help you burn an extra 660 calories per week. Just start with 5 minutes, and do it repeatedly.
Like every habit on the list, the goal isn’t to achieve success immediately. It’s to remove the hurdles that make your health goals hard, consistently put in the work, and then watch your health transform like never before.