Ten Ways to Develop Sustainable Fitness

How do we develop sustainable fitness? Last week I wrote about what sustainable fitness is. Basically, it’s doing things that you can continue to do long term. It’s focusing on ways to continue to be fit once a short term goal is met.

Sustainable fitness is figuring out how to be able to continue to move through our daily lives and be able to accomplish what we want to accomplish.

Chris and I have talked about wanting to be able to lift our own suitcases. That’s what sustainable fitness does for us.

So here are ten ways to develop sustainable fitness.

  1. Accept that there will be ups and downs in your journey. We will deal with illness, either our own or someone in the family. We may experience injuries. The point is that we have to be willing to deal with those bumps in the road and not let them deter us.
  2. Be consistent. It’s hard on us to work out hard and then quit for a while and then come back to it. It’s better to focus on consistency. Do something every day even if that something is the decision to take a rest day. If you know you work out in some form six days a week, then it’s fine to rest for a day. Just be consistent with what you do.
  3. Find things you enjoy. If you love playing pickle ball, then play pickle ball. If you hate going to the gym, then don’t go to the gym. It’s a lot easier to work on things when you enjoy what you’re doing.
  4. Accept that you’re not going to love every moment. The flip side of finding things you enjoy is that sometimes we know we need to do something even when it’s not our favorite thing. So if you are committed to doing some form of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), and you don’t really love it, you are still doing to figure out a way to do it.
  5. Remember that you’re in this for the duration. You’re not just trying to accomplish a goal by next month and then be done. You’re going to continue on your fitness journey, even after those short term goals are met.
  6. Find things to celebrate. You can now deadlift a higher weight? Celebrate! You ran a longer distance? Be proud of yourself! It’s not just the big things that we should celebrate. It’s all of the progress we make over time. Be thankful that you can do what you do.
  7. Be realistic. If you haven’t been to the gym in a year, don’t expect yourself to be doing what you did then. When I returned to bootcamp recently, I realized that I was really deficient in some of the cardio exercises we were doing. I can’t expect myself to do what I was doing two years ago without giving myself time to improve.
  8. Look for ways to train every day. You don’t have to go to the gym every day but you do have to live your life every day. So maybe that’s carrying in your groceries or carrying laundry. It could be walking up the stairs instead of taking the elevator.
  9. Enjoy being able to do things. If you’re carrying your groceries, be proud that you can do that. If you suddenly can run up a hill, enjoy doing it. Look for the ways that working on your fitness allows you to improve your living. Maybe it’s being able to get on the floor to play with a grandchild. Just relish your mobility.
  10. Find support. If you’re going to the gym, seek out others to discuss your progress. Find friends who share your fitness enthusiasm. You can get support from online communities, like the Becoming Elli Facebook group. Just surround yourself with people who will cheer for you on your way to develop sustainable fitness.


Share your ideas on how we can focus on the long term and enjoy doing it.

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