Finding the motivation to work out and eat healthy is hard for some. How do you follow a fitness routine when you’re busy? Likewise, how do you keep a strict diet when your stressed self wants to binge eat from time to time?
Despite these, fitness guru and vlogger Joanna Soh has a few tips to keep you motivated to stay fit. She’s a full-time YouTube personality who posts workout and healthy lifestyle videos. “Fitness is not expensive and should not be complicated. It’s something that people can do anywhere and at any time,” she says.
We sat down with her to find out how she sticks to her fitness routine and maybe apply her advice to our own.
#1 Work out only when you can
Don’t stress over working out daily and feel bad about missing a day. Fix your schedule and see where you can squeeze in your workout sesh.
“Most people think I work out every day but that is not true at all. I only work out four to five times a week because it suits my schedule. If I can, I’d try to work out first thing in the morning because I like to get it done, feel energetic, and start my day. If I don’t have time, then I’d try to fit it in the evening.”
#2 Don’t push yourself
When you push yourself to do advanced exercises right away, you’ll tire yourself out immediately and even lose motivation. Joanna ensures that her videos will cater to both beginners and advanced people.
“The beginner playlist is [for those] who don’t really work out much and want to get on it. If you’re someone who’s been following my videos for quite some time, you can view the advanced and intermediate options. I would also explain it, I believe in explaining what you’re doing and understanding why you’re doing it.”
#3 Find an effective trainer
A good fitness trainer can always help keep you on your feet. As a certified personal trainer, Joanna coaches her viewers during each workout routine.
“It’s not just a workout video, it’s me coaching you while you’re working out. It’s like I’m training you virtually—I will do your workout with you, train you, and remind you to keep your form correctly. I’m not just showing you the videos but I’m motivating you and doing it with you.”
#4 Total body workout is key
Joanna reminds that you shouldn’t focus on one body part when working out. You won’t get the best results that way.
“Workouts should always focus on total body workout. Whether you want to lose weight or tone up, it’s always about working the major muscles and the entire body. You cannot lose fat by just focusing on just your upper or lower body, you have to focus on all body parts.”
#5 Indulge freely but moderately
It’s already a given to eat healthy food, but that doesn’t mean you should restrict yourself from indulging sometimes. Joanna doesn’t believe in keeping a strict diet, and just wants people to enjoy their food above all else.
“I eat a wide variety of food and I believe in moderation and balance. Most of the time, I would like to eat healthy and also allow myself to indulge once in a while. As long as I aim to eat healthy, it doesn’t mean I have to feel guilty about enjoying food. [Also,] be selective of what you like and when you indulge, just enjoy it. It’s all about enjoying life as well. When you indulge, you have to really enjoy it and not feel bad about it.”
#6 The stress-eating problem
You also put your efforts to waste if you continue stress-eating. Joanna has easy solutions to stop yourself from doing it.
“When we eat out of stress, it’s all related to emotional eating. You’re just stressed and [eat impulsively.] We think that food will solve the problem but it won’t. It’s just a temporary fix. So whenever you catch yourself doing it, just stop for a moment, pause, and breathe deeply. Just three conscious deep breaths will really help. Then ask yourself, ‘Will you regret this later on and beat yourself about it?’ If you know that you will, then stop doing it. Go have long walks or do something that’s not food-related. It’s not about training your body but training your mind as well.”
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Thank you so much for coming! 😘😘 All of you did AMAZING and I hope you had fun. 😁 How many of you followed the workout live on Facebook? 🙋 I'll share it on YouTube soon. Should I conduct live workouts more regularly? Let me know! 😊 . p/s For those of you who might be wondering, Chinese New Year is in 2 weeks, hence the entire decoration looks so red. 😂 . . #jsohactive #jsohmakeover #sweatysunday #kickboxing #cardio #fitness #fitnessevent #fittogether #strongtogether
#7 Becoming a #fitspo to others
It feels good to see the fruits of your efforts—not just physically, but also how you carry yourself. Eventually, you’ll be inspiring other people to do the same.
“When they transform their body, it’s not just their body that they’ve transformed but their lives. How confident they are as a person now compared to back then they’re very shy. When they start to watch my videos [and work out] they start to love themselves and feel confident. In return, they’re inspiring those around them. Other people’s lives are also changing because of them.”
Photo courtesy of Joanna Soh’s Instagram account