Like many fitness professionals, celebrity trainer Luke Milton first fell in love with exercise on the playing field. Milton’s career began as a professional rugby player in Australia. After retiring from rugby, Milton realized he needed a new outlet, so he founded Training Mate in Sydney, Australia, and quickly established himself as a leader in the fitness community, and a trainer on E!’s Revenge Body. Milton says that a healthy lifestyle is a combination of physical, social and mental health, and he tells Thrive that one of the most important first steps on a fitness journey is finding a “mate” do it with you. 

Here, Milton reveals how companionship and a positive inner dialogue can help you work towards your fitness goals, and enable you to enjoy the journey. 

Thrive Global: What advice would you give someone to mentally reframe how they view working out?

Luke Milton: We have to retrain our brains and perception of exercise and working out. For far too long, the media has trained us to think that exercise is a “punishment” for making poor lifestyle decisions, when in fact, exercise and fitness is a reward that should be cherished and enjoyed. When we change our inner monologue and start saying statements like, “I can’t wait to go for a walk or a run,” and constantly remind ourselves of the amazing feelings we have as a result of exercise, the quicker we can view it as a luxury and not a chore.

TG: What tips do you have for someone to incorporate movement into their day?

LM: Firstly, find a “mate”— someone you can hold accountable and be accountable to. As human beings, we tend to let ourselves down before we let anyone else down. So find your mate and explore common interests. That could be golf, tennis, hiking, swimming – whatever, just move your body consistently. If you, like millions of others, use the statement, “I’m just too busy,” start taking your meetings as walking meetings. Get a standing desk or prepare for travel by selecting hotels with exercise centers. 

TG: What tips would you give someone to motivate them to workout?

LM: Motivation can come from so many places. For this, I recommend having a positive vocabulary: always reinforcing the positives of exercise. Remind yourself how great you will feel and how accomplished you’ll feel during and after the workout. If you are externally motivated, look no further than your own home; it has been proven over and over again that consistent exercise helps you to achieve a healthy lifestyle, and keeps you more energetic for your kids, husband or wife, or your mates.

TG: Why don’t fitness resolutions stick?

LM: I truly believe that most fitness resolutions don’t stick because there isn’t enough intrinsic motivation associated with them. Most resolutions state “absolutes,” as in, “I’m giving up drinking,” or “I’m going to the gym every day,” instead of, “I’m excited to move more,” “I can’t wait to see my mate at tennis,” etc. Success comes from small, consistent changes, not huge, scary plans that set you up for failure.

TG: When do fitness resolutions stick?

LM: Fitness resolutions work when we set small, consistent and attainable goals. When we make fitness a part of our lifestyle, it becomes just another thing we do, like brushing your teeth or taking out the trash. It’s not about being perfect, it’s about being consistent.

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