So, how are you doing with that resolution you made on January 1 to exercise more? If it’s going well, congratulations! If not, take a number; you’re in good company.
It’s a real challenge to start and maintain an exercise routine, but as we all know it is so important for overall health and well-being. Not only is regular exercise crucial in improving your physical health and mobility, it’s also vital for your emotional and mental health. There’s nothing like a good endorphin rush after a sweaty workout. A healthy dose of good sex releases the same endorphins too, but let’s face it: getting down and dirty is not always convenient, nor will it tone your tush. So, exercise it is!
The challenges we face are: how to get that exercise routine going, and even more importantly, how to stick to it.
8 Easy Ways to Stick to Your Exercise Routine
Schedule It In
The most common excuse for not working out is, “I don’t have the time.” I know, you’re busy; everybody is busy. But take a good, hard, and honest look at your schedule. It’s possible to fit in thirty minutes of exercise three times a week. Everyone has 90 minutes out of the possible 10,080 minutes a week to dedicate to moving their butts off the couch. For me, it means ninety less minutes on Twitter every week, which is not a bad thing. Once you figure out the time of day that works best, schedule it and don’t deviate. Just don’t. You wouldn’t miss a work meeting or a parent-teacher interview; your health is just as important.
Small Steps Make A Big Difference
People start out with the best intentions; they hit the gym hard — the more is better mentality — and end up sore, exhausted, and injured. Start slowly. No one starts out running a marathon; begin at a sustainable pace and increase your intensity and time as you get stronger. You might think there’s no point to a fifteen minute walk, but 15 minutes > 0 minutes. It’s math!
It Doesn’t Have To Be Complicated
If the thought of joining a gym is overwhelming, remember that home workouts are great too. Secondhand exercise equipment is often available at affordable prices and they’re still in excellent condition, and there are tonnes of online workout videos and apps that don’t require any equipment at all.
Practice, Practice, All Is Coming
In yoga, we say Practice, practice, all is coming – with consistent effort comes results. Consistency is key; six workouts one week and zero the next will not get you where you want to be.
Write It Down
Get a pretty journal and write out your goals and your workout plan, and then record what you do every day. Watch how you improve over time – seeing your strength and endurance increase is very motivating. Fitbits or fitness apps are also great for this; plus others can see what you are doing, which can help motivate you when you need it and keep you accountable. Speaking of which…
Enlist A Friend (or Not)
A friend or exercise group is a great motivator. If you know other people are counting on you, you will be more likely to stick to it.
But maybe you’re the type of person who would rather not get sweaty with a friend. There’s nothing wrong with a good solo workout – do what works best for you!
Find Something You Love (or at Least Don’t Hate)
I love yoga; I pop out of bed at ungodly hours to practice, with no problem at all. Cardio, on the other hand?
Cardio is a chore, and I treat it as such; an unpleasant job, not unlike cleaning the bathroom, which needs to be done regularly to ward off disease. And just like when I clean the bathroom, when I step on my elliptical trainer, I blast the music and get. it. done. The only way out is through, so to speak. Once I’m done, I bask in my accomplishment and text my husband for immediate praise. Find what works for you.
Get the Gear
For the longest time, my excuse for not doing cardio exercise was I didn’t have proper running shoes. For a girl who loves shopping, it’s a lousy excuse. Invest in appropriate shoes, a bra to lift and separate or just lock and load, and a cute outfit. Sometimes the clothes (or gear) set the tone and a give a push in the right direction. You don’t want to waste those pricey Lulus, do you? Tie up your cute shoes, put on your cute top, and move it!