Everyone struggles to stick to an exercise regimen sometimes, and some find themselves coming up with excuses not to do anything. If you’ve been finding it hard to find time to work out recently, you’re not alone.
You may find that the best way to keep up with regular exercise is to purchase some professional gym equipment and set up your own gym at home. But there may be an even simpler solution.
Here are some tips to help you exercise more and keep in a routine.
Start small and build momentum
Do not set your initial goals too high. Keep your workout goals reasonable and manageable to help get you into the habit. If you try and push yourself too much, then you’re likely to fall behind and once you fall behind it takes a lot to get back into it again.
Start with small workouts and gradually increase the time and intensity once you have got the hang of it.
Exercising has its own rewards such as better sleep, improved mental and physical health and better sleep but these take time to kick in. To keep you motivated in the short term you should reward yourself after a workout.
Pick something that you are going to look forward to and promise yourself you will not indulge until you have finished your workout. It could be a cup of your favorite coffee, a nice hot bath or maybe the next episode of your favorite show.
Lots of people make the mistake of treating themselves with food, but if you’re working out as part of a weight loss program, this can really slow down your progress. Although you can have a little bit of chocolate or a few slices of pizza, make sure you’re not always associating rewards with food.
Choose activities and exercises that you enjoy
Try and make your workout fun. Curate your whole routine into something you find more fun and manageable, so think about your own abilities and do not just lift weights or go for a run because that is what you think you should be doing.
Any kind of exercise is a good thing, what is important is that you stick to it and do not give up. The best way to ensure this is to have fun with it. If you’ve never really enjoyed working out before, start by experimenting with different routines.
There are so many activities you could be doing from yoga to ballet and skipping. Be as non-traditional as you like. As long as you’re moving your body, you’re doing some good.
Use environmental triggers to help remind you to do your chosen exercise. It can be something as obvious as an alarm on your phone or simply just by incorporating it into your everyday routine.
If you exercise every day before work, then you will soon find yourself automatically driving to the gym before you head to work. Put your trainers out in the open before you go to bed so you will see them as soon as you get up and will be prompted to go out on a morning run.
It takes a few months to build a habit, so make sure you stick with it even when the going gets tough. If you notice yourself losing momentum, think about why that is. If it’s because the weather is getting worse, switch up your routine and do workouts indoors for a change.
If you no longer enjoy the exercise you’re doing, try something new. Try to recognize why your routine isn’t serving you before you give up.
Make it social
Schedule gym trips or regular runs with a buddy. Not only will this make your exercise more fun by having a friend to chat with, but it will motivate you and prevent you from skipping your workout.
If someone is waiting on you or expecting you then you are far less likely to cancel or decide to stay in bed instead. You can also motivate each other and act as cheerleaders with words of encouragement and advice. You could even make it into a friendly competition if you like.
Try a class
Sometimes running with a friend just isn’t enough. Lots of people stop exercising because they can’t get the hang of it or they aren’t seeing results.
If you join a class, you’ll have an experienced teacher to coach you through various moves, making sure you’re actually doing the workout right. What’s more, if you’ve paid for a course of lessons, you’re more likely to maintain your habit and show up. You may even find a new hobby in the process, and working out will become a pleasure — not a chore.