Many people go on and off their workouts like fad diets, but just like with clean eating, good sleep, and brushing your teeth, consistency to exercise is critical to better health. So how do you rehab your on-again, off-again relationship with the gym to become a fitness faithful? Exercising is just like everything else, you must practice to get better. To get better you have to do it regularly, and to do it regularly you have to make it a habit. Here are 3 tips on how to make fitness part of your routine:
1. Forget the ‘Go Hard or Go Home’ Mentality
Hour-long, sweat-soaked workouts are great, but they don’t all have to be so grueling. When you’re trying to make fitness a habit, they shouldn’t be that taxing. End your ‘all-or-nothing’ approach and prevent burnout by starting with small durations of exercise with achievable goals.
2. Find Your Fitness Personality
When it comes to working out, there’s no stronger instigator than intrinsic motivation – the desire to do something simply because you like doing it. So, if you’ve always left the gym thinking “well, that was no fun,” try finding a workout that you truly enjoy that has the potential to radically change your relationship with exercise.
Do you like to work out with others or need some alone time? Do you like fast-paced workouts or slower ones? Are you competitive or into mindfulness?
I guarantee that you will be able to find something that you like if you are honest with yourself in this category. You just need to be open-minded.
3. Set Goals
Getting fit and toning up are great reasons for exercising, but what do these terms mean? If you think about it, they are arbitrary expressions that don’t mean very much. Chances are you’ll get on much better with making exercise a habit if you have specific goals in mind and a core reason for working out in the first place.
Goals can be whatever you want them to be, but examples include:
- Being fit enough to run two miles
- Being strong enough to do 30 push-ups
- Losing 5-lbs
- Losing two inches off your waist
- Spending more time outside and in motion to enjoy the weather 3x/week
Choose exercise activities that will take you toward your goals. Align your diet and lifestyle to those goals, and you will begin to see fitness affecting other daily habits you are accustomed to. Make your goals challenging but realistic and make sure you reward yourself when you reach them.
Once you have reached your goals, what do you do? Set new ones of course! You can choose loftier versions of your original goals or a whole new set of targets; it’s up to you.
Sample Workout Options
Forget working out for an hour or doing hardcore cardio training and think more about workouts you can do no matter what. Consider routines you can complete even when you’re tired, stressed or low on motivation. Here are a few options to consider:
- 15-minute walk: Set a goal for just 15 minutes every day. Chances are you’ll keep going a little longer than that.
- Body weight exercises: Another way to keep things simple is to choose a few exercises that don’t require any equipment. Try squats, push-up, lunges, crunches.
Pro tip: Download new music to your playlist that pumps you up and gets you excited to listen to that new album or podcast to keep you focused while staying active.
Everybody wants to exercise – in theory. Most people do it a few times a week, others very seldomly, but very few stick with it. Putting in the extra bit of effort to make exercise a habit is truly one of the best gifts in life you can give yourself (and your family). A better quality of life and a helps promote benefits that are proven for a longer life.
Like any habit, exercise can take a while to become part of your normal routine and there will be times when you feel like throwing in the towel. Don’t worry – it’s normal. However, stick with it and remember: in a few short months, you’ll have established a habit that will do you untold good.
Looking for a quick way to get started? Check out one of our Free Training Plans and start your training journey.