Seriously…how many times have I heard it? “You need to be consistent for beneficial changes.” Yes, yes, about a million, but let’s face it, I’m far too busy. Life just gets in the way.
It is true; regular, consistent exercise stimulates body and mind and I totally want that. Now even more than ever. So this time it will be different. This time, I’m going to make it habit. It’s going to stick and I’m going to enjoy it. And that is the key; finding something I like will help fitness become part of my everyday life and much less like a chore.
This is probably the most important note. When I first make a plan to ‘get fit’, I have loads of energy and enthusiasm. However, doing too much too soon leads to burnout and quitting. My body won’t be used to regular exercise so I need to take it nice and easy, 10-15 minutes to start with. The aim is to get my body used to routine exercise and form good habits.
No. Not that type of regular (although that is important). Committing to a regular time or day and tracking progress is essential. When I start to see results, even if it’s just being able to get to the end of a 40 second round without stopping, it’s a major motivator.
Doing a 30 day challenge can help form habits. By the end of this cycle my body should be pretty well accustomed to a new routine and actually crave the endorphins.
Rise and shine
It could be the simplest answer to getting workouts to stick. A sweat session before the day really begins, before the day gets overloaded will help get my body and mind in shape. Even 10 minutes to hit the ground running (literally!).
Setting a time is also a great reminder. I’m more likely to put it off if I’m not actually reminded. So I set out my workout gear the night before and then there really is no excuse.
The power of telling someone that I am planning to workout can sometimes be all the motivation I need. The guilt of having them come back to me and ask how I got on will be enough to get me moving.
Factor in rest days
It’s not all about doing as much as I can. I’m not afraid to take days off when my body needs a break. Fitness is about taking care of my body, not abusing it.
Make it fun
This seems obvious, but if I associate a habit with pain, then I will shy away from it. Finding an activity that I can actually enjoy will help be stick with it. If I can persuade some friends to join in, even better. Mixing catch-up time with fitness is a great way to keep motivated and never miss a session.
Mix it up
Again, it may sound obvious, but doing the same thing each time will eventually take its toll, and if it gets boring, I will eventually stop. I change things up by taking my workout outside, doing it in reverse, trying something completely different. Not only do I work different muscles and get some fresh air, but its fun trying to look for ways to keep things interesting.
You are not alone if regular exercise seems near impossible, but no matter how busy your schedule, it really can happen if you want it to.
Stay healthy. Stay happy. Stay motivated.