Ok, so you want to get in shape, but you only work out sporadically. The benefits of exercise are plentiful, but knowing something is good for you doesn’t do the practical work of putting knowledge into practice. If your goal is to make exercise part of your lifestyle, I have some tips for you! I’ve gone through really motivated months leading up to my wedding and vacations, but I’ve also faced weeks and months when it’s been a constant battle to get myself excited for working out. Looking back, these 5 things seem to make getting into a flow of daily physical activity easier.
1. Start with something you love
When picking a workout routine to get into, don’t assume you have to go to the gym and spend 30 mins on the treadmill. If that’s relaxing for you, go ahead and bring a magazine to read or music to listen to. If that sounds boring to you, pick something else! Maybe you like sports, dancing, rock climbing, hiking, or trying new things. Deal websites like Groupon and Living Social can be great places to find unique fitness opportunities in your city for a trial period. You may find ballroom dance, yoga, or Crossfit in your area. I’ve seen trampoline fitness, barre, and striptease fitness on Las Vegas’ deal websites! Remember, you don’t have to be great to start! If you’re nervous at first, recruit a friend to try a class or workout with you.
2. Schedule your workouts each week
At the beginning of each week, write out your workout schedule on a calendar or day planner you use. Consider your appointments to workout the same way you would any other obligations. You wouldn’t consider skipping work without a good reason, would you? I’m also guessing you wouldn’t be quick to break appointments you set with friends or doctors. Everything we do is created twice, first in our minds and then in reality. By creating a blueprint for success, you’ve already designed what it takes to get in shape! All you have to do now is stick with the plan!
3. Make exercise incredibly convenient
Whether you decide to go running outside or take a class at a fitness studio, pick a place that’s close to your work or home. Picking a place that’s near your home or on your commute to/from work will crush the common excuse of having to go out of your way to work out.
Pick classes that fit seamlessly with your schedule. Coming home after work for an hour before your workout can tempt you to just stay home, so pick a class time right after work and change at the office.
If you’re working out early in the morning, it can be tempting to stay in bed. Make the decision to go workout as easy as possible. Lay your workout clothes out the night before or even sleep in them for morning exercise.
Take everything you need for your workout to work with you. Keep running shoes in your car or at the office. Think of every possible excuse and tackle it head on! I always keep an extra change of workout clothes in my office, just in case I forget to pack something!
4. Reward your commitment periodically
When you follow through with workouts for a certain period of time, give yourself rewards! Things like manicures, spa days, money set aside for vacation, or other non-food treats work well. I like to treat myself to a new tank top or sports bra when I’ve worked out consistently for a month or so. New workout clothes get me pumped up to stay on track. Find a reward that motivates you! If you think you can’t afford rewards, consider cutting out another luxury for the sake of having a reward budget. The cost of a latte a week will easily get you a nice $20 reward by the end of the month. This cute top was only $15 and I can’t wait to wear it!
5. Set your mind on success
Remember, everything you do starts with a decision to do it! Even if you never exercise or are in a “funk,” consider all the benefits of getting active and forget about the excuses. Use whatever it takes, create a Pinterest board of motivational quotes, craft a physical vision board of pictures reminding you why it’s worth it, or read a list of the benefits of exercise, and forget the excuses!