One of the most popular New Years’ resolutions seems to be “work out more often”. We start off with good intentions, but after a couple of weeks, we slip back into our old habits. Here is my advice for sticking to a workout plan.
Exercise for the time poor
Exercise doesn’t have to consist of long, arduous sweat-sessions. Just thirty minutes a day, three days a week can go a long way to improving your overall fitness and well-being. If you have time, try exercising for twenty minutes a day, every day. A twenty-minute block of activity is far less intimidating than an hour-long sweat session. Be realistic with your goals, and aim to do just a little activity every day. There are so many types of exercise that can be done in short bursts. Try walking to work, doing a short yoga workout, or hula-hooping in front of the television. All of these activities are fun, functional and short.
What to do?
I find that the best way to stick to an exercise routine is to find something that you genuinely enjoy. Personally, I am the sort of person who gets bored easily. I like exercise that is fun, energetic and can be done in short bursts. My exercise routine includes:
– hula hooping
– free weights and muscle toning exercises
Try a range of different types of exercise until you find something that appeals to you.
The key to staying motivated is to keep yourself interested, and to build exercise into your existing daily routine.
Focus on the benefits of exercise. If you’re feeling a bit sluggish, remind yourself that you’ll be done in twenty minutes if you start right now. Think about how your skin will glow and the endorphin rush that comes after a workout. Use these benefits to get your butt moving.
Switching types of exercise regularly also helps to you keep going. Be on the lookout for new classes or workout videos that you are interested in trying.
Try to anticipate any excuses you might use to avoid exercise and then come up with ways to circumvent them. If you are likely to give up on days when the weather is bad, stock up on a couple of fun workout DVDs that you can use when you can’t go outside. If you think you will try to use tiredness as an excuse, constantly remind yourself that exercise will actually improve your energy levels. Sometimes, your worst enemy is yourself, so if you try to think two steps ahead, there will be no excuse for…well…excuses.
Finally, reward yourself for good work. If you manage to fit in three thirty minute sessions in a week, treat yourself. Take yourself for a massage, buy a cute lipstick, or go to the movies. It is important to be kind to yourself, and reward good work rather than punishing yourself when things don’t go according to plan.
How do you motivate yourself to exercise?
You might also be interested in these posts: