Are you finding it difficult to start exercising and stick to a consistent routine? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Here are some tips to help you start exercising and stick to your fitness goals.
Define your goal
To stay on track with your exercise routine, it’s important to have a specific goal in mind. Do you want to build muscle and improve stamina? Or perhaps you want to shed those extra kilos gained during the pandemic? Understanding why you need to start exercising will help you stay motivated. Remind yourself of the benefits you can achieve and avoid being too hard on yourself.
Choose a form of exercise that you enjoy
Have you ever quit going to the gym after just a month? Chances are, it wasn’t an enjoyable experience. Many people associate exercise with crowded gyms and lifting weights, but it doesn’t have to be that way if it doesn’t resonate with you. Explore physical activities that you find fun and engaging. Do you enjoy cycling, dancing, or swimming? Find an activity that you genuinely enjoy, as it increases the likelihood of sticking with it.
One common reason people give up on exercise is that they expect too much from themselves right from the beginning. They jump into intense workouts or commit to daily exercise without giving their bodies time to adjust. Remember, there’s no rush. Start with simple workouts and see how your body responds. Gradually increase the intensity and set small achievable goals each week. You could start with 30-minute sessions at home or aim to walk 10,000 steps a day for three days. Build your confidence and progress at your own pace.
Make it convenient
Consider your energy levels throughout the day. If you’re an early bird, opt for morning workout sessions. Don’t push yourself to exercise in the evenings when you’re exhausted after work. Simplify decision-making by preparing in advance. Place your favorite workout clothes and a fitness mat next to your bed, so they’re the first things you see in the morning. This visual cue will motivate you to complete a great workout.
Create a workout plan
If you struggle to decide which exercises to include in your routine, develop a workout plan. Having a well-structured program will make it easier to stay on track. Save time and energy by outlining a weekly workout routine that includes muscle-building or maintenance exercises. Incorporate a variety of upper and lower body exercises, complete a circuit of 5-8 exercises, take a short break, and repeat it 2-3 times. Aim for three 30-minute sessions per week and add aerobic exercises like walking or swimming twice a week. Remember to allow time for rest and recovery.
Track your progress
Monitoring your progress is crucial for staying motivated. Consider three methods to track your progress. First, take measurements of your waist, arms, thighs, and hips every four weeks to observe changes in your body. Second, take full-body photos every four weeks to visually track your progress. Finally, weigh yourself 2-3 times a month before meals or workouts to gauge changes in weight. Avoid becoming obsessed with numbers and focus on overall progress.
Rewarding yourself after a workout will boost your motivation and help you stay committed to your goals. Treat yourself to your favorite TV show or indulge in a delicious meal after an intense workout. It’s important to have something to look forward to. For example, after a month of regular exercise, reward yourself with new workout clothes or shoes. New gear will inspire you to achieve even better results.
Developing a regular exercise habit may be challenging initially, but don’t give up. With patience and determination, you can build a workout routine that improves your productivity, fitness and overall health. Take it one step at a time, and remember that hard work pays off. Start exercising today and enjoy the benefits of an active lifestyle.