How To Start Exercising (And Stick To A Workout Routine)
If you’re like most people, ‘Get fitter’ (or something along the lines) is definitely making an appearance in your New Year’s resolutions. Although, come to think of it... That has been on your resolutions for the past 3 years, yet you've made no visible progress on this healthy habit to date. What's wrong? Don’t despair yet. Often, all it takes is a reframing of your fitness mindset for you to get started on an exercise routine–and stick to it.
#1 – Start where you are
A common reason you end up lounging around on the sofa–instead of working out–is you feel too overwhelmed even to start. Getting fit seems too much of a lofty goal; it's as though you have to do everything all of a sudden: run 5 km when you wake up, do yoga for lunch, and head to the gym when the day ends.
Guess what? Be realistic. Start small! 15 minutes of brisk walking around the neighbourhood is exercise. 20 minutes of HIIT at right form the comforts of your home is also exercise. Don't get caught up in the 'all or nothing' mindset. In the long run, doing something (anything at all!) is going to bring you closer to your goals than doing nothing at all. Remember: getting started is everything.
#2 – Whatever you do, make it fun
The key to sticking to your fitness resolutions is simple: find a physical activity that's fun and enjoyable for you! Take advantage of your strengths. According to a review published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, an individual’s confidence in their exercise ability is the highest predictor of their exercise frequency.
So–if you have precisely zero balance? Maybe windsurfing isn't exactly a recipe for fun. But if you've got some insane strength from lugging those storage boxes at work? Weightlifting might be the thing for you.
#3 – Make it a habit
Be honest. How much time do you typically waste before actually committing yourself to the act of working out? 30 minutes on Facebook? Or, an hour clearing your inbox? To maximise the chances of you sticking to your fitness resolutions for the long term, you have to make exercise a habit. But… How?
Well, according to B.J. Fogg’s Tiny Habits concept, you can do this by anchoring 'working out' to something you already do daily. For example: always get home at 6 pm after work? Work out immediately. It could be a short stretching session or even a couple of pushups done on the floor. Do this consistently for 30 days, and you'll soon find yourself feeling a little off if you aren't sweating the moment you get home!
#4 - Make exercise a priority
Ultimately, the recurring theme in all the above tips is this: make exercise a priority. You need to make space for working out (be it for a short or long session) on your routine. That’s the only way you’re going to be able to stick to, and achieve, your fitness resolutions.
Struggling even to get your daily routine in order? Then The Daily Routine Journal is a must-have. Its daily reminders to plan out your days–and exercise sessions–ensures that you’re consistently getting closer to your dream physique. Check out how others have taken charge of their fitness journeys here.