Exercise is something that people take up on a regular basis to lose weight quickly before a holiday or to look good on their wedding day for example. Normally unrealistic goals are set as they start their exercise routine of weight loss in the hope that by magic the weight will just come off dramatically! Afterwards they normally go back to the same bad habits of not exercising and bad food choices which just isn’t sustainable if you are going to make a change long term in your lifestyle.
The following 10 ways will allow you to establish a regular exercise routine so it’s not all boom then bust when it comes to weight loss!
1.Do something you enjoy
I really enjoy cycling,running and mainly train outdoors. I don’t work out so regularly in gyms as l find this boring although l do bodyweight training and core conditioning in my studio to still keep that element of strength work maintained. When it comes to exercise, people tend to think that for it to work, it has to be unpleasant. Yet while some people can flog themselves to death with exercise for a few weeks or even a few months out of a sense of sheer will power , eventually their dislike for their regime will ultimately fail as soon as the will power wains! It’s true that to be effective an element of exercise should involve some muscle soreness to stimulate muscle growth. Also its true that certain kinds of exercise are more or less effective than others. But at the end of the day all exercise is good for you and methods are more effective than others, the main thing though is doing something that suits you so you keep at it.
2. Put your training sessions in the diary
Besides picking an activity that they don’t enjoy doing, the other thing that keeps people from regularly exercising is not setting aside time for it on their calendar. For these people, exercise is often overlooked. If you want time to exercise, you have to make time for it. And the best way to do that is to schedule your workouts on your calendar and treat them like any other appointments you make.
3. Experiment to find a workout time which is best for you
Everybody is different with this one , personally l prefer to workout first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. l find this is where l get my best training sessions in and then have the rest of the day work on my business or meet friends.
Many people find that it’s best to exercise first thing in the morning; that way, when they get tired and stressed, or “urgent” to-do’s pile-up as the day goes on, their workout doesn’t end up taking a back seat!
However, that’s not a rule for everyone should live by. Firstly l would say some people need to eat before exercising , especially if your new to exercise. Also everyone has got different work and life schedules and different rhythms to their daily energy and motivation. Maybe you’ll love working out at lunchtime or at night. You’ll never know unless you try. Experiment with different options and see what works best for you.
4.Remove obstacles from a pre-workout checklist
My checklist for example includes making sure my phone is charged so it won’t stop playing music in the middle of the workout as l use spotify to stream my playlists. Another good one is putting the phone on silent mode so calls and texts won’t create distractions, filling up your water bottle, setting out the kit your going to use in his gym so everything’s right at hand, l would also have a foam roller on standby loosen up any aching joints before l start.
5. Make sure you have the correct workout gear on
This seems an odd to mention but depending on what you are doing in the workout should determine what kit you have on. For example if l have a running session planned l pack the correct trainers, socks , shorts and running vest. However if my workout is studio based l take totally different items of clothing with me. The main thing is being comfortable in your workout clothes so they provide enough movement, allow you to sweat for example.
6. Have a plan
When most people start working out, they just show up at the gym and do whatever exercise that takes their fancy with no real thought process involved! . A few sit ups here and there, a bit of cardio work finished off by some weights done hastily with questionable technique. Normally soon after starting their workout they get bored and hit the changing room for a shower. After a few weeks of these workouts with unproductive results they lose interest and ultimately quit the gym! Uncertainty is a motivation killer and It ends up with that person getting disillusioned and giving up on exercise To avoid this fate, you have to have a workout plan for yourself. Know exactly which exercises you’re going to do and for how many sets and reps. Write your plan down, bring it with you to the gym, and refer to it during your session.
7. Get moving even if you don’t feel like it
l often really don’t feel like exercising so sometimes l visualise how l feel after doing some exercise. What l can definitely say is afterwards lm always glad of doing so.There is a great saying that if you take action sometimes without feeling like it the feelings will often follow. Of course this is easy said then done when you don’t feel like it! One of the methods l find works really well is just set out doing an easy warm up and see how you body and mind feels? If you get through the first 10 mins and your really not feeling it then go home, however most of the time those feel good chemicals start entering your brain and put you in a different mindset.
8. Go for consistency rather than the perfect workout
A key to making something a habit is regularity. To sustain habits they need to become part of your lifestyle not just a phase so you have got to work away at it without interruption.
So when your not feeling liking it still work out, but go a little easier. Had a crazy busy day? Still work out, but make it a little shorter. In a hotel with not your normal equipment? Still workout, even if you have to improvise. Feeling in a bad mood? Still workout but do something fun and maybe different from your usual routine.
9. Have a reason to exercise
Motivation research shows that when we have a clear purpose for a task, we’re more likely to do that task regularly. So have a why for your workouts. It could be something like l want to be able to be active with my kids, l want to improve my running speed, l want to be able to fit in to a specific item of clothing you have as a goal.
For me, competitions serve as a big motivator for training. For those who know me realise my main focus is on cycling and running so my why is normally to get a new pb or challenge myself with a new distance.
Some people find it useful to get an accountability partner for their workouts. This could be a personal trainer or a coach, or it could be a friend. The accountability factor plays a massive part in you not only maintaining exercise but getting results from it. Most people will not want to let the person down they have chosen to be accountable for them. If you want to take the accountability up to the next level it getting a coach or trainer is your next step.
Making exercise a habit doesn’t need to be hard. Find something you enjoy, plan for it, prioritize it, and have a purpose. Keep adding workout by workout and soon it will become part of your lifestyle and a habit for life.
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