Fitness coach Michael Carpenter shares his top five tips for changing your approach to exercise.
Knowing how to stick to an exercise program isn’t a walk in the park. Actually, it’s easier to develop a workout strategy than it’s to gather the constant steam, courage, and enthusiasm to implement it.
Fortunately, this guide will offer you five tips that’ll help you stick to an exercise routine and achieve your fitness goals.
Identify an activity you like
Choosing a physical activity you genuinely enjoy will greatly improve your chances of sticking to it for a long time. Don’t make a mistake of copying what your friends are doing – we’ll have different tastes and preferences.
Instead, start by reflecting on the things that excite you. It could be playing sports, nature, participating in competitions, or quiet time. The next step is to find activities that fit one or a few of your criteria.
Think about your personality, as well. If you like competing, consider joining a group fitness class or exercising with someone who challenges you. If you want to keep track of your progress, look for workout apps with that capability. For instance, if you’re riding a bike with a motor kit, you can use an app to track your speed, distance covered, and time spent.
Create a plan and set reasonable goals
With your favorite physical activity now in mind, you can make a plan that consists of achievable steps and goals. Don’t spend a considerable amount of time trying to develop a perfect plan. Instead, begin with a plan of simple steps that are extremely easy to follow. You can then keep on sharpening it as your level of fitness gets better.
If your goal is to complete a 10-kilometer jog, you can begin by creating a plan that comprises shorter jogs. Once you get used to these shorter jogs, extend the distance until you’re able to jog the entire 10-kilometers without taking breaks. Setting and attaining small goals will go a long way in increasing your odds of success and keeping you motivated throughout your fitness journey.
Include exercise in your daily routine
Making exercise a habit is another important step towards realizing your fitness goal. It’s much easier for you to stick to a workout program over time if you make it a routine and do it frequently. According to a detailed review of several studies, the best way to change an unhealthy behavior is to replace it with a new healthy one.
To maintain your exercise routine in the long term, always work out at the same time daily. For instance, you can plan to exercise before breakfast or immediately after work on a daily basis. You can even incorporate it into your calendar like any other special event.
Have a backup workout
Sometimes the weather may keep you from going on your daily run around your area of residence. Other times you may feel worn out and don’t want to step out of the house.
Having an alternative exercise that you can do both outdoors and indoors can come in handy in such situations. So it’s important to put together a simple physical activity consisting of a couple of simple steps like plank, press-ups, and squats that you can perform anywhere.
Come up with a reward system
Even the most experienced fitness enthusiasts have days when they don’t feel like working out. On days when you feel unmotivated, encourage yourself with a small reward system. Think of simple things to include in your reward system. It could be eating at your favorite restaurant or watching a movie.
It could also be something big like getting yourself a bike with a motor kit to elevate your biking experience. Reward yourself only if you follow through with your schedule for the day. These simple rewards can turn out to be the stimulus you require to get out of the house and hit the gym even when you don’t feel like it.
The parting note
Although starting exercising and sticking to it can be challenging, setting realistic goals can help you sustain an exercise routine in the long term. Be sure to incorporate the activities you enjoy in your workout program.
Start slowly and improve your fitness level before attempting difficult moves. Keep track of your efforts to help you remain motivated. Above all, take a healthy, balanced diet and stay hydrated.