How to Stick to your Fitness Routine

English: A senior citizen while practicing his...
Find your own thing and stick to it. Even if it is the weirdest.(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s so easy to say you want to stay healthy by exercising more. Planning to work out is the first step to a healthy you but sticking to it is a bigger feat. Don’t let yourself become one of those who plan without the actual realization of doing it. Here’s a few tricks on how to stick your program:

1. Be realistic. Know what body parts to work on and what your body can actually do. Set specific, manageable goals and don’t exercise just for the heck of it. Start slow by doing much less than what you’re capable of.  Take a 20-minute walk if you’re returning to exercise. It might not be enough, but it’s a good start. You can’t immediately jump from being sedentary to super buff overnight. Aim, not for immediate results, but for permanent ones.

2. Schedule it. Integrating exercise into your day is the number one predictor that you’ll actually do it. The benefits of exercise starts with the first step – by scheduling it and sticking to it means that you are on your way to establishing a routine. Starting your workouts at the same time each day can contribute to exercise adherence, as can matching up exercise opportunities with your regular schedule.

3. Keep track of you your progress by making a journal. Maintain a written account of your experiences as you attempt to exercise everyday. Jot down frustrations and make note of successes. Reflecting on these at the end of the day provides valuable insight about what’s challenging and helps you monitor your progress over time. It gives you an intant, positive impact and will help remind you how much work you’ve put in. If you’ve reached this far, you wouldn’t wanna mess it up, right?

4. Get your partner or your loved ones involved. Recruit your partner, a friend or a family member to join you. This will not only add energy to your work outs, but it will also make skipping sessions harder when someone is counting on you. Pairing up with a friend or family member for workouts, or signing up for a group class is often energizing and motivating; you wouldn’t want to let your fellow exercisers down, right?

If your loved one lets you skip your work out sessions, try enlisting someone who is less forgiving and who won’t let you cancel or cut your some slack. You can also try switching work out buddies every few months to avoid monotony.

Even if they don’t work out with you, involve your family members in your fitness plans and goals by asking to cheer you on from the sidelines, or to take on some household responsibilities to free up more of your time for exercise.

5. Stay consistent. If you take a break from your routine on weekends, vacations or holidays, you might have a hard time picking up the habit once you have the time again. Don’t just exercise because you have some hours to spare.

6. Have fun by doing something you like. To ensure that you will always find time to exercise, find activities that you enjoy so that you actually look forward to them and you won’t want to skip them. You can’t stick to something you hate. So don’t go to the gym because you know you have to! Find that one thing that you know makes you feel good and do it. Some enjoy jogging in parks early in the morning but this may be difficult for some people. Some enjoy working out in a crowded gym, where they get motivation from random people who are also working out. If you love doing something, you won’t see it as a chore to do but you’ll see it as a fun activity.

7. Keep it interesting by mixing it up with try something new. Shake up your work outs and try a new activity once in a while. When was the last time you went swimming? Have  you tried tennis? You won’t actually know if you like doing something without trying it first.

Happy exercising!

Web References:

http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/fitness_articles.asp?id=73

http://www.menshealth.com/mhlists/workout_motivation_strategies/

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