Do you know anybody who started exercising full of hopes and then gave up after a short while? Or maybe this has happened to you too? We are human beings and very easily getting tempted to change our plans when we are not committed to something.
Let’s see a few easy-to-follow tips to make sure you stick to your exercise routine:
1. Make a regular workout schedule
You might be a morning person or an evening person when it comes to exercising. It doesn’t matter.
What matters is that each week you should put the days and times in your diary when you plan to exercise. Take it as seriously as you would take an important meeting or interview. Make changes, organize around to make sure you have those times free for exercising.
Try to plan it in a time-saver way if you have a busy schedule: in the morning on the way to work; in the afternoon/evening on the way home from work.
One hour workout is only 4% of your day, so this is something you should definitely be able to fit into your busy schedule.
You know yourself. If you find it difficult to get out once you arrived home, then take your sports gear with you in the morning, jump into a class the way home, and you’re done. If you prefer going home, preparing dinner, then going out for a jogging or a class before going to bed, then find a late class, and do that.
The most important is to write it down in your diary, and take it seriously.
2. Set a goal
This goal shouldn’t be a weight loss goal. Why? Because weight loss is a result of a complex life-style change: making changes both in your diet and in your exercising habits.
That goal should be something measurable: if you only start working out now, let’s say your goal is to exercise one or two hours a week. Later you can increase this gradually.
Your long term goal could be something as better sleep, less stress, avoiding illnesses. You can have weight loss as your long term goal, but make sure you don’t expect the miracle to happen overnight. The healthy weight loss is 1-1.5 kg per week, but not more than 2 kg a week. Your body, your skin needs to adjust to the ‘smaller you’, so be patient, don’t plan to lose lots of weight in a week. Also, as I said before, you need to have a closer look at what you eat if your goal is to lose weight.
3. Fun and/or variety
Many people say they don’t like working out. This is only because they haven’t tried enough types of exercising to find what they really love.
Some people can unwind while jogging, others find jogging boring. Some people can truly get energized while swimming, others don’t like being in the water. Some people feel uncomfortable in a group class, others find it the only workout they enjoy.
Never feel uncomfortable just because you don’t like the type of workout others love to do. There is nothing wrong with you!
Go and try out new things, and stick to the one you enjoy, the one you are looking forward to. You might find new exercise-buddies, people alike, who enjoy the same exercise you do.
After finding the first type of exercise you love, and getting committed to it, soon your body will crave more.
Start on a gradient, find the one you enjoy first!
4. Two shortlists you’ll need
Even when you like your exercise, there are days when it’s just too hard to push yourself to go. The weather is too warm or too cold; your boss was horrible; there are too many things to do at home… and so forth… When you don’t feel like working out, that’s when you need it most!
So in order to push yourself through those difficult times, here is what to do.
Sit down after your next workout when you feel great, and write down:
a/. 3 things you like about your exercise routine (For example: This is the only ‘Me-time’ the whole day. I feel more confident in my body after working out. I feel like eating healthier after a workout.)
b./ 3 benefits of exercising (For example: I sleep better after exercising. I always calm down after a stressful day during working out. I have more energy for the rest of the day after exercising.)
Keep this list some place you can always reach (your wallet, your diary, etc.). The next time you don’t feel like doing anything, read the list you wrote, and I’m sure you’ll put your runners on immediately.
a/. Focusing on the scale
Your body needs time once you start exercising. Plus, muscle is heavier than fat. So while you get rid of fat and your muscles get stronger, while you look better and better, you might not notice any change on the scale. Forget about the scale! Don’t even step on it! Just believe what you feel, and what you see in the mirror!
b./ Working too hard
You might wake up on a morning and say: “I start exercising from today.” And you are so enthusiastic that you start a strenuous workout routine, every day. Then a few weeks gone and you find yourself sitting on the couch again.
After a long break, you always have to be patient with yourself and with your body. What you missed in a few months or years cannot be done in a week or two.
Don’t feel uncomfortable taking it easy when joining a group exercise class, it is okay to take short breaks during the class. Don’t forget, everyone felt the same way you feel now at some stage. If you really want to get there, be patient!
c./ Comparing yourself to others
This relates to the previous point. You join a gym, or a group class, and feel that everyone else looks better, knows better, works better and harder than you. You go running and feel like everyone is looking at you and everyone thinks you are very slow.
Never compare yourself to others!
Every human being is different, and each and every body is different. Plus, those people seemingly working harder started one day and felt the same way you’re feeling now. But they didn’t give up!
So don’t be shy, be proud of yourself! Many people sitting on the couch would admire you! Focus on your goal, and do your workout like nobody is watching.
And one more thing: Did you stop exercising for a while and now feeling bad about yourself? The more you think, the more time will pass. It can happen to all of us! All you need to do is get your sports gear, and start again!
You can find our ZUMBA Fitness classes in Dublin and Bray. 25 regular weekly classes, party-feeling, while working out hard. Join us today! Click here for timetable and details!