Incorporating exercise into your life can be a difficult task, especially if you are trying to make it a habit. Often times, starting is the hardest part. When you rely too heavily on whether or not you feel motivated, you set yourself up for failure. In order to make exercising a habit, you must train yourself to workout even if it’s the last thing you want to do. However, changes take time and you can’t completely alter your lifestyle overnight. Taking small steps and making little changes each day is the best approach to take when trying to make exercise a permanent part of your life. While this may seem nearly impossible at first, there are a few simple tips that can help you along the way.
#1: Start Small
Making any lifestyle change takes time and patience, and this applies to exercise as well. Rather than incorporating a relentless hour long workout into your daily routine, start small. Incorporating 15 minutes of exercise a few times a week is a great place to start. When it comes to exercise, a little bit goes a long way. What matters most is that you are committing to exercise for a set amount of time each week, and that you are staying consistent. As soon as you build that habit, fifteen minutes could turn into thirty minutes and so on. Having a low commitment level to begin with makes it more likely that you will complete the task and stick with it.
#2: Find an Exercise Routine That Fits Your Lifestyle
Before you begin incorporating exercise in your daily routine, there are a few questions you need to ask yourself. How many days can you workout? When is the best time to workout? What exercises fit you? The answer to these questions can vary depending on the type of lifestyle you lead. Committing to a routine you can’t maintain will get you nowhere. You don’t have to spend everyday at the gym in order to see results, and you shouldn’t commit to a routine like that if it doesn’t fit with your current lifestyle. Put together a routine that you can stay consistent with and enjoy for the best results.
#3: Find Exercises That You Enjoy
Exercise isn’t limited to the gym. Finding exercises you actually enjoy doing is a huge part of making exercise a habit. If you commit to doing exercises that you absolutely dread, its unlikely that you will stick with it. Experiment with a few different exercises to see what works for you. Figure out whether you like working alone, with a partner, or in a group setting. A little research goes a long way, and can help make your experience more enjoyable. Whether its hiking, biking, swimming, or Pilates, what truly matters is that you enjoy it. Find exercises that make you want to workout instead of ones that make you dread it.
#4: Write it Down
Write down when you’re going to exercise, for how long, and what you’re going to do. This will help keep you organized and on track. It’s easier to follow through with something if you have already made up you’re mind that you are going to do it. Schedule your workout like it’s an appointment, and treat it like something you absolutely cannot miss.
#5: Don’t Focus on the Numbers
It’s easy to get discouraged when you don’t get the results you want. However, it isn’t helpful to get caught up on the numbers you see on the scale. Try focusing on how good you feel after exercise, instead of the results you may or may not be getting. Don’t make light of your accomplishments simply because you didn’t reach your target weight goal in the time you thought you would. Focus more on how exercising improves your health and overall quality of life. Take pride in what you have accomplished, regardless of how great the achievement is. What truly matters is that you are working towards a happier, healthier life, so enjoy the experience. Think about what exercising truly means to you, and how it can improve your everyday life.
While making exercise a permanent part of your life may seem difficult at first glance, the hardest part is getting started. Find activities that you enjoy and start making changes one day at a time. Hopefully these tips makes the process a little less intimidating and encourage you to get started. If you are interested in pursuing a healthier lifestyle, contact Renee Paul from Conceptual Fitness. She has helped many others make the change and realize their fitness goals by making small adjustments one day at a time.